We caught up with judges Louis Walsh and Doireann Garrihy at the Junk Kouture 2019 launch to get their advice for competition entrants. Watch the videos above and below.

Back for another year of judging at the national competition, Louis Walsh knows a thing or two about creating haute couture style outfits from recyclable materials.

"The thing about Junk Kouture is you don't know what's going to come out on that stage.

"It's young kids, they spend literally hundreds of hours, days, weeks, years maybe making this outfit and you have to take all that into consideration and they make it out of junk. It's brilliant and it's original and it's so amazing to be part of all this.

"This is so different because there's nobody singing or dancing you're judging the originality of the work and you think - where would this go in the real world."

junk kouture launch
Doireann Garrihy and Louis Walsh with a student at the Junk Kouture launch

Speaking from experience, Louis told us what he looks for in the winning creations.

"Who's going to be different and who's going to stand out from the crowd. But it's not different it's the same as X Factor or Ireland's Got Talent, it's who stands out from the crowd? Who are you going to remember? Who did the best outfit?"

With the standard increasing year after year,  Louis shares his favourite thing about the competition.

"My favourite thing is to see all these young people and how much they love fashion and how original they are. It's just incredible that they make these things out of junk and it's proper couture."

And of course Junk Kouture is all about style, so what's in Louis' wardrobe?

"In my wardrobe...I love fashion but I like looking at it, I don't like wearing it. I like normal casual clothes. I like good casual clothes though. "

While we had him, we had to ask the showbiz manager for a brunch recommendation.
"I like The Ivy, the new [Dublin] Ivy is very good.

"And the Merrion hotel, I'm always going there. I've been going to the Merrion and the Intercontinental for years."

We need your consent to load this rte-player contentWe use rte-player to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

Louis was joined by fellow judge Doireann Garrihy at today's launch. 

It's the social media star's first year to be involved with the national competition which offers secondary school students an opportunity to showcase their creativity and talents to design couture outfits from junk.

"I've seen it online over the years, and I've always been in awe of the talent and the passion that the students show and I am so excited to be involved and to be involved alongside Louis. We've been having the craic all day and I think we're going to be pals so it should be good fun."

As the newest judge on the panel, Doireann shared her top tips for students entering the competition this year.

"I would say to stay true to what you are passionate about and don't stray too far from what you're good at and just think outside the box."

Louis Walsh and Doreann Garrihy with students from secondary schools across ireland
Louis Walsh and Doreann Garrihy with students from secondary schools across Ireland

Talking all things fashion, the ever-stylish Doireann told us about her favourite Irish designer at the moment.

"Emma Manley is a massive designer that I love.

"She designed my sister's wedding dress and our bridesmaid dresses and I've gone back to her since and she's actually from where I'm from so I knew her when we were growing up so it's lovely to support not only local but someone you know."

So what is the best purchase in Doireann's enviable wardrobe?
"A rose gold leather jacket from Zara that was only €50 and I whip it out when I want to go partying."

Where does the social media star like to brunch?
"Eathos on Baggot Street. It's delicious but healthy."


The call out for Junk Kouture 2019 entries was been launched on September 6th, it’s time for students to get their creative thinking caps on and start putting their ideas to paper. To find out more about how you can get involved click here.