TINSELTOWN’S biggest stars may have captured all the attention during the 66th Cannes Film Festival but away from the spotlight three Limerick students got to experience life in the playground of the rich and famous – thanks to a bundle of clothes pegs and a tin of paint!
Shannon McCarthy, Ceile Corbett and Annie Corbett from Colaiste Iosaef in Kilmallock enjoyed three days on the French Riviera with their teacher Ms Niamh O’Hara having been crowned the outright winners of the recycled fashion competition, Junk Kouture.
During their stay, the girls got a taste of the good life and an insight into how the other half lives - they enjoyed lunch on a beach in Nice, shopped in Cannes and visited Monte Carlo.
While a galaxy of Hollywood stars including Leonardo DiCaprio, Steven Spielberg and Nicole Kidman were all in town for the festival, unfortunately, the Kilmallock students didn’t clap eyes on any of them.
“The big premiere was on before we were there so we never saw any celebrities,” said Shannon McCarthy.
“We kept thinking we were seeing people, someone would say: ‘Oh look, there’s Johnny Depp’ and we’d all look and no-one would be there.”
As part of their prize, Annie – the team’s model – took part in a photoshoot on the streets of Cannes dressed in the show-stopping winning design entitled Ultra Violet Wash.
“People were saying: ‘Oh wow, let’s take a picture with this’ – so many people took pictures of it, it was crazy to have all the people surrounding us,” said 16-year-old Shannon.
The bright green and silver dress which is constructed from hundreds of clothes pegs and a tin of UV paint was designed and made by the three Transition Year students under the guidance of their art teacher Ms O’Hara.
During their visit, the girls stayed in the Ibis hotel in Nice. “On Friday, after arriving, we got the train to Cannes and took in all the sites and hotels,” Shannon explained. “On Saturday, it was lashing rain so we ended up going shopping. The shops aren’t actually too expensive. Hollister is there and H&M and Zara – it is quite similar to Ireland,” the Kilmallock girl continued.
On Sunday, the girls were up at the crack of dawn for their photoshoot in Cannes.
“After the photoshoot we went for dinner on the beach in Nice and after that again we got the train to Monaco. Unfortunately, it started raining in Monaco but we got a few photos and we saw the casino,” said Shannon.
“We flew home on Monday afternoon, we had a good laugh,” she added.
Junk Kouture is the leading fashion and art competition for second level school students across Ireland and has a reputation as being the most creative.
It is based on the concept of transforming everyday waste and junk into pieces of high fashion art, and has gone from strength to strength since launching in 2010.
It has seen thousands of teenagers’ work submitted since then with some spectacular and awe-inspiring pieces gracing the competition’s regional and national catwalks, as well as the red carpet at the Royal Première of The Hobbit in London.
For their award-winning endeavours the Kilmallock girls were presented with €2,500 for their school, €1000 of IT equipment, and €500 in cash. The girls were first announced regional winners and then awarded the overall title of winning team.