Photo finish for Leopardstown fashionistas
A RACING fan left the regular fashionistas standing as she clinched the best-dressed prize at the Leopardstown festival yesterday.
"I'm more of a racer than a fashionista," said Louise Allen (28), from Slane, Co Meath, after winning the Irish Tatler Most Stylish Lady competition.
Louise was all smiles -- she does work in a teeth-whitening clinic in Drogheda -- dressed in a luxurious Karl Donoghue shearling coat, which was a Christmas gift from her boyfriend, Simon Hales.
She proved her savvy fashion ways mixing desirable designer labels with a 1970s-style floppy hat from Irish brand Fran & Jane. She completed her look with grey suede over-the-knee, Karen Millen boots.
The prize was heavily contested with lots of vintage styling and heritage references in outfits.
Sharing in the limelight was Barth Bialek, the inaugural winner of the first Best Dressed man competition. He totally rocked the whole 'heritage chic' look, with Hackett checked jacket, burgundy trousers and Christian Dior tie and scarf.
It was a heavily contested male contest, ranging from Jay Gatsby-style outfits to father-and son combo, Raymond and Patrick Gilbourne, in country tweeds. 'Off the Rails' presenter Sonya Lennon, who judged the competition along with Jesse Collins, editor of 'Irish Tatler', and Gillian Walsh of Diamond Lite, praised the two winners for the "appropriateness" of their outfits.
Anne Marie McManus, daughter-in-law of businessman JP McManus, stood out in the parade ring for her very leggy, designer-chic look topped-off with a Philip Treacy hat and fur from Umit Kutluk from The Design Centre in Powerscourt Townhouse Centre.
Her father-in-law was celebrating after his horse Synchronised swept clear on the home straight in the Lexus Chase.
A small gamble had already paid off because Synchronised was originally due to defend the Welsh National on Tuesday.
However, the horse was instead rerouted to Leopardstown and coped well.
Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary was also spotted grinning in the winner's enclosure as his horse Last Instalment came in first. The horse, ridden by Brian O'Connell, won the Topaz Fort Leney Novice Steeplechase.
Magazine publisher Norah Casey entertained fellow 'Dragons' Den' judges including Bobby Kerr, who had a €106 winner on Synchronised.