A spectacular flower-strewn origami gown and matching headpiece made from recycled pages of the Irish Examiner has powered into the finals of a prestigious national fashion contest.
The eye-catching cream, black, and peach dress features a multi-layered circle-skirt formed from hundreds of folded pages from the newspaper.
The intricately patterned top layer of the skirt is scattered with hundreds of hand-folded flowers made from newsprint and wallpaper, and sits on a hand-made frame constructed of willow and tissue paper, stretched over hula hoops.
Inspired by Japanese paper craft origami, the design brings together organic flower elements in a geometric construction, layered to create a richly worked couture gown.
The delicate ensemble, reinforced with wallpaper, includes matching footwear as well as a dramatic headpiece made from a mixture of newsprint, willow, and wallpaper.
The bodice of the three-quarter-length dress is made from a hessian sack and features baling-twine straps and a chain-mail design.
Entitled ‘láth Páipéar’, the ensemble, designed by three students from Coláiste na Toirbhirte in Bandon, has just made it through to next month’s finals of the 2015 Junk Kouture national competition for second-level students, sponsored by Bank of Ireland.
It showcases student design solutions to creating couture fashion from recycled materials.
The outfit took transition year students Leaghanorah Carroll, 17, Orla Coffey, 16, and Sarah Crowley, 16, some seven months to create with the support of art teachers Lisa Moynihan and Dawn O’Sullivan.
The students’ influences include Japanese origami, Irish traditional craft, and haute couture from the 2015 catwalks.
This is the second time the school has entered the competition — and its second time competing in the finals.
“We’re all in the same class, so the three of us collaborated in the design of the dress,” said Orla.
“Sarah’s very interested in origami — and there were loads of copies in the Irish Examiner in the school!
“We made the paper flowers from the Irish Examiner, and a number of the smaller flowers from wallpaper. It took a huge amount of time.
“In recent weeks we spent at least four hours a day on the dress, as well as working on it at the weekend. We’re very proud of it.”
Ms O’Sullivan added: “There’s enormous excitement about this.
“The students worked extremely hard to drive their initial designs from concept to reality and got a real confidence boost when they saw their outfit on stage in the regional finals in Limerick recently.”
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