Stylish for race day
It's that time of the year again when the Galway gunas are rolled out for one of the best racing days of the year.
I'm biased. I think the fashion at the Ballybrit racecourse is striking -- for all the right reasons -- with just the right mix of formality, playfulness and glamour with knock-the-eye-out-of-your-head individuality.
The total prize fund in the Anthony Ryan Best Dressed Lady competition at Ballybrit on Thursday, July 29 has increased to e20,000 this year. The outright winner takes away more than e12,000 in prizes -- including a one-carat diamond pendant worth e8,500 -- so you can expect the competition to be very keen and a truly all-Ireland event.
The aim for all is to champion that illusive gift of making classy fashion look effortless and, as a judge on the day, I'll be vigilant, looking for clever styling and accessorising. The day is fun from start to finish and women cheer each other on, a nice touch in a world so filled with cut-throat rivalry.
My passion is for colour but if you are nervous about moving away from that traditional safety net for formal occasions, why not inject a little red, a hue which is very big next season. Irish brand Michel Ambers introduced red with black and white in their lovely 50s-style dress (see opposite page). With its attractive shawl neckline, it's a show-off dress without being too flouncy and you can happily recycle your favourite black accessories -- chunky belt, hat, bag and shoes to keep down costs.
The black dress safety net is partly there in the fabulous Mad Men-inspired, black and cerise dress from James Lakeland.
I'm a sucker for finishing off outfits with pretty vintage-inspired gloves. It's the little things that we judges notice.
Good luck on the day!
CLOTHES AND ACCESSORIES: Anthony Ryan, 16-18 Shop Street, Galway, 091 567061.
SHOES: Premoli, Galway. MODEL: Rosanna Purcell, Assets Model Agency.
PHOTOGRAPHS: Daniel Holfeld and Andrew Downes LOCATION: Ballybrit race course, Galway