When Megan Johnson (17) went to school on Tuesday, March 25, the last thing she expected was to meet former Miss World Rosanna Davison and her own TV crew!
Rosanna, Chris de Burgh’s daughter, turned up unannounced during Megan’s art class.
The beauty queen then presented the talented Thorndale student with a coveted ‘wild card’, paving the way for a fabulous opportunity, since Megan’s stunning creation – a dress made using recycled material as part of the ‘Junk Kouture’ competition – will now be showcased in the regional final of the competition in Dublin. Megan’s two friends, Sara Johnson and Clarissa Moore, were also part of the team.
Understandably chuffed about her surprise success, the local student said: “I originally found out about Junk Kouture in my art class, for my coursework in art, and I wanted to create a dress.
“My teacher told me about how another student had entered this competition before, and she said it was an amazing experience.
“I felt that it would be good to have a go and showcase the dress that I had designed. I decided to enter around November and my mum encouraged me to give myself a challenge. It took me about a week to design the dress, and around four to five months to make and develop the dress itself. All of the flowers were either hand made or hand dried. Making the structure out of wire took a lot of time to get the shape just right. I had never created a dress before, so this was a dream come true for it to turn out so well! I wanted the dress to be completely unique and have different elements to it. I saw a dress made out of moss and grass, and this gave me the inspiration to create my dress out of flowers.”
Megan’s unique creation was initially showcased to a panel of judges at a high-profile semi-final event in the Millennium Forum, Londonderry, with the New-Bridge student modelling her garment herself! Recalling that daunting first experience, she commented: “I was extremely nervous at the time, as I have never done anything like that before, so it was scary at first, but once I was on the catwalk, I felt a real buzz as people cheered, which really encouraged me!
“Although they only picked 19 that night, amazingly, I am now the chosen 20th competitor.
“Words cannot express how I felt last Tuesday morning in the art class – I was extremely shocked and could hardly speak. “It was so unexpected, but I was overjoyed and happy, as I was the chosen person and I saw Miss World – I was blown away!
I will be showcasing the same dress in the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre in Dublin on May 2 –I can’t wait. “I have had so many people coming up to me to say congratulations – family, friends, and even students in years below me in New-Bridge itself.”
Predictably, Megan now has her sights set on a glittering career in fashion design, as she explained: “I think it would be an amazing career for me to be thinking of now, as I really enjoyed creating and making the dress – I think it would be a well-suited career option.”The secondary-level school ‘Junk Kouture’ competition is now in its fourth year, and it has gained the reputation as being the leading fashion and art competition for secondary school students. The budding fashion designers’ challenge is to create outfits of any shape or form, with the stipulation that they are made from recycled materials.Entrants must get their hands on industrial, electrical, commercial and domestic waste products and transform them into pieces of fashion art.
Eimear McKeown, head of art at New-Bridge, wished to congratulate Megan for such an amazing accolade: “We are delighted that Megan was chosen as the wild card and that Rosanna Davison visited the college to present her with the ‘Golden Ticket’ which made the day so exciting for everyone involved.
“It was a wonderful surprise for Megan and there was a huge sense of pride among Megan’s fellow class friends.
Press Release, Banbridge Chronicle April 2014