Congratulations to the 7 Bower teams who were successful in reaching the Western Regional Final of Junk Kouture 2022. The regional finalists were showcased during a YouTube broadcast and OLB was thrilled to see 2 dresses chosen to progress to the Dublin City Final which will take place in the Bord Gáis Theatre on May 5th. 60 finalists will take to the stage in the hopes of wowing this year’s judging panel. In a new twist, the top 10 designs on the night will be selected for the World Final where they will compete with 50 other designs from Abu Dhabi, London, Paris, Milan and New York City.

Team “Blewe” – Jessica Frawley, Amy McGovern and Martha McSharry devised a design that goes right back to our roots, reinventing old Irish crafts in a new way, including patchwork in a modern tumbling block effect, blanket-stitching, ruching, carding and felting. The girls feel their outfit has huge wearable and sustainable potential. They have highlighted how the price of sheep’s wool has decreased from €2.20 to 28c per kg, meaning farmers all over Ireland are left with bags of wool deteriorating. The team used 4.5kg of this wool in their creation along with denim scraps, donut buttons and ram’s horns. Traditional dress codes in Ireland restricted women to wearing long dresses. The open skirt/pants, with accompanying trench coat show the changes that have taken place in female fashion and gender equality through the decades.

Re”Jenner”Ate – Alex Fitzpatrick and Eva Glynn designed their dress, headpiece and armpiece entirely out of bailing twine; hoping to highlight the issue of climate change. The girls hope that the use of a single raw material would make people stop and think about the problems created due to fast fashion. The versatility of the twine reaffirms the need to reduce, reuse, recycle and repair. The girls took Inspiration from Kendall Jenner’s 2019 Met Gala gown and created their design by using the techniques of weaving, sewing, plaiting and fraying.

In addition to the success of this year’s JK designers, competition alum Londi Ndlovu travelled to Cannes on April 4th with the Junk Kouture team to attend the prestigious MIPTV global media and entertainment event. Junk Kouture was receiving the MIP SDG Innovation Award for their impact in engaging younger people on the importance of the Sustainable Development Goals. Londi, who won the Best Performance Award in 2021 with her design “Its All About the Package” was invited to walk the pink carpet, perform during the event and participate in Q&A sessions.

Congratulations to all of this year’s designers. It is wonderful to see the enthusiasm and creativity that participation in this competition brings.