Art Scene

Zara McDaid

Art Scene: Donegal schools for Junk Kouture Grand Final

Donegal schools finalists.

Donegal schools finalists.

JUNK Kouture is a national competition for second level students in Ireland and Northern Ireland, sponsored by Repak and Bank Of Ireland, which challenges teenagers to create high-end wearable fashion from everyday junk that would normally find its way into the bin.

The competition aims to inspire and ignite passion in these teenagers while at the same time subtly educating them about the importance of recycling and reusing waste for the good of the planet. In the four three years, Junk Kouture has established itself as the premier fashion competition for teenagers throughout Ireland.


Donegal schools which qualified were Colaiste Ailigh and Errigal College, Letterkenny, Crana College and Scoil Mhuire Buncrana, Carndonagh Community School and Deele College Raphoe.

Carndonagh Community School has earned a credible reputation at the popular secondary school competition Junk Kouture over several years. Last year their stunning entry ‘Tickled by Metallic Glamour’ came first in the Northern region.

Canrdonagh's Plastic Fantastic.

Canrdonagh’s Plastic Fantastic.

This result was a well-deserved seal of approval for a year of hard work, dedication and late evenings from the pupils.
The art teachers involved are Mrs Adelle McCallion, Ms Michelle McGee and Mrs Pauline McDermott. This year they have four entries in the Grand Final: ‘Paraboloid, Smoke and Mirrors, Plastic Fantastic and Sheer Glass.

“Our team is made up of three transition year students Hannah Doherty (model) Jennifer Hirrell and Niamh Moyne and our dress is called Smoke and Mirrors.

“We used many different materials including: Broken mirrors that we found in an old building of our school, broken and unwanted jewellery, recycled lace and other materials and old fragments of clothing. We also incorporated cardboard to structure the shoulders that are made out of old bras in which we added recycled jewellery onto.”

Caoilinn Diver, a Transition Year student in Carndonagh Community School, designed, constructed and modelled the dress ‘Plastic Fantastic’.


“My dress is made from white and yellow plastic bin bags which I crocheted together. The top part of the dress is made from soft drink and beer cans, delicately cut into small fish scale pieces, painted with left over car paint and hand stitched together.
“This took a lot of time and patience! Hand crocheted flowers along with old recycled beads completed my dress,” said Caoilinn.

The grand final takes place this Friday, April 24 in the 3Arena at 7pm. Judges this year are Repak Marketing and Communications Manager Laura Murphy; Model, DJ, fashion blogger and TV personality Vogue Williams, Freelance Fashion Stylist Rob Conlon and Tracy Fahey who is the Head of both Fine Art and the Centre for Postgraduate Studies in the Limerick School of Art and Design.

Deele College - Vintage Pearl and Urban Junk with Ms Patrice Gallagher.

Deele College – Vintage Pearl and Urban Junk with Ms Patrice Gallagher.

There are some exciting prizes up for grabs on the night with the overall winner scooping a cash prize of €25,000.
I would like to congratulate all of students that have made it through to the grand final and I wish them the very best of luck.

With that said, high achievement in competitions like Junk Kouture wouldn’t be possible without the expert guidance of their dedicated and creative staff members, take a bow art teachers!

Zara McDaid can be contacted on Facebook, search ‘Zara Mc Daid Art’,, e-mail is, Twitter @zaramcdaidart and Instragram ZARA MC DAID

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