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After five hugely successful years seeing secondary and grammar schools’ students’ work appear on red carpets and catwalks across the world, plus an expansion to Scotland, the 2016 Bank of Ireland Junk Kouture competition this week launched its 2016 competition with an ever-enticing list of prizes – including cash, iPads and trips to film premieres in London – for artistic and fashion-minded young people.

Breakfast radio presenters Pete Snodden and Rebecca McKinney joined some of last year’s finalists wearing dresses that give future entrants a taster of what to expect from Bank of Ireland Junk Kouture 2016.

The recycled fashion competition is open to all secondary and grammar school students in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Their challenge is to create an outfit of any shape or form, with the stipulation that it is made from recycled materials. Entrants must get their hands on industrial, electrical, commercial and domestic waste products and transform them into pieces of fashion art.

Launching Bank of Ireland Junk Kouture 2016 is student Rebecca Breslin, the
Launching Bank of Ireland Junk Kouture 2016 is student Rebecca Breslin

Judges for the competition have included model and TV presenter Vogue Williams as well as TV stylist Darren Kennedy, Rosanna Davison, and international model Faye Dinsmore. As with previous years there will be four regional heats in Dublin, Derry, Limerick, and Castlebar. The Grand Final, featuring the top 80 dresses, will take place in the 3Arena, Dublin in April 2016.

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Commenting on the launch, Sean Sheehan, Regional Director, NI at Bank of Ireland UK, said“We’re absolutely delighted to be sponsoring Junk Kouture for the fifth year running.  The competition has a unique way of empowering young people to hone their creative skills and meet others with similar interests.  Bank of Ireland UK’s sponsorship of the competition gives us a great opportunity to meet with our school partners and customers and to celebrate the artistic flair and talent of some of the most bold and innovative young people in Northern Ireland.” 

Elizabeth Curran, founder of Junk Kouture said: “Bank of Ireland Junk Kouture doesn’t just inspire outstanding creativity in young people, but also highlights the importance of environmentally aware behaviour and mindfulness of how much we consume and how much we throw away. Once again I’m really looking forward to seeing how the students reinvent waste such as old plastics, paper, bottles, wires, lambs’ wool and even hosepipes to turn them into couture!”

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Eimear Lavery, Head of Art & Design at Holy Trinity School in Cookstown said at the launch: “During my five years taking part in the Bank of Ireland Junk Kouture fashion and art competition, I have found it an extremely rewarding experience for all pupils right from Year Eight, through to GCSE and A level Art and Design. Not only does the competition encourage secondary school pupils of all ages to recycle and use waste materials to create innovative fashion, it gives them confidence-building opportunities to participate in live professional fashion shows and photo shoots. I have found the competition to be a great way of motivating pupils, building on their self-confidence and encouraging them to use their creative talents. Many schools, including our own, have developed school-wide recycling programmes for specific materials to support their participating pupils, so it is great for team-building and morale too.  Most importantly though,  I have found that the pupils can use their fashion and accessory Junk Kouture designs and development work as an integral part of their GCSE and A level examinations. I would recommend all Art and Design to encourage their pupils to participate in the Junk Kouture 2016 competition as it doesn’t conflict what is in the curriculum, it actually complements it as well as contributing to the children’s wider societal education.”

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With some great prizes on offer, the clock is now ticking for students and teachers alike to get creative over the summer months. Online applications will close in January 2016. For further information and entry criteria visit: www.junkkouture.com or www.facebook.com/junkkouture Alternatively, please email info@junkkouture.com

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