It's curtains for high-price fashion as self-made outfit romps home
THERE were French-made dresses, Italian-designed shoes, and London-bought hats. But in the end, it was a pair of curtains from Hickeys that stole the show.
Clever fashion graduate Yvette Byrne (23) used material from the well-known haberdashery store to style a stunning dress that wowed the judges at the Dublin Horse Show Ladies Day yesterday and helped her walk away with the top prize.
Amid the 400-odd immaculately groomed ladies picking their way carefully across the grass of the RDS's Band Lawn, Yvette's homemade creation stood out for its 'beautiful and girly' look, according to Blossom Hills Ladies' Day competition judge Sharon Corr.
"The fashion was amazing and very individual and, in keeping with the recession, it was very inventive," Sharon said.
Yvette, from the village of Ardattin, Co Carlow -- which also boasts young Hollywood actress Saoirse Ronan as a native -- confessed she has yet to set up a website after only graduating from Griffith College in Dublin last May.
A first-time best-dressed entrant, she sourced the lace for her top from Paris and combined it with beige-patterned curtain material from Hickeys Fabrics and a pair of shoes from high-street chain River Island to walk away with the €10,000 holiday in the Californian wine country.
"I love the Victorian style -- I love how ladies were ladies," she said. "I'm working as a waitress to save up to go to New York next year to study fashion."
Economist Colm McCarthy was spotted watching some of the finery, while others enjoying the sunshine included former MEP Avril Doyle, rugby pundit Brent Pope, newsreader Anne Doyle, Rose of Tralee Clare Kambamettu and TV presenter Glenda Gilson.
Fashion presenter Brendan Courtney, who interviewed all the entrants in front of the jam-packed band stage, said the competition differed from those at race meetings as everyone got their 15 seconds of fame on stage to describe their outfit.
"Dublin is very sophisticated there is a different vibe," he said, after Sarah Hayes Kelly from Ballyneety, Co Limerick, won the Longines watch worth €3,000 for the most colourful outfit.
Milliner Carol Kennelly, from Tralee, Co Kerry, won the hat from designer Michael Leong for her own silver art-deco-style horse hat.
"It is in keeping with the horse show -- it is diamante applique, wire, plastic, glue, lots of glue. It took 25 hours to make," she said.
Athlete and personal trainer, Adam Kelly, from Ashford, Co Wicklow, was judged the best-dressed male with his Versace suit that he wore in Greece two weeks ago for his wedding to Jane Evans.
"I'm an athlete so I usually go around in tracksuits," he confessed.
Admiring the "beautiful hats" before the jam-packed bandstand was 101-year-old Mary Hayes. The sprightly centenarian was attending the event with Belvilla Community Unit in Dublin 8.