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Sunday 19 November 2017

This old thing? I ran it up from a vest and a sheet

Bairbre Power Fashion Editor

WHAT a difference a year makes.

Teenage model Grace O'Mahony won the 2012 Kilkenny Fashion Week Student Scholarship with a dress (below) she made from an old bedsheet and the top of an old vest.

This week the 18-year-old from Bennettsbridge, Co Kilkenny, proved her fashion-designing credentials when she modelled the stunning, body-skimming ivory gown she made for her debs after a summer studying at the Grafton Academy in Dublin.

"I had a wonderful summer doing a four-week scholarship I won to study at the Grafton Academy and that's where I learnt how to make my dream 'Grecian' gown," said Grace.

"I had an idea in my head. I've always loved the Grecian style, so I adapted it for this dress for my school debs," said Grace who sat her Leaving Cert at Loreto Kilkenny in June and is fast becoming a busy model with the 1st Option model agency in Dublin.

A chance opportunity to model a hat for Kilkenny milliner Rebekah Patterson during a work experience stint led to Grace being signed up by Jules and Trish Fallon at 1st Option.

In two years, the 5ft 7in tall model has done editorial shoots and TV appearances on TV3's 'Xpose' and 'Ireland AM'.

Making the dress was a true labour of love, with ivory silk jersey bought locally at Threads of Green, and Grace completed the dress just in time to dance the night away at her debs at the Osprey Hotel in Naas last week.

She was accompanied by her boyfriend of one year, WIT student Sam Johnston.

"I didn't realise there were going to be so many parts to making the dress but I kept trying it on and then chopping it and changing it to suit myself. The experience has definitely made me 100pc sure that I want to be a fashion designer," said Grace who lists Valentino, Givenchy as her favourite designers along with young up-and-coming Irish designers, Simone Rocha and J W Anderson.

Getting the draping right was the hardest part in making the dress but Grace wasn't fazed by all the putting it on and taking it off that goes with DIY fashion.

"I love the dress and I hope to be able to wear it again, maybe to a college ball," she said.

Kilkenny Fashion Week takes place from October 9-12, with entries for the student scholarship that Grace won

last year closing on October 1.

The winner will be ann-ounced on



Irish Independent

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