30 Nov 2021

'Damaged skipping rope and old communion gloves' - Laois team overjoyed at Junk Kouture award

'Damaged skipping rope and old communion gloves' - Laois team overjoyed at Junk Kouture award

Sarah Tuohy modelling with Gráinne  Mc Caul and Elise Finn

A Laois school team managed to create a stunning gown out of discarded plastic, toys and beads, to take home one of the top prizes in the Junk Kouture grand final this year.

The three girls behind the 'Peace Unfolds' design are holding off celebrating their win until the end of the Covid-19 Level 5 lockdown.

Sarah Tuohy, Gráinne  Mc Caul, Elise Finn from Scoil Chríost Rí told the Leinster Express about the moment the televised awards announced their win.

"We were so shocked to see our name announced as the enterprise winners. But it was so rewarding to see that our hard work had paid off from sewing to implementing our promotional campaign across social media for our sustainable design from the get go of our journey and everything in between.

The 'bright Enterprise' sponsored award was given to the entry with the best promotion campaign, as the girls had won lots of votes using social media.

"We were absolutely thrilled to have come away with an award especially the Enterprise Award as it’s one that was important to us because of all the extra work that went into campaigning and promoting our dress.

"The support we received leading up to the final and afterwards was immense and we couldn’t thank everyone enough for voting and following our journey in general via Instagram. We’re also really looking to celebrating together when it’s safe to do so," they said.

They explained what went in to making the outfit.

"The materials used to create our design include over 120 non-recyclable plastic art folders previously owned by art students in our school, 2 damaged skipping ropes from a local primary school, beads from an old children's jewelry-making kit, old communion gloves and gems from old project work. The skill of sewing was instrumental to our design as each plastic diamond was handstitched to the skirt.

"The concept behind the design is to make a statement against violence in our world. The main colour in this design is white, a symbol of peace. The hard and soft materials used reflect the differences in our societies and how they can complement each other once used correctly. This is difficult to achieve and can easily ‘unfold’ in the same way that peace can crumble. We hope that our white dress may be a symbol of the need for peace and harmony in today’s world," Elise, Gráinne and Sarah said.

Their proud art teacher is Jayne Louise Kelly.

"What an amazing experience this has been and such a proud moment for Scoil Chriost Rí! I was on the edge of my seat on the sofa at home watching my students take to the catwalk in the Junk Kouture Grand Final on RTÉ2 this year. 

"Both "Peace Unfolds" modelled by Sarah Tuohy and "Canine99" modelled by Jade Laffen were absolutely stunning on the catwalk! What a wonderful keepsake it is to have footage of my students' JK performances along with all the wonderful grand finalist creations performances saved on the Sky box at home!

"I am chuffed for Team "Peace Unfolds" winning the enterprise award. Sarah, Gráinne and Elise have been a wonderful team. They worked their socks off creating and making their dress. They shared and promoted their creation, concept and JK journey on social media platforms using photography and videography thoughout the year. Well done Gráinne, Sarah, Elise and well done to all my TY Scoil Chriost Rí Junk Kouture teams from 2019-2020 that entered the competition.

"They were all wonderfully creative students and always showed huge support and encouragement towards each other. They have all won the most special prize of all throughout their JK experience and that is friendship and the magical memories that they made along the way." Jayne Louise Kelly said.

Photo: Patrick Ryan


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