ICS Paris' Junk Kouture Grand Finalist

ICS Paris' Junk Kouture Grand Finalist

ICS Paris is proud to announce that Milene Hacheme (grade 12, IBDP 2) was a finalist in this year's Junk Kouture France competition.

Junk Kouture is a recycled fashion competition which challenges second level students to create wearable fashion designs from junk materials.

Milene's design was made using tarpaulin, netting, notebook covers and repurposed beads and gems. She often up-cycles her own clothes but decided to take part in this programme to challenge herself and take her skills to the next level. 

The final will be aired in December, and the enter ICS Paris community will be cheering her on!

"ICS Paris is very proud of our student, Milene Hacheme, who has not only shown she is skilled in creating fashion but who can find inspiration in recyclable materials. Truly a creative IB student who is already making an impact on our world." - Angela Hollington, Head of School. 


Milene tells us about her experience: 

What has been the highlight(s) of your Junk Kouture experience?

The most incredible moments for me were the photo shoot in Paris and the magnificent show in Ireland.

In Paris first of all with the photo shoot in front of the most famous monuments of the capital. This was with the previous winners of the competition, their amazing creations, their make-up, their infectious good humour and their kindness to me as the youngest, will be etched in my mind forever. There were also passers-by who didn't really understand what was going on but filmed us anyway. It was nice to be complimented on your work by strangers but especially surprising to be treated like a star, with many people asking to take a picture with us.

Then there was the trip to Ireland. The organisers had seen things through because the venue for the shoots, the BALLYBEG HOUSE, where large ceremonies such as weddings are held, was grandiose.

We were given a royal and extremely warm welcome. The day was intense and very rhythmic: the preparation of my dress, a little crumpled by the trip, the make-up, the last adjustments, the interviews, the photos, the fashion show. 

Meeting celebrities I would probably never have approached, the professionalism of the Junk Kouture team, the moments of laughter with the other participants, it was almost unreal. I think it was one of the most emotionally intense moments of my life.   


-How did it feel when you were announced as a Grand Finalist and that you will be on National TV in Ireland? 

I was literally stunned when I saw my name as a Grand Finalist, I read and re-read several times to make sure I understood it correctly. And then there was a lot of excitement around me, in my family, in my school. I didn't realise straight away that I would be on television, it was only later when the day of the shoot was announced that I thought about it... 


-Will you and your family be tuning in to the Grand Final from the RTE Player?

What a question! My extended family and our friends will all be there. There will definitely be some stress, but the joy of being part of the experience will be the greatest. It will be a great evening to look forward to. I hope we'll be able to watch it all live!


-What made you sign-up for Junk Kouture?

There are actually several reasons. I discovered the Junk Kouture competition with my CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service) teacher in high school as part of the International Baccalaureate that I am preparing.

The challenge of creating an original dress that can be worn with recycled objects immediately interested me.

And beyond the art, the creative and inventive side of figuring out how to salvage and assemble the discarded pieces also pushed me to take up the challenge.

Moreover, I am a young ambassador for Unicef, and this dress will be sold during the organisation of a fundraising event for this association.

Finally, Junk Kouture gives me the opportunity to contribute in my small way to raising awareness about recycling, a value that the organisers defend.


-What challenges did you face along the way, and what did you learn from overcoming these? 

This competition was the first time I designed a real dress, before that I used to customize my clothes with small personal alterations. A few days after I started, this project seemed unfeasible to me because of the lack of experience in sewing and the time it took. That was my biggest obstacle. Then the internet, my family (thanks mum) and friends were a great help with ideas, advice and encouragement. 

The idea of the original dress is completely different from the final result. The design has constantly evolved with new materials used. I had a lot of fun modifying it throughout its creation.

In the end, putting together hundreds of small pieces while maintaining the integrity and elasticity of the whole was the biggest challenge. 


-Has Junk Kouture helped you feel more confident?

I think being able to see the interest that so many people have in my work and me has definitely increased my confidence and my ability to create something. 

This project has also taught me patience and to accept that sometimes things move slowly and that you may have to do, undo and redo again. 


-As Junk Kouture has officially launched in France advice would you give to someone taking part this year? 

I would say to girls and boys in France to go for it, it's a project that defends values that are very important for young people. And then we are the country of fashion!