Students shine with style

“But, will there be actual people sitting around looking at us?” Not the words you necessarily want to hear from a potential model the week before a show…. Especially when there are approximately 38 other potential models with the same debut jitters and over 500 tickets sold!!

“But, will there be actual people sitting around looking at us?” Not the words you necessarily want to hear from a potential model the week before a show…. Especially when there are approximately 38 other potential models with the same debut jitters and over 500 tickets sold!!

Just a minor glitch though as all of them pulled it together into an amazing debut show in Langton’s last Wednesday night. With only a week and a half to train, it quickly became a lesson on how to be an ‘Instant Supermodel in Ten Easy Steps’! Enthusiasm is always the first step and that was something they had in bucket loads. I put them through their paces in the Loreto library with lots of curious faces peeking through windows. The Loreto transition year girls had volunteered for the job and it was decided that it would be a nice balance to have a few St. Kieran’s College boys strut their stuff too. The striking difference though was that the seven boys were handpicked by their teacher….. well…. he kinda just said “You, you, and you….you’re doing something that you will probably get teased about from the other students but it will be worth it!”. That would explain the puzzled expressions when I turned up then…

From previous experience with students I know that when the bar is raised... boy do they rise to the challenge. With fittings, schedules, choreography, grooming and pep talks they were ready to go. The poor teachers that were roped in were still unsure though – Yep… “there will be about 500 people sitting around looking at you actually!”. Being good sports though they all rallied in and got on with the task in hand.

There is nothing like a sell out gig to get the nerves going but also, the night was already a great success before it even started thanks to all the hard work of the parent’s committee, teachers and students. It’s no easy task taking on a big production like this and although I was only too aware of the weight of what would have to be done to pull it together, sometimes a certain innocence in what lies ahead is a great self protector ….so…. I think a certain ‘need to know’ basis may have helped!

The night was hosted by myself and the elegant and ever professional Mary Kennedy of RTE’s Nationwide. Mary was wearing a stunning Diane Von Furstenburg dress, this lady has style kudos! The backstage area was buzzing with anticipation. Hair and make up was being given a last minute tweak by the talented girls from the Rustiq Hair and Make-up Salon and clothes and shoes were flowing in with urgency.

Strangely, though, buzzing it may have been, but there was an eerie air of calm too as everyone was ready to go. The Loreto teachers were first to hit the catwalk in gorgeous looks from Pauls. I apologise now for nobody being able to hear the descriptions as the crowd were deafening in their appreciation! I was blown away by the quiet coolness of our models though as they faced a frenzied crowd. Pauls also showed looks from their young teens section and the boys and men looked slick in their Hugo Boss suits and Superdry and Hillfiger casual looks.

Fuse from Goods, High St. were up next. Most definitely, catwalk looks at high street prices as nothing was over 35 euro and everything looked amazing on our gorgeous young models. The Marchioness, the Parade, showcased some classic looks next on our impossibly glamourous teachers. With everything from Chanel inspired boucle suits to, of the moment, Vintage looks it was received enthusiastically from the fashion savvy audience.

The very popular A/Wear was modeled deftly by some of the girls. Highlights were the gorgeous coloured jeans casual looks and the surprisingly affordable party looks. I know this shop was a hit with the girls as most of the looks didn’t even make it back to the store as everyone haggled backstage …

It was fantastic to see the Design Centre’s fashion up next. I have always known it as a secret destination for authentic style so I was delighted to see the audience’s genuine delight at the gorgeous looks they had pulled together. From achingly hip Barbour jackets to luxurious Avoca knits I predict a mini stampede following the show.

We kicked off after the busy interval with a little surprise. During the week I had brought six of the girls to the St. Vincent de Paul Charity shop to source some style. The task was to pull together and style a fashionable look that they would genuinely love to wear on a strict budget. Wow, did they ever meet their brief?! I hope someone got a photo of all the dropped jaws when they set their eyes on the superlicious looks the girls pulled together.

Keeping on a similar theme…. the gorgeous teachers were up again. This time they showcased designer looks from a unique store. De Ja Vu is one of those fab places that has designer pieces at a fraction of the price…and most of them are new with tags still attached. She is based on the Freshford Road opposite the Esso Garage… but…. shhhh… keep it to yourself… this is an Alladin’s cave you don’t want anyone else to know about..

I was pleasantly surprised by the very affordable fashionable looks from Vila that were up next. I love it when a high street store goes hell for leather for some ‘of the moment looks’. My personal favourites were the teal blazer and the gold sequin dress that I could picture slipping easily into my party season wardrobe.

Sisley, from MacDonagh Junction, was donned by our elegant ladies once more. They looked amazing! Sisley is one of those shops that when you discover it you wonder how you managed without it. It’s always a surprise hit on our Personal Shopping trips in MacDonagh Junction. The cut is classic but with an edgy style – what everyone woman wants – young at heart but with a great flattering fit.

We saved the best for last. I spent a morning with the handsome boys from St. Kieran’s getting fitted in Top Hat for some slick suit looks. It was great fun watching them pitch for a look that suited them best. So girlies, this is what you can expect turning up at your debs.. They looked very handsome in their dress suits as they escorted their “dates” down the catwalk in some very elegant debs dresses by local designer Miriam Rice. What a great way to finish a show!

The all important finishing touches were added by Grahams Shoes with some covetable heels toed by the ladies in particular. I confess to picking up a pair of snazzy nude/black patent heels the next day that went with everything.

An extra special touch was added by the inspiring local milliner, Rebekah Paterson, The Parade. If you think the word milliner sums up fussy wedding hats then you have not felt the Rebekah Paterson experience. From vintage inspired hairbands to classic inspired headpieces, each mini work of art lifted an outfit from lovely to unique. Her versatile pieces were dotted throughout the evening to compliment looks from Vila to Marchioness.

Unfortunately, too soon, it was the grand finale of the show as every initiated model spilled onto the stage to a rapturous applause. Job done. I couldn’t wait to get backstage to do a group hug. Wow. What an achievement. You should be proud of yourselves for rising to the challenge with style…. Until next time…. 