'Dad would have found today's PC world tough' - Lottie Ryan
Storm Hannah whipped her way around Grand Canal Dock last Friday night but Ireland's most-stylish VIPs came prepared. As they emerged on to the red carpet at the Marker Hotel for the Style Awards, not a hair was out of place.
Anyone who says Ireland's fashion Oscars are not competitive is lying, according to nominee Glenda Gilson. This is a beauty arms race. And by the look of things, even a few of the token men were caught up in the war. Several seemed to have embraced Andy Warhol's mischievous maxim: make-up maketh the man.
We love a good style dynasty and several were present. The Garrihy sisters looked stunning in elegantly contrasting outfits. Then there were the Ryans, Morah, Lottie, Babette and Bonnie, who this year eschewed matching gear. The warmly personable Lottie, wearing a purple off-the-shoulder Oh Polly dress, is now making her own way in broadcasting.
She said her famous dad Gerry would have struggled in today's PC broadcasting landscape. "I've often thought about it," she said. "When he was around, we didn't have Twitter and Facebook. I think he would have found it tough today with the way things are. I'm sure he would have gotten into a whole load of s**t because he loved being controversial and getting himself in trouble."
The DJ added that she regularly listens to tapes of her dad, who passed away nine years ago. "Sometimes I have him on in the car and I get self-conscious if I've the window down that people will be looking over at me in traffic going 'what is she on?'"
Social media has changed things for everyone; Gilson pointed out that all the vloggers and influencers can mean it's hard to recognise everyone. From the mesmerisingly beautiful Roz Purcell to Kathryn Thomas, the big names here have daunting Instagram presences and the event unfolded in real time. Rosanna, in a pastel Alex Perry design from the Ivory Closet, said she would resist online post-mortems. "I've had to step back a bit from social media," she says. "It can be unhealthy. I only do it at the very end of the day now."
Host Maia Dunphy, resplendent in Paul Costelloe, said it was the toughest crowd in Dublin. "It might be the cocktails. It might be because people get competitive. When someone doesn't win you can see all the facial bones clench."
Dunphy and Johnny Vegas reunited last year after splitting up, and the year taught her that "love is damn hard. For us we are trying to strike a balance. We are back living in separate countries. We have a three-year-old, so it's pretty exhausting".
Many of the women went all out with the sheer size of their gowns and avoiding stepping on trains was one of the parlour games of the night.
"The dress cost three grand and she's been in hair and makeu-p for six hours, but if you say she looks good she'll be like 'no I'm only a pile of s**t','' Dunphy said. "If you admit you look good, you've lost the run of yourself."