HomeFashionSee the Kilkenny design competing in the Junk Kouture regional final

See the Kilkenny design competing in the Junk Kouture regional final


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Kilkenny students Emily O’Shea, Honey Payne and Ava Delaney will be representing Castlecomer Community School at the Junk Kouture Regional Final

TY Castlecomer Community School students Emily O’Shea, Honey Payne and Ava Delaney will be showcasing their creation made completely out of plastic bags in the regional finals on Tuesday March 5.

Junk Kouture is a fashion competition for post-primary school students, where participants design, create and model fashion made from recycled materials.

Finalists from across Ireland will showcase their designs at two regional finals on March 4 and 5 at the Helix in Dublin.

Castlecomer Community School were one of the schools shortlisted to participate in the regional finals with their dress, ‘Tonn Chlíona’.

This dress pays homage to the sea and protecting our fragile eco system, as it mimics the looks and movements of jellyfish that we often see washed up on Irish beaches.

Emily O’Shea modelling Castlecomer Community School’s design ‘Tonn Chlíona’

Art teacher at Castlecomer Community School, Robert Dunne has being working alongside Emily, Honey and Ava to create a dress that is both showstopping and educational.

Robert explained that Emily, Honey and Ava wanted to design and create a dress about climate change and its impacts on the sea habitat.

“The dress highlights climate change and in particular the impact of climate change on the sea. The girls were inspired by the blue jellyfish that you often see washed up on Irish beaches due to changes in temperatures. There seems to be a lot more of these jellyfish washed up than normal and they seem to be particular to Ireland.

“Visually the costume was informed by the shape and the form of these jellyfish. The umbrella that accompanies the dress in particular is inspired by the shape and look of the blue jelly fish which are known as Cyanea Lamarckii. The girls have even added LED lights that hang out of the umbrella and iridescent material that hangs down from the centre which all adds to that look.”

The dress was made out of 130 repurposed plastic bags

An impressive total of 130 plastic bags have been taken from office bins around Castlcomer Community School and repurposed to make the dress. By using plastic bags as the main material for the dress, Emily, Honey and Ava have recycled a material that usually ends up in dumps or in the sea where it can damage the sea habitat.

“We tried to stick with one material for the dress and manipulate that material in different ways to give different looks,” explained Robert. “The whole thing is made from plastic bags and the top part of the dress for instance is made from rolled bags that are placed on the bodice vertically so it creates a swirl,” described Robert.

“There are panels on the dress of different manipulations of those plastic bags to make the bags look different on certain parts of the dress. The front of the dress was then created by pulling the plastic so that it didn’t rip but it left a rough, serrated edge which kind of looks like flower petals.

“Emily, Honey and Ava went around the school every evening and collected plastic bags that were thrown away in office bins. These bags were then used to make the dress.”

Castlecomer Community School students Emily O’Shea, Honey Payne and Ava Delaney will be competing at the regional finals on March 5

Even the name of the dress, ‘Tonn Chlíona’ has connotations with the sea and climate change.

“The name of the dress is also inspired by the theme of the sea as it’s called ‘Tonn Chlíona’ which comes from the Irish myth of a banshee goddess, who was called Clíodhna. As the story goes she was killed by a massive magical wave. Tonn means wave, which means in English the dress is called Cliona’s wave,” added Robert

“Emily, Honey and Ava thought the name of the dress was very fitting as it represents the turmoil that is going on with the climate and climate change.”

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