A lifelong passion for fashion has reaped rich rewards for local art teacher and headpiece designer Paula Gannon, who scooped the top prize in the prestigious Savills Style Awards at the Leopardstown Christmas Festival.
Paula, who lives in Derrylahan, Moore, with her husband, Seamus, and two sons, won a suite of magnificent prizes worth over €5,000 in Leopardstown including a €2,000 voucher for Dundrum Town Centre; a €1,000 voucher for the Irish Design Centre; an overnight stay for two in the 5-star Shelbourne Hotel with dinner; a €500 voucher for Peter Mark Hairdressing and a private consultation with award-winning milliner, Aoife Harrison.
Her award-winning outfit was a mix of designer and high street pieces, with one of her own original headpieces the crowning glory for the adjudication panel at the high style event. Paula, who has a degreee in Product Design and teaches art in St Cuan's College, outside Ballinasloe, wore a purple Vivienne O'Connor two-piece outfit, complemented by a camel coat from Zara and jewellery from Katie Mullally which was a gift from her husband.
“I was over the moon to win the Savills Award,” admits Paula, who says she takes her love of fashion from her late grandmother, Alice Costello from Ardcarne, Creagh and also from her mother, Imelda Glynn, who is a native of Creagh, Ballinasloe, but who now lives beside Paula in Moore.
Paula Gannon says her entire family share a love of high fashion, including her dad, Kieran, her three stylist sisters, Ciara, Olivia and Anna and her husband and sons.
The Savills win was not the only fashion win for the Gannon family in Leopardstown. Last year, Paula's husband, Seamus, won the Best Dressed Male award, while they won the Best Dressed Family award at the same race meeting two years ago. Paula herself has also scooped the Best Dressed award on two previous occasions at the Kilbeggan Race meeting.
The Moore art teacher and her two sons, Eli (7) and Ezra (4) are signed with the Assets Model Agency, and do a small amount of modelling work, and Paula hopes to expand her headpiece design enterprise and says there is no better place to showcase her creations than at a race meeting.
Meanwhile, another local fashionista, solicitor Emer Kilroy, came second in the Sunway Holiday Festive Most Stylish competition at Limerick Racecourse on December 28 last and won a luxury two night stay in a Junior Suite at the 5-star Savoy Hotel in Limerick with dinner and a bottle of Veuve Cliquot champagne.
Emer, who is a partner with E.C. Gearty Solrs in Longford, wore a purple dress coat by Marion Murphy Cooney in Nenagh and a headpiece by Laura Hanlon Design.