Scoil Mhuire Buncrana student Mariusz Malon has been crowned the winner of the Bank of Ireland Junk Kouture competition for 2017.
There were tears of joy in the 3Arena last night as ‘Engimatic’ emerged as the victor of Bank of Ireland Junk Kouture 2017 at the seventh annual final.
‘Engimatic’ from Scoil Mhuire Secondary School, Buncrana, modelled and Designed by Mariusz Malon with an ingenious use of an old trampoline, a broken chandelier and an old carpet maker was proclaimed the overall winner of the prestigious Kouture competition.
Scoil Mhuire receives a cash prize of €2,500 and each member of the team will receive a cash prize of €500 and a mini iPad.
Mariusz surpassed all expectations and blew the star-studded judging panel away; made up of ex-Voice of Ireland coach and The Saturday’s singer Una Healy, guru to the stars and infamous X Factor judge Louis Walsh, Jane Leavy director of fashion at Griffith College, art and design educator Tracey Fahey and fashion designer Rhys Ellis who recently showcased his designs made from reused coffee pods in Selfridges, London.
The judges had the unenviable task of choosing the overall winner of 2017’s Bank of Ireland Junk Kouture along with judging several other categories.
Donegal was well-represented at the final: With multiple entries, Scoil Mhuire Buncrana and Deele College Raphoe competed alongside single entry hopes Coláiste Ailigh Letterkenny to be crowned All-Ireland winner.
Students have been working tirelessly since the beginning of the school year formulating exceptional ideas and then curating their concept pieces. They faced the challenge of transforming recycled materials into haute couture outfits suitable for a foray down the catwalk.
Each of the 83 finalists pulled out all the stops, putting on a dazzling show in the country’s largest indoor venue before thousands of screaming fans who were entertained by Irish band Seo Linn, Eurovision hopeful Brendan Murray and Hometown boy Dayl Cronin danced his way into the hearts of the 5,000 strong audience with Dancing with the Stars partner Ksenia Zsikhotska. The evening was MC’d by Xpose’s Glenda Gilson.
Sara Ryan from Bank of Ireland Junk Kouture revealed: “As one of Ireland’s most prestigious stages, 3Arena played host to the crème de la crème of young Irish design talent. This year we were delighted to see our annual application cohort increase from 900 entries last year, to 1300 this year. We were also enthused to have for the first time ever an additional ‘Eastern’ regional final in 2017 which brought a new wave of creativity and fresh input making this year’s final, making it our strongest and most competitive yet.”