Students find fashionista inspiration on dairy farm

Three Laois transition year students found inspiration on a dairy farm for their entry in the Junk Kouture competition.

The national contest encourages young designers in second level education to create couture designs and works of wearable art from everyday items that would normally be discarded.

Ciara McEvoy from Eyne, Portlaoise and who lives on a dairy farm, took part in the competition along with Niamh Crowley from Emo, and Aisling Ahern, Clonkeen.

Titled ‘Milkin’ It’, their creation was hand-dyed and sewn from recycled milk filter socks. The students hand-dyed the filter socks lilac and wove and sewed handmade roses with them, designing a dress, head piece and shoes.

‘Milkin’ It’. Image source: Patrick Ryan

Niamh Crowley acted as the model at the eastern regional finals in The Helix, Dublin, and drank milk as part of her catwalk performance.

“We didn’t get through to the national finals but there is still a wild card chance that we might make it. We won’t give up,” Ciara said.

“Taking part in the competition, which is sponsored by Bank of Ireland, has been a fantastic experience and really opened our eyes about what you can do with pieces that would normally be thrown away,” she said.

“My father, Michael McEvoy, came up with the idea and the three of us designed the dress,” Ciara said. “We started in September with the drawings and finished in early January. We worked in each other’s houses and got brilliant help from the art teacher in Scoil Chriost Ri, Portlaoise, Ms. Jayne Louise Kelly.

“We really learned a lot about teamwork, working through different ideas and different art techniques,” said Ciara.

Part of the outfit will have its next outing at the Certified Irish Angus Beef School Competition next Wednesday.

“Myself, Aisling and Tara Scully from Timahoe have entered a project on the theme of women in agriculture, so we will bring along part of the outfit to highlight our project,” Ciara said.

And what does her dad make of the reinvented milk filter socks? “He loved what we did with them,” said Ciara.