Junk Kouture is back and with a brand-new face on the star-studded judging panel as best-selling cookbook author, podcaster, entrepreneur and fashion-upcycling enthusiast Roz Purcell joins the ranks of Ireland’s leading creativity and sustainability programme for young people for 2021. No stranger to the catwalk in her own right, this won’t be Roz’s first sashay onto the Junk Kouture stage as in 2013 she walked the red carpet for The Royal Film Performance™ of Mandela: A Long Walk to Freedom in London, wearing a Junk Kouture design made of paper and polystyrene cups.
Roz is famous for her love of fashion, as a former model who has become a dab hand at upcycling clothes that may have otherwise fallen to the back of the wardrobe and she loves updating a vintage piece of clothing to give it a new lease of life. Roz is also known for her positive presence on social media where she regularly shares her plant-based recipes and the best hiking adventures. Now Roz is joining the search for the winner of Junk Kouture 2021 and she is certainly in good company.
Junk Kouture are delighted to reveal that Louis Walsh, who has been a judge for seven years, is back for more, while Ru Paul’s Dragrace judge Michelle Visage also brings her keen eye for style and performance to proceedings for a second year. Roz, Louis, and Michelle will be joined by Junk Kouture alumni success story, former winner and fashion designer Stephen McLaughlin. Meanwhile, Head of Department in Fine Art at LSAD Dr Tracey Fahey and Programme Director for Fashion Design at Griffith College Jane Leavey become key members of the technical judging panel this year. And keeping the whole show on the road will be Junk Kouture hosts and RTÉ 2FM presenters Laura Fox and Emma Power.
Following Junk Kouture’s impressive television debut on RTÉ2 for the 2020 Grand Final, Junk Kouture can announce that they will once again be joining forces with RTÉ for 2021, helping to keep issues such as sustainability and climate action front-of-mind for RTÉ’s younger audiences. Junk Kouture will also continue to be supported by the Creative Ireland Programme, an exciting initiative by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media which aims to support and develop engagement with and in arts, culture and creativity by individuals and communities, thereby enriching individual and community well-being, as well as promoting Ireland’s arts and culture globally. This will help Junk Kouture continue developing its educational resources for students, teachers and schools.
As always, Junk Kouture has challenged post-primary school students across Ireland to design, create and model haute-couture designs made from everyday rubbish – remember, your junk is our kouture! The golden rule is that everything used must be 100% recycled materials. The closing date for applications is 6pm on Friday 7th May, with entries made through the Junk Kouture app, available for Android and iOS. With details of the regional and grand finals still to come, entrants can stay up to speed with all things Junk Kouture on the app or through the Junk Kouture social media channels @junkkouture.
“I am delighted to be joining the Junk Kouture judging panel for 2021. Junk Kouture has an important message for us all to protect the planet we call home and to strive for a greener future. It’s a fantastic opportunity for all young people to get involved and use their imagination, be innovative and creative while sharing that vital message. Every year I am blown away by the talent that appears in Junk Kouture, the attention to detail that is given to these designs is incredible and I know we will have our work cut out for us to pick a winner. Last year’s winners won wearing a dress made from smashed up jam jars and sea glass so I am really excited to see what the students have come up with this year! I also can’t wait to work alongside Louis Walsh and Michelle Visage – it’s going to be lots of fun.”
– Junk Kouture judge Roz Purcell
CEO of Junk Kouture Troy Armour said: “I’d like to extend a warm welcome to Roz Purcell as she joins our judging panel for 2021. Roz will be a great addition to the panel with her fashion credentials as well her efforts to embrace an environmentally conscious way of living. It’s a ‘welcome back’ to Louis Walsh and Michelle Visage, who we are delighted to have on board once again. I am excited to build on the success of the 2020 Grand Final and look forward to another year of incredible innovation, designs and performances. The role of Junk Kouture is to enrich and empower lives of young people through creativity and sustainability. We are so pleased that Junk Kouture can continue to engage with our circular engineers of the future through a digital competition for 2021. We know that Roz, Michelle, Louis and Stephen will be great advocates for us as we work to transform the lives of young people and protect our planet.”
Emma Power of RTÉ 2FM: “I am thrilled to be involved in Junk Kouture for a second year! It’s really exciting to be a part of something that gives young people such an incredible platform to express their creativity and artistic talents – there’s the football pitch for sports, the choir for singing, but this adds another element and lets them share their designs, ideas and talent in one place. Junk Kouture is for everyone–this is where students can find their tribe! I can’t wait to see what the young designers of Ireland have in store for us this year!”
Laura Fox of RTÉ 2FM: “It’s so great to be involved again as a host for Junk Kouture. The thing I love most about the competition is that you can always expect the unexpected so I am really excited to find out what weird and wonderful materials will be used on the designs this year. I can’t wait to see all the innovation shining through! I definitely don’t envy Roz, Louis, Michelle and Stephen as they try to choose a winner!”
Tania Banotti Director of Creative Ireland: “The Creative Ireland Programme welcomes Roz Purcell to the judging panel of Junk Kouture as we continue to support their work in developing the message of sustainability and recycling amongst the young people of Ireland.”