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VOTE NOW | St Louis Grammar School students representing NI in TV contest Junk Kouture

Updated: May 26

Packaging Punk Princess model Niamg Gusterson.

Three young people from Ballymena are in the running to gain the last coveted spot as 2022 RTÉ Wild Card contenders in the Junk Kouture World Final contest that will be hosted in Abu Dhabi this Autumn.

Supported by art teacher Mrs Fiona McAuley, St Louis Grammar School students Mia Guidote and Ann Joseph (outfit designers) entered the RTE all-Ireland schools contest with their creation 'Packaging Punk Princess’, modelled by team member and fellow-student Niamh Gusterson. After losing out to stiff competition in the all-Ireland final, the girls are delighted to have received a second chance as a wild card!

Packaging Punk Princess team: (L-R) designers Mia Guidote and Ann Joseph, and model Niamg Gusterson.

Commenting on the excellent endeavours by the students, proud teacher Fiona McAuley said:

“These girls are such wonderful ambassadors for the school and their families, and should be immensely proud of what they have achieved so far, just as we are!

“The message they incorporated into their design makes them such an inspiration to young people.

“From September they have put in endless hours meticulously planning and problem solving, never flinching when things didn't go as expected and always with smiles on their faces.

“They have been a complete joy to work with, and a place in the World Finals would be beyond their wildest dreams. They are the last entry from Northern Ireland still in the competition so thank you so much for taking the time to vote. We really do appreciate it!”

Teams receiving certificates for making it to the All-Ireland Final. (L-R) Ann Joseph, Niamh Gusterson and Mia Guidote of Packaging Punk Princess, then Fashion Flu designer and model Aoife Hay and team mate Riley Harrison.

Fiona added: “In a brilliant achievement, a second team from St Louis, ‘Fashion Flu’, also made it through to the finals. Designer and model Aoife Hay along with team mate Riley Harrison certainly caught the judges eye with their creation made from medical face masks. Although their time in the competition has ended, we are also so proud of them and their amazing design.”

Above: ‘Fashion Flu’ who also made it to the competition finals.

Junk Kouture is a television fashion competition for post-primary school students, where participants design, create and model fashion, made from recycled items. The competition is not just about sustainability and great design, it’s also about the people who take part, the inspiration behind the designs and being empowered through creativity.

'Packaging Punk Princess’ was shortlisted by the Junk Kouture judges – Louis Walsh, Roz Purcell, Soulé and Stephen McLaughlin – on May 19, along with four other wild cards, each with its own inspiration and story.

The 2022 RTÉ Wild Card will be decided by online public voting, which closes on Thursday, June 2 at midnight. The winner of the RTÉ Wild Card and the 10th design to represent Ireland at the World Final will then be announced live on RTÉ 2FM’s Tracy Clifford Show on that same day - June 2.

Speaking about their Packaging Punk Princess design the talented Ballymena team explained:

"We built our design around the concept of an energetic teen princess who breaks the bounds of conformity to express her carefree inner self. This is epitomised by softened purple and blue tones which denote royal status in contrast to the shortened rule - breaking skirt and bodice top which snub order and formality in a fluffy, airy, bouncy fashion.

"Shards of dyed PVA create sculptural effects on the shoulders and head piece to evoke a strong-minded punk personality with edgy attitude. Hand crafted flowers are dispersed freely to embrace the aura of the cloudy punk princess.

"Soft 3D flowers have been assembled from a range of recycled packaging products including polystyrene peanuts, foam sheets and polystyrene sheets. Bubble wrap doubles up as fluffy layers for the skirt and colour has been extracted from discarded bottles of ink dyes and PVA glue to enhance the design.

"Repurposed cardboard tubing and wire have been combined to create a staff which completes the magical look."

Please vote now for ’Packaging Punk Princess - St Louis Grammar School, Co. Antrim’ (number 3 on the list) by clicking on the VOTE NOW button below!

You can vote as many times as you like!

Team Fashion Punk Princess.

WATCH: Junk Kouture documentary, Behind The Seams, 7pm on Friday 27th May on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player.