The standard was high at this year’s Bank of Ireland Junk Kouture competition.
The national contest encourages young designers in second level education to create striking couture designs and impressive works of wearable art from everyday junk that would normally find its way into the bin.
Its aim is to inspire and ignite passion in these teenagers while at the same time subtly educating them about the importance of recycling and reusing waste.
This year’s winner was Moo from Our Lady’s Bower, Athlone, modelled by Isabelle Clarke and designed by Mary Brody with the use of 300 milk cartons which were cut into shapes and connected together by over 30,000 O rings.
As the winner of the eighth annual Bank of Ireland Junk Kouture final Moo will be returning home with the prestigious Bank of Ireland Junk Kouture trophy and €2,500 cash for their school. The team will each receive €500 cash and an iPad mini. Class will also be Cannes-celled for the five regional winning teams as they jet off with Bank of Ireland to the Cannes International Film Festival to walk the red carpet and showcase their incredible deigns to the global paparazzi this summer.
On the evening 86 student models performed in front of an audience of 6,500 friends and family in another sold out incredible all Ireland final at the 3Arena. The crowd were also treated to a performance by pop sensation and winner of Dancing with the Stars 2018 Jake Carter, 4 piece Indie/Pop outfit from Mullingar Fallen Lights and dance troupe XOD.
Other prizes awarded on the night included The Bank of Ireland Glamour Prize; awarded to She’s No Egg, But She’s Some Yolk from Our Lady’s Bower and What Lies Beneath from Moate Community School. The stylish winners will have the opportunity to model their outfits on the red carpet at the glamorous Royal Premier in London. In addition the Bank of Ireland Enterprise Award was awarded to Stand Up and Fight from Coláiste Nano Nagle, Limerick and the Bank of Ireland Techno Wearables Prize was awarded to Digital Download from Presentation College, Tuam Galway .
Moo surpassed all expectations and blew the star studded judging panel away; made up of X Factor and Ireland’s Got Talent judge Louis Walsh, style guru Pippa O’Connor, fashion educators and experts Tracey Fahey and Jane Leavey, alongside previous winner and LSAD graduate Stephen McLaughlin, who had the difficult and unenviable task of choosing the overall winners.
Congratulating the entrants Laura Lynch, Head of Customer Propositions at Bank of Ireland said: “Bank of Ireland Junk Kouture has supported thousands of students over the years giving them a head start by teaching valuable skills such as teamwork, innovation and the opportunity to inspire each other throughout the competition. Every year we get to the grand final and are blown away once again with the creative talent in our schools. It’s no surprise that Bank of Ireland Junk Kouture has become a launch pad for a number of successful careers in architecture, fashion design, fine arts, teaching and entertainment. Congratulations to Moo who is taking the title of Bank of Ireland Junk Kouture winner back to her school Our Lady’s Bower in Athlone.”
Troy Amour, Co-Founder of Bank of Ireland Junk Kouture added: “It’s even better than last year, I cannot believe the incredible display of young Irish design talent. Thanks to our tireless partners Bank of Ireland for encouraging their partner schools to take part This year we had to add a fifth regional final (Dublin) in order to cope with this year’s jump in applicants from 1,300 to 1,533. The level of competition and standard of creativity keeps growing and we’re very excited to see what else is to come.”