Recession chic romps home in best-dressed fashion stakes
IT was the outfit the recession built. In these times of economic meltdown, falling retail sales and plunging consumer confidence, it seems you have to focus on all the options in order to look your best.
So it was with a homemade beret, a dress bought in the sales and some wardrobe regulars that Roscommon woman Louise Lynn walked away as the best-dressed lady at yesterday's races in Leopardstown.
The 29-year-old interior designer collected €15,000 worth of prizes after beating off four other finalists in the winter style competition during the third day of racing.
Having found her dress in a sale, reduced by €60, the Dublin-based designer paired it with a felt beret which she made herself. And while there was some hint of designer labels -- her jacket was from Armani -- most of the outfit came as presents or had been bought in the past.
Stylist Lisa Fitzpatrick, who headed up the selection panel, said people were now looking into the back of their wardrobes in order to find what to wear.
"I think it is great to see in a financial crisis like this that people are recycling old garments," she said. "We haven't gone for somebody who has gone out to buy designer labels because we are not interested in that ourselves."
Those who narrowly missed out on the main prize were Maria Osborne and Megan Hyland from Kildare, Faith Amond from Carlow and Ally Boyle from Ranelagh, in Dublin.
It was a case of picking fromeverything that was available to her when Ms Boyle was getting her outfit together.
"It was a total mix and match. I didn't intend on even coming," she said. "My father came in at 9am and asked if I wanted to go. I got my shoes in Topshop today and the gloves are my dad's," said the UCD social sciences student.
Some 16,265 people attended the races yesterday, about the same as each of the two previous days at the annual Christmas event. The Tote reported €527,000 in turnover, while bookies took in €1,194,000. A spokesman said the figures were down slightly on last year but were very strong, considering the current economic climate.
Keeping an eye on things yesterday was bookie Paddy Power, who said the betting spend has been "fine," with racing across Ireland and the UK.
"I wouldn't be hugely worried. Maybe it is because it is Christmas, it is Leopardstown. When you get good racing, fans are going to have a bet; it is like a premiership football match. You might not go to the bad ones, but everyone wants to go to the good ones," he said.
Also among the attendance was former Armagh GAA manager Joe Kernan, who is part of a syndicate which owns Kempes, the winner of the first race of the day. Also in the winner's enclosure was Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary. along with his wife, Anita.