Talking to Fashion Design Scholarship Recipient Robyn O'Donnell

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Earlier this year, Robyn O’Donnell and her team were announced as the overall winners of Junk Kouture 2020, and Robyn herself was awarded the annual Griffith College scholarship for Fashion Design. The winning design, titled Synergy, was made from sea glass, recycled glass and plastic milk cartons. Petals were individually cut from discarded plastic milk cartons and sea glass, smashed into fine pieces and sprinkled on top of PVA glue, created the garment’s distinguishing panel effect. Here we chat with Robyn to find out what it’s like being a Junk Kouture winner and what she plans to do next…

What gave you and your teammates the inspiration for your winning design, Synergy?

The designer Ellie Sabb was a big inspiration for us. We wanted to make an elegant fishtail dress similar to a wedding dress that she had designed.

Tell us about the process – were there any moments or parts of the design that were particularly difficult or equally satisfying? 

We started off doing a completely different design which was made out of rope but thankfully, we changed our minds a few months before the deadline. The process of making the dress took approximately 6-8 months. The most difficult aspect was adding the crushed glass to the front of the dress as we obviously had to be very careful but it was worthwhile in the end when we saw the final dress.

How did it feel to be announced as not only the overall Junk Kouture winner, but also the winner of Griffith College’s Fashion Design bursary?

It was crazy to hear that we had actually won, and the support from our friends, family and the community was overwhelming. When I heard I was awarded the bursary I was in total shock but it really showed me you can achieve anything if you work hard.

What tips would you give to fellow students working on a design this year?

Just don’t give up. It’s a very long process, yes, and it takes a lot of commitment, but the opportunities you receive make it all worthwhile.

What advice would you give to this year’s regional winners about the live show?

Don’t be nervous and embrace every minute of the experience because it is over before you know it. The crew is lovely and welcoming so just be yourself and enjoy it.

What are your hopes for the future? 

I hope to stay creative and to achieve all my dreams and goals in life.

Interested in fashion design?

Learn all about the BA (Hons) in Fashion Design at Griffith College.