Style stakes are high as our golden girls go an extra furlong for fashion
IT was a golden day for fashion as one of the biggest events on the Irish style calendar kicked-off with a bang.
Thousands of well-dressed ladies and dedicated fashionistas braved cold and windy weather as they stepped out in their finery to celebrate the annual Hennessy Gold Cup at Leopardstown racecourse.
Elegant and colourful outfits were the order of the day, with the Hennessy Ladies Day competition the main attraction.
And there was good reason, with leading French-Canadian fashion designer Tara Jarmon making her first trip to Dublin to crown the winner of the best-dressed competition.
"I was looking for somebody who was elegant but understated and whose style was in tune with the 21st Century," she said.
"I really wanted to see somebody who went all the way in terms of their hat, headpiece and gloves."
The woman to do that was Meath native Louise Allen, who was crowned the best-dressed lady, winning a voucher for ¿7,000 to spend in Harvey Nichols Dublin.
Louise impressed Tara and fellow judge Caroline Sleiman from Moet Hennessy with her bold-coloured coat and dress from Etsy, Jennifer Wrynne hat and Christian Louboutin shoes.
The 31-year-old completed the look by adding a vintage bag, which she borrowed from her mother.
Although admitting she was "shocked", it was not Louise's first time to win a fashion competition.
"My partner Simon owns horses so I would go to a lot of racing events, but this was my first time to enter the Gold Cup Ladies Day and to win," dentist receptionist Louise said.
Meanwhile, Jimmy Choo's niece, designer Lucy Choi, chose Maria Osbourne from Kilrush, Co Kildare, as winner of the best accessories competition because of her striking LK Bennett shoes.
Maria was presented with a coveted pair of Lucy Choi shoes and a designer handbag from Harvey Nichols Dublin.
Among the 400 VIP guests enjoying the event was former Miss World Rosanna Davison, who was attending with fiance Wes Quirke and her parents, Chris De Burgh and his wife Diane.
Sports presenter Des Cahill and models Sarah Morrissey and Karen Fitzpatrick were also among the crowd.