GCSE student Courtney jumps at modelling deal
DRUMCREE College pupil and keen showjumper Courtney Wilson has been taking time out from her GCSE studies to grace the catwalk after being awarded a year’s modelling contract with a top Dublin agency.
Just last month, Courtney joined a host of sporting legends and top fashion designers at her first major event - a fundraising fashion show for the charity, Respect, which supports people with intellectual disabilities.
Among those she rubbed shoulders with were rugby and hurling players as well as jockey Katie Walsh, who was also modelling for the event, entitled ‘Strike a ball, Strike a pose’.
In fact, the two were ‘talking horses’ for 20 minutes before the Portadown girl realised who the “down-to-earth” woman was.
Sixteen-year-old Courtney was scouted after her picture was spotted on Facebook, and after photoshoots and an interview, she was offered the contract with ‘Absolute the Agency’.
During the fashion show, held at the Mansion House in Dublin and opened by the prestigious Youth Ballet West, Courtney modelled eight different outfits from Irish design collectives, Project 51 and Atelier 27, as well as Arnott’s department store and Debenhams Ireland.
Hats were by Irish Millinery Designer of the Year 2012 Aisling Ahern, jewellery by renowned Irish designer Joanne Hynes and shoes by Buffalo.
As a preview to the fashion show, Courtney appeared on TV3’s fashion and celebrity programme, Expose.
Said Courtney, “The dress rehearsal was a complete disaster but on the actual night, everything came together brilliantly. It was my first big job and it was absolutely brilliant.
“It’s a long day. We were up at 6am in the morning and then the day was devoted to fittings, hair and make-up. It was 1am in the morning by the time I was getting home.”
At 6ft 8 inches tall, Courtney is one of the smaller models with the agency, but she is blessed with a naturally slim figure and, as she points out, horseriding keeps her fit and in shape.
Courtney, who lives in Whiteside’s Hill, Tandragee, is considering what to do once her GCSEs end later this month. She had been planning a career in equine chiropractry, and this year achieved top marks in one of her GCSE biology modules.
However, she is now considering taking some time out to concentrate on her newly blossoming modelling career, and maybe even presenting.
She said, “I wouldn’t want to do two things half-heartedly. I would rather know that I have given something my all. Getting the modelling contract has been a great confidence booster and it lets you see fashion from a different angle,” she said.
At the moment, Courtney is combining horses and fashion and has a photoshoot coming up for an equestrian clothing manufacturer. She and her grandmother Alice Wilson work together schooling Courtney’s horses and getting them ready to compete.
Courtney is the daughter of James and Patricia-Ann Wilson, both of whom are every supportive of their daughter’s new career in modelling. In fact, dad James is no stranger to the limelight himself, being lead guitarist in the band Microlip.
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