Derry school makes junk into fashion

A Thousand Smilie Staples - from the pupils of St. Joseph's Boys' School, Derry.
A Thousand Smilie Staples - from the pupils of St. Joseph's Boys' School, Derry.

Derry students are among 320 Regional Finalists and 80 creative students preparing to take to the Millennium Forum stage in Derry on March 4th next for the Bank of Ireland Junk Kouture Northern Regional Final.

Hosted by Ed and Fitzy from iRadio, the audience is in for a treat as 80 talented students will showcase their couture creations made from rubbish and recycled materials in a performance accompanied to music.

Making it through to the regional final is “A Thousand Smilie Staples” from St. Joseph’s Boys’ School, Derry.

This team were helped along the way by their art teacher Mr. Paddy McCourt.

The regional finals have a strong judging panel with main judges Tracy Fahey (L.S.A.D Educator), Lorna McGee (Vogue India) and Rob Condon (Stylist) joined by previous winner, Ellen Connolly, who has first-hand experience of competing in the Bank of Ireland Junk Kouture competition and understands the pressures and challenges of the regional finalists.

Louis Walsh and Vogue Williams are set to join the panel for the Grand Final in the 3 Arena on April 14th for what promises to be a fashion extravaganza.

Speaking about the regional finals, Laura Lynch, Head of Youth Banking at Bank of Ireland said: “The calibre of designs for this year’s competition is incredible. With every entry being uniquely choreographed to music, we are really excited to see the models bring their creations to life on stage at the Regional finals. As Ireland’s leading bank for students we are delighted and proud to sponsor the Bank of Ireland Junk Kouture 2016. We wish everyone the best of luck in the next stage of the competition and remind finalists to get innovative about how they gather support through the Bank of Ireland Junk Kouture voting app.”

As part of the judging process, the public can get involved by casting a vote for their favourite design through the Bank of Ireland Junk Kouture voting app. Accessed through the BOIStudents Facebook page (, voting opens for one week before the regional competitions from 9am Monday 22nd February to 12 midnight Friday 26th February. Individuals can cast a single vote every 24hours. Votes account for 10per cent of the final mark and can make a huge difference in such a heated competition.  Bank of Ireland is encouraging students to think innovatively about how they gather support through the voting app with a special Bank of Ireland Award in the mix for the Most Innovative Designer at the National Final in April.

With almost 3,000 students, the competition has seen the greatest number of entries to date, making the judging process the toughest yet. The teams will be competing to earn their place in the Grand finals in the hope of walking away with the top prize of €2,500 for their school, iPad Minis and €500 cash for the team. This year’s contestants could also be in with a chance to win a trip to the Royal Film Premiere in London or even a Scholarship to attend the Limerick School of Art and Design. This year has seen the introduction of two news prizes – “Most Unusual Material Prize” and “CoderDojo Techno/Wearables Prize.”

Tickets are on sale now from or from The Millennium Forum Box Office.