Following on from our School Spotlight May edition, let’s take a look at some of the amazing designs that Moate Community School has produced over the years.  



ATTIRE: Michelle Corcoran and Elvira Browne (16 years old)

This piece was carefully crafted using bicycle tubing, car tyre tubing and thread! Michelle collected the materials from a bicycle repair shop and took her inspiration from Irish designers like Una Burke to create something stunning. Her Junk Kouture highlight? Travelling to Cannes for the film festival and meeting so many life long friends! 


WHAT LIES BENEATH: Arthur Mulvihill (2018, 17 years old)

His design was made from cow bones from a local butchers and old fabric blinds. Something that surprised him and inspired him to use this material was that, cow bones have to be incinerated to be disposed of safely. The idea behind his design came from the idea of self protection, and different methods people use to cope with bullying. His Junk Kouture highlight was winning the LSAD bursary, now he’s going into his third year of college and is loving every minute!  


BURDEN OF PRIVILEGE: Claire Conlon, Hazel Kelly (2020, 17 years old)

This piece was created using old carpets, curtains, jewellery and more. The girls collected their materials from carpet shops, the metal work room in school and family and friends. The inspiration behind the design came from the burdens that teenagers carry: the desire for branded clothes, the newest technology and trying to keep up with everything society expects of them. For Claire, the highlight was performing on stage at the Regional Final and finding out that their design had made it to the final! They are so grateful to art teacher Pamela Keogh for taking such a proactive approach to Junk Kouture and showing them how to work hard and remain positive! 


BLINDED BY PERFECTION: Caoimhe Lowry, Grainne Geoghegan, Erin Hickey (2020, 17 years old)

This stunning piece was created using waste window dressing fabrics from a local supplier. The fabrics had to be manipulated and the appearance changed. This dress was inspired by the expectation of perfection for young people, and represented the action of rejecting this idea. For this team, the highlight was being on stage and they are so grateful to Pamela Keogh for her enthusiasm and support. Their top tip is simple: Look for novel and new ideas, be prepared that your first idea may not work, hard work and effort is necessary and is worth it. 


COW-MOO-FLAGE:  Clodagh Claffey, 2019, 17 years old 

This piece was created using milk cartons collected from friends, family and school. Each and every leaf was hand cut, spray painted and sewn onto the dress individually.  

The dress represented indifference for the planet’s preservation, and a lack of thought given to the amount of waste that is produced in food and fashion manufacturing alone.  

Clodagh’s highlight was heading to the 3Arena to strut her stuff and she says ‘Junk Kouture is a once in a lifetime experience that you can’t get anywhere else.’ 


CAN YOU SEE ME?: Emily McCabe, Orla Robbins, Jane Parker, (2017, 16 years old)  

This stunning dress was made from old, recycled seat belts and disused high-vis jackets. They obtained them from family members and friends.  

The inspiration behind it came from road safety (wearing a seatbelt if driving and a high-vis jacket if walking) and the shocking number of road accidents and deaths that happen every year. 

They said, ‘The whole JK experience was incredible, and we have so many amazing memories from it. From hearing our name announced as the winners of The Western Region in the 3Arena, to appearing on The Late Late show with Ryan Tubridy and visiting the Cannes Film Festival in the South of France with the other winners, it was all surreal’ 

The girls are still so glad to have had the support of Pamela Keogh, who helped them with their technical and creative processes and today, they are dab hands at upcycling and repurposing old clothes!  

‘To students taking part in Junk Kouture I would tell them to be creative and have fun. It is important that they enjoy the whole experience as it is an amazing opportunity. I would also tell them to be unique and original as it is important to produce something that represents you and what you believe to be important.’ 


JUST MY IMPRESSION: Cara Greville, (16 years old) 

This mind blowing design was created using bicycle tyres, blinds, bamboo placemats, scrap plastic, old rope and spray-paints. The inspiration for the dress came from Claude Monet’s ‘Waterlillies’ series and the dress was a celebration of light, reflections and pure colour.  

‘The highlight of my JK experience was definitely travelling to Westport and taking part in the Regional Finals onstage, where we showcased all our hard work. Junk Kouture allowed me to grow in many ways; artistically, creatively and confidence-wise. It really showed me the amazing outcomes of hard work and being open to new ideas and inputs. My advice for anyone wishing to take part in JK is to be confident in your ability and that no idea is too “out there” to be achieved.’ 




If you’d like your school to be featured on School Spotlight, send an email to anna@junkkouture.