Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Emma Doyle models Tied Emotions


By Elizabeth Lee

STUDENTS from St Leo’s College, Carlow and Scoil Chonglais, Baltinglass have just qualified for the regional finals of the prestigious Junk Kouture competition.

Brianna Brlas, a gifted young artist from St Leo’s College, who’s concerned about the environment, has been selected by the Junk Kouture judges as a finalist for her creation Braziliana. Two pals from Scoil Chonglais, Emma Doyle and Maia Fagan, also got through to the provincial finals for their creation Tied Emotions.

Only 16 designs were selected for the next leg of the competition, which this year attracted 1,200 entries.

Junk Kouture is a worldwide competition aimed at secondary school students, which encourages them to create outfits from recycled and repurposed materials to raise awareness about global warming, social issues and the environment. The competition has become extremely prestigious in Ireland in recent years and students not only have to create an amazing outfit but they must also allow it to make a statement about the environment and global sustainability.

Brianna Brlas from St Leo’s College with her creation Braziliana

Brianna chose the Amazon and the annual Carnival in Rio de Janeiro as the inspiration for her wonderful costume. With the support of her art teacher Tara Gooch, Brianna spent weeks of painstaking work designing and making her outfit.

She scoured local charity shops in Carlow town and found a corset, which was prefect for the top part of the rigout. She continued the motif of red petals and blue feathers to the corset and then made a wide, structured skirt for dramatic effect.

“I was inspired to create an outfit that was a bit out of my comfort zone and gave me a real challenge. My costume reflects the drama of the carnival,” explained Brianna.

The inspiration behind Emma and Maia’s costume was raising awareness about suicide and its prevention and so they called their creation Tied Emotion.

“We always wanted to enter Junk Kouture and we had an idea for raising awareness about suicide. We used cable ties to hold everything together; we collected them for months from local businesses, even faulty ones. We didn’t use a drop of glue with the whole thing. We took the colour orange from the Cycle Against Suicide campaign and used that in our costume,” said Emma.

The girls were assisted by art teacher April Prendergast and spent months tweaking and perfecting their final outfit. Both girls are from Baltinglass, with Emma being the daughter of Graham and Paula Doyle, while Maia’s parents are Melanie and Stephen Fagan.

Both Braziliana and  Tied Emotions will be up against stiff competition when they go head to head with 14 other entries at the southeastern finals in May so the very best of luck to them!



Maia and Emme from Scoil Chonglais, Baltinglass, qualified for the regional finals of Junk Kouture

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