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Ulster Student's Dress Graces the Green Carpet at Hobbit Premiere

A unique paper dress created by a talented University of Ulster art student took “An Unexpected Journey” this week when it was showcased at the London Premiere of the new 3D Hobbit movie.

Sarah Hickland’s spectacular gown, worn by Belfast model Sam Madden, graced the green carpet at the event which was attended by Royal guests and cast and crew of the film including Ulster Chancellor, James Nesbitt who plays Bofur.

Sarah created the dress last year while a student at Rathmore Grammar School in Belfast and entered Junk Kouture, a leading fashion and art competition for secondary school students across Ireland.

She reached the Northern Ireland final of the competition, which invites young people to transform junk into pieces of fashion art to raise their eco-awareness and creativity.

Sarah couldn’t believe how great her dress looked on the green carpet and said: “I am so proud of my achievement and can’t thank Junk Kouture enough for this amazing opportunity.”

Janet Coulter University of Ulster Senior Lecturer, Textiles and Fashion Design said: “It’s great to see one of our new, first year textile and fashion students receiving such a prestigious accolade.

“Sarah epitomizes the type of enthusiastic student we strive to attract to our textiles and fashion course.

“She is one of those students who was spotted instantly in class as having an outstanding creative energy and a real flair for fashion.

“Her Junk Kouture gown showcases her talent for fashion design in a novel and unique way.

“I’m delighted at her well-deserved success to date and look forward to helping Sarah develop her full potential as she progresses through our course.”

Sarah’s gown, “Explosion of Faith”, was among a number of dresses from the Junk Kouture competition to feature on the green carpet – others were made from discarded materials such as orange peel and recycled electrical waste.

Junk Kouture founder Elizabeth O’Donnell said: “We were delighted to take to the green carpet in London and the students enjoyed their moment in the spotlight.

“Many guests at the event – as well as people in the crowds – were complimenting the girls’ work.

“The levels of creativity as well as the cool things which the students have done with other people’s junk are incredible and it really is something to be celebrated.”

Notes to Editors:

Created in 2010 by entrepreneurs Elizabeth O’Donnell and Troy Armour, the Junk Kouture competition has seen thousands of teenagers’ work submitted over the past two years, with some spectacular and awe-inspiring pieces gracing the competition’s regional and national catwalks.

Sponsored by ERP, the only pan-European compliance scheme for electronic waste and battery recycling, Junk Kouture is the leading fashion and art competition for secondary school students across Ireland and has a reputation as being the most creative.

Caption: Sam Madden models Sarah Hickland’s sensational paper creation, Explosion of Faith, at the London Premiere of the new Hobbit movie, An Unexpected Journey