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Ennis students with passion for fashion in finals of Junk Kouture

ESB Apprentice Moneypoint

ENNIS students with a passion for fashion have made it to the finals of a nationwide competition where their stylish looks will be judged by celebrities Michelle Visage and Louis Walsh.
Rice College fifth year students Carla Griffin, Eunice Boateng and Caitlin Mc Allister will be taking part in the Junk Kouture 2020 grand final, which will be broadcast on the RTÉ Player this month.
Their entry is titled ‘Do Your Own Sting’ and has been inspired by bees. Their art teacher Lorraine Hogan explains, “They used a variety of recycled materials to make it, the skirt is inspired by a beehive and hundreds of cardboard hexagon shapes. Plastic cups were used to construct it. The bodice is woven using the core of toilet rolls and beautiful handmade flowers were fashioned from food wrapping. Real beeswax was used in the beautiful headpiece.”
The students had been due to showcase their creation at the grand finals last spring, but Covid-19 meant that this had to be postponed. Organisers of the competition have now organised a socially distant finals which can be seen all over the world using the RTÉ Player. The Ennis students recently filmed a segment on their entry which will be broadcast as part of the online finals.
Ms Hogan explains, “The final for Junk Kouture was to take place in the spring of 2020 but unfortunately due to Covid it was postponed. Last week the girls travelled to the Kennedy Rooms in Bruff County Limerick  along with the other Southern Regional finalists where they were filmed for a virtual grand final which  will be shown  on RTÉ player at a later  date.”
She added that the judges will have a very difficult task in picking a winner. “Rice College are very proud of the girls achievement and wish them the best of luck in the grand final.”
This is the second year in a row that Rice College students have got to the grand final of the competition, which next year plans to go global to mark its ten year anniversary.
Incorporating elements of environmental sustainability, fashion, art, design, and engineering, Junk Kouture annually showcases aspiring designers aged 12 – 18-years from across Ireland as they rise to the challenge to envision, design, create and model wearable fashion styled from household rubbish, discarded bits and bobs, and upcycled tat – the golden rule is that everything used must be 100% recycled.
Star of RuPaul’s Drag Race and Junk Kouture judge Michelle Visage commented,“This year has been a huge test for everyone and I am so happy that Junk Kouture has been able to adapt in the face of adversity so we can still celebrate the amazing talent of Ireland’s emerging young designers. I love everything about this competition as it not only showcases the extraordinary creativity of the next generation but also carries an important message for us all, to look after the world that we live in. The new digital format means that I can still be involved from the other side of the world here in LA – who would have thought it? I cannot wait to sit back and take in all the fabulous creations on the night of the final. As for my advice to our fantastic finalists on the night – be true to yourself, bring big energy on stage, and remember this is your moment to shine! See you all online very soon.”

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