By Helen Riddell
A GROUP of transition year students from Scoil Phobail Bhéara in Castletownbere have reached the finals of the prestigious national schools fashion competition, Junk Kouture, with their entry Scales and Tails, which pays homage to the area’s fishing industry.
Now in its tenth year, Junk Kouture is a competition using recycled fashion which encourages young people to design, create and model a one-off couture piece made from everyday junk and recycled material.
New or purchased materials are prohibited. Entrants are judged on their awareness of fashion and style trends, design, engineering and environmental sustainability. The competition is open to second level students throughout Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland.
Marie Murphy, the school chaplain, says it is the first time Scoil Phobail Bhéara has entered the competition and the students were delighted to hear they had reached the finals.
Their winning outfit, a strapless gown in silver and hues of purple with a matching dramatic headpiece, is made from shells and old compact discs. Over 1,300 designs from 500 schools through the county have entered the competition.
In a stroke of luck a second entry from the school, Fiery Seas, has been selected as a wild card, and will also go through to the regional finals.
The two entries from the school will now travel to the southern regional finals in the Concert Hall at University College Limerick on Friday March 6th to present their entries to the judges, including X Factor judge Louis Walsh.
The five winning regional teams will get a trip to the Cannes Film Festival to showcase their entry to an international audience. The overall winning team will be awarded a trophy and €1,000, with an additional trophy and a prize of €2,000 awarded to their school.