Junk Kouture hits the catwalk

Junk Kouture hits the catwalk

Schoolchildren from across Northern Ireland are vying to be the next Vivienne Westwood or Stella McCartney in the world of Junk Kouture.

The art competition, in association with the European Recycling Platform (ERP), is an all Ireland competition which challenges pupils to turn everyday rubbish into cutting edge clothing.

The competition is launched annually in September to coincide with secondary school pupils' return to school.

A maximum of three students can work on each outfit and it must be made from reworked garbage or other used materials at the end of their life.

Entrants are shortlisted down to just 80 outfits per region - north, south, east and west - for a semi-final extravaganza.

The Junk Kouture then hits the catwalk - but models only have 90 seconds to impress judges with their trashy creations!

Pupils from Sullivan Upper in Holywood, Co Down are just one of many schools vying to be a cut about the rest.

And it seems anything goes.

Elizabeth O'Donnell, Junk Kouture founder, told UTV that everything and anything goes into the eco-fashion - emery boards, orange peel, tyres with nine inch nails, and computer parts.

"Every bit of material you can think of, they're using in recreating wonderful pieces."

Jose Varanda, is perhaps fast becoming the Gok Wan of Cookstown, after winning last year's competition.

He spent five hours every day for two months shaping his winning outfit from more than 500 cola tins - that's a lot of fizzy pop!

"The advice I would give to them [the students] is being positive and confident.

"Because for you to achieve something you have to fight for, you have to make it your own way for your future," he said.

Entries for this year's competition close at the end of January.

The regional final for Northern Ireland will take place at the Millennium Forum in Londonderry on Friday, 8 March.

The grand final then takes place in Dublin with over €20,000 worth in prizes to be won.


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