Fashion Flashback Competition for Post Primary Schools

Entry date extended to 8th February 2013

Twig Hat made for Joanne Hynes
Brian O'Sullivan

This year we are challenging students to design and make a fashion piece inspired by the theme of the museum – Life in Rural Ireland. 

We all know that designers look to the past for inspiration; the challenge for a designer is to give their designs a modern twist. For inspiration you can visit the NMI – Country Life, home to the National Folklife Collection, at Turlough Park Co Mayo or online at

Visitors to the museum have a unique opportunity to see how the people of rural Ireland lived in the hundred years between the Great Famine and the end of the 1950s when communities relied on the natural resources available in their area for self-sufficiency and survival. 

Entrants should illustrate how their work relates to the museum’s collection. Maybe your starting point could be an object on display for example a tweed jacket, a straw boy’s hat, a lobster pot, a butter churn to name a few. Or maybe you will take inspiration from the natural materials used long ago …..straw, rushes, wool, stone etc.

Competition Guidelines

All entries will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Research – original sketching/storyboard or ideas.
  • A written description outlining how your entry is inspired   by life in rural Ireland (Max 100 words).
  • Both individual entries and group entries will be accepted.
  • Museum will not be liable for loss of or damage to entries, however caused.
  • A selection of entries will be displayed online. 
  • Winning entry will go on display in the galleries at the museum.

How to enter:

  • Email a photograph of your piece to
  • Total size of images attached must be no larger than 2MB.
  • Email must include the following:
    • Dimensions of piece
    • Student’s name
    • Age
    • School
    • Class
    • Contact details
    • Written description as above (Max 100 words)
  • Entries will be accepted until Friday 8th February 2013
  • Entrants that get through to second round of judging will be asked to bring their pieces and research to the museum before the mid-term break.