Lunch bags and casing strips see Galway schools in fashion finals

Health, Beauty and Fashion with Denise McNamara

Two Galway schools have qualified for the Irish finals of the Junk Kouture competition which has students creating outfits by recycling all manner of materials. A pair of scholarship students in the tiny school of Coláiste Naomh Eoin on Inis Meáin won over the judges with their creation inspired by the traditional clothes of the island women.

Múirín Gréine by Leah Murray and Sienna Hessman is made from colourful plastic lunch bags explains teacher Elizabeth Murphy.

“The girls took inspiration from the colourful traditional patterns that were worn by the women of Inis Meáin for centuries. Only one woman remains on the island who still wears the traditional clothing and they wanted to pay homage to the women of Inis Meáin whilst putting a modern twist on their creation,” she revealed.

The design took several months to make from designing their dress to collecting materials to creating their final design. The design is comprised of multicoloured plastic lunch bags collected and sewn together to form the vibrant design.

“Leah and Sienna are with us this year on our wonderful scholarship scheme. Coláiste Naomh Eoin is a small island school with a national reach as many students spend a year with us on our beautiful island to immerse themselves in our language and culture.

“This achievement means so much to the students, the experience has been one of such positivity and has been a bonding experience for the girls as well.”

This is not the first time the island students have progressed to the final, with their designs showcased at a Junk Kouture launch with Vogue Williams in 2015.

High Cross College Tuam – the new co-educational school set up when the Presentation College and Scoil Bhríde amalgamated last year – have also won one of the 60 coveted spots in the national final.

‘Magenta Monarchy’ was created by Aoife Canavan and Myah Gallagher, who was the model. Waste diverted from Tuam electronic manufacturer Valeo provided the team with lots of interesting materials to work with such as plastic reel casings from electronic components and metal bead offcuts. They also approached Roscommon Hospital for plaster of paris remnants to create the form fitting bodice.

Pictured: ‘Magenta Monarchy’ created by High Cross College students Aoife Canavan and Myah Gallagher, who was also the model.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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