Cara stars on silver screen

Cara stars on silver screen

17 February 2021

CARRYDUFF schoolgirl Cara Mailey has helped launch a new fashion line for girls like her who have a form of dwarfism.

The bubbly 12 year-old will appear on CBBC this Friday evening showing her journey from inspiring and designing a range of clothes that any pre-teen would love to wear to a modelling session wearing the outfits.

She collaborated with two London fashion designers to create the UK’s first clothing range for children with dwarfism with the backing of Strictly Come Dancing star Katya Jones.

It’s the third national TV appearance for Cara who has made a name for herself with her positive attitude and her feisty nature.

She appeared on CBBC’s The Dengineers, where she had a sweet-themed playhouse built for her and she’s also appeared on Crafty Party.

Cara and her mother Tricia, who teaches at Cedar Integrated Primary School in Crossgar, have long bemoaned the fact that they can’t get age-appropriate clothes in a size that fits Cara.

They lobbied CBBC and were asked to put their ideas to a local documentary film maker, Tyrone Productions, which agreed to do a programme called My Life: Made to Measure.

At 3’ 5” tall, Cara has found that her height-restricting condition achonlasia means she can’t find stylish clothes to fit her size and shape.

“Mum and I have been trying to create more awareness of people with dwarfism not being able to get clothes in their size,” explained Cara.

“It’s really important for people like me to have nice clothes as I want to look my age even though I’m smaller. I want people to recognise that I’m a teenager. It’s so annoying buying new clothes as you just want to be able to take something off the rack and wear it. But instead I have to take it home and cut it up to make it fit. Half of my clothes have been all cut off and remade as my Nanny is a great sewer.”

Cara was involved throughout the design process with designers Amanda Rabour and Tara TJ Hanif, from sending them a collage of styles and colours she loved to choosing the fabrics from swatches.

She got to decide what clothes were in the collection ‘She’s Fierce – by Cara’ which was named after her.

When the clothes were finally ready, Cara was transformed into a model for the day, starring in a very special photo shoot with fashion photographer Khara Pringle and make-up artist Paddy McGurgan.

All the design decisions were made over Zoom meeting as the Covid pandemic meant that Cara and her mother were not able to travel over to London for the consultations.

Cara was also meant to be walking the runway at last year’s London Fashion Show but there is hope that she will get her chance to be a runway model later this year.

Tricia, who, like her brother James, also has achondroplasia, said Cara particularly wanted a range of dresses and a velour tracksuit.

“Cara loves dresses but can’t get one in her size,” she explained. “Normally they would be ankle length. Cara does go into a fashion shop on the programme to look for dresses and you can see that they just aren’t suitable in size or age.”

Cara says that the feedback that her collection has received so far has been positive and she’s getting a lot of social media comments from help kids like her who love the latest styles but feel let down by the fashion industry.

“People with dwarfism love clothes as much as anyone else and I think it’s really unfair that there’s nothing out there for us. I was so happy to get the chance to try and change that,” added Cara, who hopes to be a spokesperson and campaigner for people with dwarfism in the future.

My Life: Made to Measure will be broadcast on CBBC this Friday at 7.15pm.