Proving one man’s junk is another man’s treasure is recycled fashion show Junk Kouture. Coming to Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall on February 5 (7pm) the event will see Scottish school kids take the runway.
Competing in small teams the high school students will present couture outfits they have made from purely recycled material. As if this wasn’t enough, the teams must also create a performance, as well as hair and makeup to showcase their designs.
Junk Kouture founder Elizabeth Curran said: “In the past we have had students make outfits from paper, cans and crisp packets, but we have also had some really unusual material such as fruit skins.
“Last year we had a dress made from recycled balloons and it was amazing; so couture!”
While the event may sound feminine, Curran clarifies that the comp welcomes both genders and all outfit styles.
She said: “In the past we have had male models, but it tends to be that there are more boys working behind the scenes on the production.”
Tasked with judging this year’s designs are Head of Art and Design at Glasgow School of Art Jimmy Stephen-Cran, who will be examining the technical skills; previous Junk Kourture winner Michael Galbraith, who will focus on the teamwork; blogger Katie O’Brien, who will concentrate on the fashion styles; and XFactor famed Louis Walsh, who will be looking for the best performance.
Curran explained: “Each team’s model gets 90 seconds on stage and will be judged on performance, quality of design, use of recycled materials and glamour.”
While the judges deliberate over these entrants the audience will be treated to a performance from Louis Walsh’s new band Home Town.
The celebrity pull continues in Junk Kouture’s prizes; as winners of the glamour category will be receive tickets to the Royal film premier, getting to relive their glory London’s red carpet.
Other prizes include £1000 for the winning school, £500 and mini iPads for the winning team, as well as Ticketmaster vouchers for the best performance winners.
Prizes are however not the only incentive for students to enter Junk Kouture, the competition builds into school curriculums.
Curran said: “Students who enter Junk Kouture are learning about recycling, while being creative and enterprising at the same time.
“The competition is open to 11 – 18 year olds and they can use it as part of their course work or it can contribute to after-school programmes, such as the Duke of Edinburgh.”
As well as building skills Junk Kouture spreads the message of sustainable fashion.
Curran explained: “The idea of Junk Kouture came from an Irish artist I had seen making statues from junk. At the same time I had been involved in local charity fashion shows and I thought the two concepts would go well together.”
She added: “Sustainable fashion is so important; there are so many people being exploited in foreign garment factories and I am totally against it.”
“People don’t have to buy cheap clothes to dress on a budget; they can upcycle old items and think outside the box.”
This sustainable message is spreading fast; as Junk Kouture grows from its humble roots.
Its founder said: “I came up with the idea of Junk Kouture six years ago, when I had a dance studio and wanted to do something else. I started the competition in Ulster Ireland and sent its programme out to the schools.
“The first year was very simple; it ran from a hotel and had no sponsorship. Then, through dance classes, I met my business partner Troy Armour, and we worked together to take Junk Kourture multinational.
“Along the way we met Moria Gordy – from Riverdance – and she mentored us; she was the one who convinced us to take it out of hotels an into theatres.
“We then got different sponsors, including Bank of Ireland, and rolled the show out to Scotland.”
She added: “Last year was the first time we ran Junk Kouture in Scotland; we kept it small and had about 25 entries, but this year we have 150 entries and have moved it to the Royal Concert Hall.
“Eventually we hope to run shows throughout the UK.”
With annual competitions, students who wish to apply to next year’s Junk Kouture can visit the website for details.
Everyone else can sit back and enjoy the show.
Tickets are £10 and can be bought from Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall.
Curran concluded: “You have to see the show to believe it. The sight of the models outfits and accessories made from entirely from junk is outstanding.”