Tipperary students win Glamour award in national Junk Kouture recycled fashion final

Strong performance by Presentation secondary school in Clonmel

Imperium

Imperium, modelled by one its designers, Victoria Canty, which won the Glamour award at the national Junk Kouture final

The Presentation Secondary School in Clonmel maintained its impressive record in the Junk Kouture fashion competition when it won the Glamour award in this year’s national final.

The winning entry, Imperium, was modelled by Victoria Canty and designed by Victoria Canty, Ellen O’Gorman and Saoirse McCarra and was one of three costumes that represented the school in the All-Ireland final. 

The inspiration for Imperium came from the Birds of Paradise dress by designer Thierry Mugler. 

The competition challenges young people to design, create and model high end couture from everyday junk and the girls chose to look at recycling as a powerful positive, choosing a medium that is the most recyclable material, a metal in the form of aluminium cans. 

They used their material to create a stunning red carpet gold dress. 

The aluminium can is recycled an infinite number of times to create many things, including wearable art couture. 

The leaf design represents the power of the seasons’ rejuvenation, and the  transformation to gold represents the monetary value. 

“I have always loved fashion and Junk Kouture presented me with an opportunity to create something inspired by one of my favourite designers,” says designer and model Victoria Canty, whose sister Lorraine was also a national finalist. 

“I discovered Thierry Mugler when he designed Kim Kardashian’s Met Gala dress in 2019. The designer’s love for corsets, strength and the female form were some inspirations when designing my gown. 

“I wanted to create something using recycled materials that look like art, while keeping in line with Mugler’s design aesthetic. 

“I chose aluminium cans as the primary recycled material for my piece, as they are one of the most recycled materials on the planet. 

“I wanted my dress to showcase how something beautiful can be made from something that otherwise would have been discarded. Although Covid cancelled the live shows, it was an excellent experience to be involved with the RTÉ filming and production crew. 

“Although I couldn’t perform in the 3Arena, it was so exciting to sit with my family and to see myself and the design on TV. While the whole experience was extraordinary, hearing my name announced as the winner of the Glamour award made the whole experience worthwhile. 

“Junk Kouture has been one of the highlights of my secondary school experience and is something I will remember fondly for the rest of my life,” Victoria said.

Above: Socketta, modelled by Gabrielle Pranskeviciute, one of its designers, reached the national Junk Kouture final 

The 2020 final was originally scheduled for last April in the 3Arena, Dublin but was postponed because of the outbreak of Covid-19. 

However all was not lost as Junk Kouture, supported by Creative Ireland, found an incredible alternative to the live event. 

The finalists travelled to the stunning location of The Kennedy Rooms in Bruff, Limerick, where they were filmed by RTÉ and the Junk Kouture final was televised for the first time last month. 

Viewers tuned into RTÉ2 and the RTÉ Player to witness an array of incredible designs created and modelled by the talented young designers, who waited so patiently throughout the pandemic for their moment to shine.  

Above: Arcoiris, modelled by Lorraine Canty, also reached the Junk Kouture recycled fashion national final

“The usual winners’ trip to the Cannes Film Festival is unavailable this year but I’m sure Victoria and the girls will get the opportunity to attend many red carpet events and fashion shows to share this amazing creation once Covid  restrictions are lifted,” says Presentation Clonmel art teacher Mairead Magnier Fennell who, along with fellow art teacher Claire Murphy, provided guidance for the students.  

“Their hard work, dedication, focus and creativity were a testimony to the team. 

“The performance and make-up brought this costume to another level, and scooping the Glamour Award was a fantastic reward. 

“Huge congratulations are extended to the team. The Presentation community are so proud of your achievements,” she stated. 

The other Presentation Clonmel entries that reached the national final were Socketta, which was made entirely from the odd socks that fill our homes, and which was modelled by Gabrielle Pranskeviciute and designed by Gabrielle, Aurora Moore, and Yasmin Woodlock; and Arcoiris, which was modelled by Lorraine Canty - Victoria Canty’s sister - and designed by Lorraine and Rachel Lambe, with makeup by Sophie Pyke, and which was selected as the 2FM wildcard. 

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