Upcoming Event

Getting started

Who can enter?

Junk Kouture 2020 is open to all pupils who are enrolled in post – primary education in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Scotland in the 2019/2020 school year.

The brief

In short, the whole idea of Junk Kouture is to create striking works of recycled couture that wouldn’t look out of place on the world’s most famous runways or in some of the best Hollywood movies!

Your design can be crafted into any style of wear, from modern to male, to high fashion and feminine. However, THE MOST IMPORTANT RULE is that it’s made from 100% recycled materials.

1 1

Select your team

Select a reliable team – a team that can work at ease with each other and can overcome any obstacles which may arise along the way! Teamwork makes the dream work!

2 2


Find inspiration, develop a design and select your material(s).

3 3


Register online and submit your design. Make sure to fill in all sections and complete your registration by the closing date in January.

Download the competition
handbook now

For more useful information, tips and guidelines about getting started.

Key Dates


Junk Kouture 2020 Launch


2020 Competition Handbook available to download

1st October 2019 (9am) - 1st November 2019 (6pm)

Teacher Registration


JK Junior Launch

25th November 2019 (9am) - 29th November 2019 (11pm)

Extended Teacher Registration

6th January 2020 (9am) - 20th January 2020 (6pm)

Student Registration

29th January 2020 (7pm)

Regional Finalists announced on social media

3rd February 2020 - 7th February 2020

Lifeline Voting (5 lifeline winners per each region)

8th February 2020 (6pm)

Lifeline Vote Winners announced on social channels

10th February 2020 - 14th February 2020

Regional Finalist Voting

13th February 2020

Regional Final Tickets on sale from each venue box office/website 10am

27th February 2020

Northern Regional Final

2nd March 2020

Eastern Regional Final

3rd March 2020

South Eastern Regional Final

5th March 2020

Western Regional Final

6th March 2020

Southern Regional Final

12th March 2020 (10am)

Grand Final tickets on sale at 10am from ticketmaster.ie


Grand Finalist Voting

6th April 2020 (12pm)


24th April 2020

Closing date for Bursary Applications


Grand Final


Trip to Cannes Film Festival for the 5 x Regional Winners

Judging Process

Judging Criteria

First and foremost – designs MUST be made from 100% recycled materials – you must state in your student registration what/how materials were sourced.

  • Designs should WOW the judges with creative innovation, originality and attention to detail.
  • Designs should be made from a unique use of recycled materials.
  • New or purchased materials are prohibited!
  • Items which are classed as ‘rejected items’ from the manufacturer can be used in the design i.e. they are not fit for purpose for general sale.
  • Designs should showcase the quality of the team’s craftsmanship – judges will consider how well the design is constructed and the standard of assembly.
  • Designs should be composed of an entire outfit, including accessories and head pieces if desired. Appropriate shoes can also be adapted to blend in with the creation.
  • An entertaining and well choreographed performance is a great addition to a design.

Please Note: Appropriate undergarments MUST be worn at all times if you make it to the live shows

Regional Judging Process

As outlined, student registration takes place in January! Upon successful completion of the student registration process, the following will take place;

  • A panel of judges from Junk Kouture will review and score the online entries, selecting 75 designs from each of the five regions; North, East, South East, West, and South. These designs will progress automatically to the live regional final shows in March.
  • Following on from the preliminary in-house judging, successful regional finalists will be announced at 7pm on the Junk Kouture Facebook page.
  • A confirmation email will be sent to the registered teacher of the design informing them of the team progression into the next round the following day.

The Lifeline Vote
(Monday 3rd February 9am
to Friday 7th February 6pm)

If you are not one of the 75 finalists from your region – do not worry, you may still be in with a chance of getting through to the next stages of the competition. The remaining entrants will go into a public vote which takes place at app.junkkouture.com, and 5 designs from each of the 5 regions will have opportunity to make it to the next round. Lifeline winners will be announced on @junkkouture Facebook page at 6pm on Sat 8th February 2020.

Regional Finalist Vote
(Monday 10th February 9am
to Friday 14th February 6pm)

All original regional finalists plus the lifeline winners from each region will then go into a public vote online which will be worth 10% of their overall marks received at the regional finals.

Grand Final Judging Process

15 designs plus one wildcard from the 5 regions will progress to the Grand Final. The 80 designs will then partake in another online vote like that of the regional and lifeline votes which will again be worth 10% of overall marks received at the Grand Final.

Grand Final Vote

Details available at a later date

Please Note: More information on how and where to vote will be available closer to the time via our social media channels.

Grand final judges

Tracy Fahey

Tracy Fahey

Head of Department of Fine Art & Head of Postgraduate Studies, Limerick School of Art and Design

Dr. Tracy Fahey has previously worked as Head of Department of Humanities, IT Carlow and Head of Faculty of Design, Griffith College Dublin. She currently sits on the advisory boards of the Centre for Research in Popular Culture, AUT, Auckland and the Centre for Studies in Otherness, Denmark. She is a former Past President of the Institute of Designers in Ireland and a former Board member of the Limerick Printmakers, the Hunt Museum Limerick, Design Ireland, and the Institute of Design and Disability. She is also a fiction writer; her first short-story collection, The Unheimlich Manoeuvre was nominated for a British Fantasy Award in 2017. She has also published a novel, The Girl in the Fort (Fox Spirit Press), a second collection, New Music For Old Rituals (Black Shuck Books) and her short fiction has appeared in over twenty Irish, US and UK anthologies.

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Louis Walsh

Louis Walsh

Entertainment Manager / Celebrity Judge

Louis Walsh, is a well-known entertainment manager and over the years has looked after bands such as Westlife, Boyzone and HomeTown. In 2010, he began his television career with Pop Stars, resulting in managing band Girls Aloud. He has been a sitting judge on the X Factor since 2005 and this year participates in the new celebrity X Factor.

“For the last four years I have been part of the Junk Kouture judging team, each year I think it can’t get any better, but each year it does! The talent and creativity of the students is mind blowing, it is hard to believe that a small country as ours can produce such incredible students.Many of the entries we see would not seem astray on the runaway of a haut couture fashion show. Our job as judges gets more and more difficult to choose the winning entry. I will be looking out for a well thought out and choreographed routine, but my winning team will have to have a performance that also reflects all aspects of their design. I can’t wait to team up with our new judge Michele Visage who will be looking for the more theatrical designs. And finally a big congratulations to the Junk Kouture team which is now in its tenth year, happy 10th Birthday !”

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Michelle Visage

Michelle Visage

Singer / Media Personality / Celebrity Judge

An Emmy Award winner, Michelle Visage joins the Junk Kouture Judging Panel for 2020. Best known for her role as a Judge on American competition TV series, RuPaul’s Drag Race, Michelle is also a well-loved singer and media personality. She has appeared on Strictly Come Dancing, and Ireland’s Got Talent (alongside fellow JK judge, Louis Walsh), as well as RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, which is now on BBC. She is a long standing ally to the LGBTQ community, and will be tasked with judging the amazing array of JK designs at this edition’s Grand Final.

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Jane Leavey

Jane Leavey

Programme Director Fashion Design, Griffith College

Jane Leavey is the Programme Director for Fashion Design at Griffith CollegeDublin which has a reputation within the industry for producing creative fashion design graduates with strong digital design and business skills. Griffith’s fashion students work has won numerous prestigious design awards, has showcased atLondon’s Fashion Week, appeared on RTE and TV3 and is often featured in press and magazine publications. In her role as Programme Director, Jane has been the creative director of many fashion shows, exhibitions, editorial and video shoots and has made a number of appearances on Xposé.

Throughout her career, Jane has worked in many of the leading centres of design and developed particular expertise in creating new product lines and brand development. Jane’s career as a fashion designer began in London; she then spent several years working in Milan and between the Netherlands and HongKong designing for numerous global brands.

On her return to Ireland, Jane worked as a consultant designer with Irish brands advising on design, product development and overseas manufacturing. Her own art and design education began at IADT, after which she studied at the University of Ulster with a BA Hons Degree in Textile & Fashion Design. She then went on to complete her Masters in Design and Digital Media at TUD.

Of Junk Kouture’s 10th Anniversary, Jane said “I can’t wait to begin this 10th Anniversary journey to find the 2020 prize winner. I’ll be looking for an original sustainable design concept which makes a true impact on circular fashion and of course, great craftsmanship to create that X-factor catwalk look. I am very much looking forward to being inspired.”

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Stephen McLaughlin

Stephen McLaughlin

Fashion Designer

Stephen Mc Laughlin is a London based womenswear fashion designer. He designs for Scotria, a London-based contemporary accessories brand, focusing on customisation and re-interpretation of innovative craftsmanship. A graduate of the Limerick School of Art and Design (LSAD), during his time in Limerick, Stephen completed various internships with Una Rodden, House of Holland and Marques Almeida in London. After graduating, Stephen returned to London to join the team at Sharon Wauchob and since then he has worked for various brands including J&M Davidson, Studio Nicholson and Scotria.

Stephen competed in Junk Kouture back in 2010 with his classmates from Carndonagh Community School, Co. Donegal. He was awarded the Bank of Ireland Glamour Prize that year and his design was showcased at the Royal Film Premiere of Martin Scorsese’s Hugo in London. Stephen returned in 2015 as the southern regional student judge and will make his 3rd appearance as a main judge on the 2020 judging panel alongside, Michelle Visage, Louis Walsh, and art and design educators Tracy Fahey, LSAD and Jane Leavey, Griffith College.

He believes that Junk Kouture was the foundation in starting his career in design – “I’m delighted to be joining the panel for its ten year anniversary. The student’s designs cover everything from race to gender to sustainability. They are innovative and joyful, and their formal divergences encapsulate the variety of what’s possible in Ireland for a young designer. Each designer, in their different ways, step up a gear each year and consolidate their positions as the brightest of their generation. I would advise anyone who has any interest in art and design to get involved as the competition is the perfect steppingstone to jump start your career.”

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Student judges

Ola Skowgra

Ola Skowgra

North Region Judge | Scotland Winner 2015 and 2016

I participated in Junk Kouture in both 2015 and 2016 in Scotland, winning the overall title on both occasions; thefirst time in a team, and the second as a solo entry. Junk Kouture made me realise the extent of what I canachieve if I believe in it enough and put in the hard work. It has taught me that no goal or dream is over-ambitious. Some may be a little bit harder to reach than others, but if you stick with it and carry through to theend, you’ll realise just what you are capable of! The competition helped me to decide on wanting to design andmake costumes as a career, and I is something that I am currently studying at the Edinburgh College of Art –University of Edinburgh. My advice is – do not let anyone tell you what you can and cannot do.

Although I got loads of support during themaking stage of my Junk Kouture outfits, many people di doubt me as to whether I would finish it or get as far asI wanted to go. What you need to do is trust your gut, and do not give up on any idea until you have tried andtested it yourself, no matter what friends, teachers or even family might say.

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Rebecca Mc Nally

Rebecca Mc Nally

East Region Judge | 2016 Eastern Winner

I participated in Junk Kouture 2016 and my outfit was called ‘A Tribute to Ziggy Stardust’. Ziggy went on to winthe Eastern Region at the 3 Arena which was an experience that will stay with me forever! Junk Kouture gave me self-belief I didn’t even know I possessed! Self-confidence to perform in front of thousands and the even appearing front of the country on the Late Late show. At the moment I’m studying in Trinity College but continuing my love for fashion and designing my own clothes on the side. My advice I would give to the contestants of 2020 is to be original, be current but most importantly enjoy every second! This is an experience you’ll never forget.

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Ellen Mc Donald

Ellen Mc Donald

South East Region Judge | 2016 Grand Finalist

I entered Junk Kouture in 2016 as a TY student. Myself and my team made a dress out of type one diabetic supplies. I both created and modelled the dress. We used materials such as insulin pens, pumps and needles which we received from my teammates brother, who had the illness. At this time, I was not a diabetic myself, however ironically, approximately a year after competing, I was diagnosed as a type one diabetic. I gained a lot of confidence because of Junk Kouture. I got to perform on the 3 Arena stage and was also interviewed by Ryan Tubridy on The Late Late Show. I got the opportunity to meet new people, some of whom I still talk to, to this day. I am currently a first-year student in UCD. I am studying commerce and hope to have my own business someday, perhaps in the fashion industry.My advice for students would be to think out of the box when designing the outfit e.g. materials, themes, aesthetic. Another piece of advice would be to choose your team wisely. Compromise, support, hard work and enthusiasm are all required when participating in Junk Kouture. Being a ‘good team player’ will make the experience more enjoyable.

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Andrea Cooper

Andrea Cooper

West Region Judge | “La Laine”

Hello I’m Andrea Cooper! I was very fortunate to take park in Junk Kouture in 2014 with a dress called ‘La Laine’ and this experience has had a huge influence on my life ever since. My two teammates were Alex Spzroch andBecky James who designed the dress and I couldn’t have done any of it without them! Our dress was inspired byAlexander McQueen, made from sheep wool, bones, fuses and wires. We made it to the Grand Final in the 3Arena and it was an experience of a lifetime standing in the same lift and on the same stage as the likes ofBeyoncé! The following September we were selected to go to Boston with the Junk Team!Since Junk Kouture I have been keenly interested in fashion and I do part time modelling, thanks to the experience I gained from this competition.I am now in college studying to be a primary school teacher and I am a horse-riding instructor in my spare time. You may think this is miles away from the world of JK but I use the Principles that underpin JK to guide my everyday working with children to educate them about recycling, sustainable fashion and teamwork.

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Arthur Mulvihill

Arthur Mulvihill

South Region Judge | ‘What Lies Beneath’ Glamour Winner 2018

Hey there! My name is Arthur and I am an aspiring fashion designer. I participated in Junk Kouture in both 2016 and 2017. In the first year I participated I was delighted to reach the Grand Final. However, in the second year, having reached the Grand Final again, I was overwhelmed when I earned a Scholarship to Limerick School of Art and Design, and also won one of the two Glamour Awards. Junk Kouture has helped me express who I am and grow as a more creative individual. With thanks to my art teacher Pamela Keogh for being an amazing guide throughout the experience. As of now I am studying art in Limerick School of Art and Design. I would advise all students to find full enjoyment in their project, have fun and push creative boundaries with their material of choice. Be confident in yourself, and in your design.

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Overall Winning Team

Awarded to the overall competition winner selected from one of the 5 regional winners

JK Trophy + €1000 Prize Money

Winning School

Awarded to the school in which the overall competition winner attends

JK Trophy + €2000 Prize Money

Regional Winners Prize

The 5 regional winning teams and their teacher will win a trip to Cannes Film Festival to showcase their design to an international audience.

JK Trophy + Trip to Cannes Film Festival

Glamour Award

Two outfits deemed to have something that little bit special will be selected.

JK Trophy + €100 voucher per team member PLUS a surprise trip!

Enterprise Award

Awarded to an ambitious and innovative team, the one which the judges have been impressed by throughout the competition, who have promoted and canvassed for support across social media and in their community.

JK Trophy + €100 voucher
per team member

Creative For A Cause Award

Awarded to a design team that the judges feel have created an original and striking concept to draw attention to a cause they deem important or meaningful.

JK Trophy + €100 voucher
per team member

The Finishing Touches Award

Awarded to the team who have an immaculate eye for detail when it comes to the outfit from top to toe – hair/headpiece/makeup/shoes – every detail counts for this.

JK Trophy + €100 voucher
per team member

Most Unusual Material Award

Found a material that hasn’t been used before? This is for you – awarded to the team exemplifying the most innovative use of new or unusual materials.

JK Trophy + €100 voucher
per team member

Best Performance Award

Awarded to the model with a confident stage presence, who fearlessly struts their stuff and energises the audience with an amazing performance.

JK Trophy + €100 voucher
per team member

Junk Kouture Film Award

A new addition to our list of prizes! Check out the competition handbook for further details.

JK Trophy + €100 voucher
per team member

Teacher Hall of Fame

Awarded to the teacher that Junk Kouture feel embodies a lot of what the competition is about – empowering their students and inspiring them through strong leadership and collaboration.

Waterford Crystal + Weekend Break Away
at A 4 Star Hotel

Junior Prize Winner

Awarded to the best design created by a design team aged 14 or under.

JK Trophy + €100 voucher
per team member


Available to solo entrants. See competition handbook for details

Limerick School of
Art and Design Bursary

Griffith College
Fashion Scholarship

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