Midlands School Crowned Junk Kouture World Designer of the Year

Moate Community School's #TagMe handsewn design used 2,500 tags.

Irish design #TagMe from Moate Community School have been crowned Junk Kouture World Designer of the Year in Monaco.

Sixty haute-couture designs made completely from recycled materials took to the catwalk in Salle des Princes in the Grimaldi Forum to impress the judges.

With 10 designs from each Junk Kouture territory, including Ireland, the UK, France, Italy, the USA and the UAE, it was a night of celebration, creativity and circularity.

Designed by Eva Donlon, Evie Nugent and Méabh O'Shea of Moate Community School, Westmeath, the design was made from plastic colour samples for various plastic objects – they’ve used over 2,500 tags, handsewn together.

These samples usually end up in landfill because the different colours make them difficult to recycle.

Fashion designer and founder of contemporary womenswear brand SML Stephen McLaughlin, Parisian it-girl and champion of sustainable fashion Lise Pierron and model, fashion student and Junk Kouture alumna Lara-Jane Doherty had the task of choosing the winners.

Six City Designers of the Year, the World Designer of the Year, and a host of other awards such as Wearable Art etc. were announced.

The trophies for the World Final have been specially made from old Perspex screens by teams from Atlantic Technological University in Donegal, home of Junk Kouture.

And the winners are…

Paris Designer of the Year 2023 – Bubblefish, designed by Lee Lou Mandace, Gaella Jean Pierre and Jeanne Guibot of Lycée Marie Laurencin made from waste plastic.

London Designer of the Year 2023 – Medias Jiometri made by Anaya Kogi and Lorenza Nimmo of Jersey College For Girls. Made from recycled magazines to create a discussion around the negative perceptions of body image.

New York Designer of the Year 2023 – Mother of Poison by Chloe Davia and Cianna Ricci of McIntosh High School, Georgia, inspired by the maternal instinct mothers have to protect their children.

Milan Designer of the Year 2023 – Bloody Mary made by Elisa Gaetani Lisco, Emma Ambrosioni and Luca Quartini of Sculoa D’arte Andrea Fantoni, Italy which represents the Abu Dhabi Designer of the Year 2023 – War of Woman design by Marie Ammar, Shahd Belal and Haya Sami of Summit International School, Dubai. The designers wanted to design an armour that represents the strength of women.

Dublin Designer of the Year 2023 - #TagME, designed by Eva Donlon, Evie Nugent and Méabh O'Shea of Moate Community School, Westmeath, the design was made from plastic colour samples for various plastic objects – they’ve used over 2,500 tags, handsewn together.

Purposeful Plastic Award Powered by TWW Yachts – End of an Era designed by Hannah Pugh, Chiedza Makuto and Carys Clutterbuck of Marling School, made from thousands of milk bottle tops.

Cultural Couture Award Powered by ISM – Tonnes of Tradition by Aisha Khan, Khadija Bibi and Harjass Kau of Coláiste Nano Nagle, Limerick, made from tonne bags, wool, up-cycled curtains, curtain rings, wires, keys and bed sheets.

Performance Award Powered by Kate Powers Foundation – From Coastline to Wasteline made by Lily Gear, Vega Beroud and Luisa Dietel of International School of Nice. Made with materials found on beach cleans.

Glamour Award Powered by ATU – Invidia modelled by Ailish Doherty of Carndonagh Community School, Carndonagh, Co. Donegal, made from shoe boxes and a shower curtain. Designers are Ailish Doherty, Julia Grant and Ciara Gilmore.

Junior Designer Award Powered by TEC – Wishing on a Ribbon from Bethany School, made with ribbon wishes that were hung on the village Christmas tree.

Imagination Takes Flight Award Powered by Etihad Airways – The Artificer by Aaesha Almannaee, Baraah Alkhatib and Hala Abdulah with the theme of steampunk and brings together the world of science into the design.

Wearable Art Award Powered by EUROSPAR – The Muse by Asia O'Riordan and Erris Lindsay from Blessington Community College.Made of beads, bingo cards, wool, sticks of willow, old denim, fabrics and paint.

STEAM Award Together with Microsoft – Steminist, designed by Vanessa Kielty, Martha Nugent and Mary McNulty of Elphin Community College, Elphin, Co. Roscommon, created to encourage more girls to become involved in STEM subjects. Made from old electrical wiring and a copper water cylinder, nuts and bolts, rusted corrugated iron, high-vis jacket, disused landscape netting, tool mats, gears and plastic.

Innovation Award Powered by DHL – Older Motions, by Emily Li of Cambridge School of Weston, New York made from VHS tapes. Ready to Wear Award Powered by Deloitte – Le Nouvea Riche, by Theo Connolly of Dundalk Grammar School, Louth, made using waste from vaccine centres.

On presenting duties on the night were TV and radio presenter Louise Cantillon and TG4 star Daragh Ó Caoimh.

And as the curtain falls in Monaco, there’s more to look forward to as Junk Kouture 2024 kicks off with the regional finals in Ireland on 4th and 5th March in the Helix, Dublin, which is now sold out.

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