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Colette Fitzpatrick: Fake tan, free booze and leering men. What really goes on behind the scenes at the Style Awards

Had Jay Manuel of E! channel done a live link from the red carpet at the Style Awards last Friday, he would have had plenty of ammunition to slag off, 'most stylish man', ahem, Daithi O Se. A red ruffled shirt? Did a frenemy (an enemy posing as a friend) tell you that it suited you, Daithi? What about the red shoes picked up by shoe cam? They wouldn't be the first thing I'd save in a fire.

On glam cam, Jay would have exclaimed that Glenda Gilson knocked it right out of the park in her pillar-box red dress.

The 20 or so straight men in the room must have at least 10pc female DNA in them to even bother going. Some came with a wingman (Alan Cantwell), others because women had to resort to their 'break glass in case of emergency' partner or pal.

The rest were there for a leer at semi-clad women resembling newborn calves, unsteady on their legs half way through the night.

It ain't easy to remain upright when you're wearing 'car to bar' shoes and have a bottle of Chateau de la Plastered downed by the main course.

The Style Awards are fashion trench warfare, to within an inch of a carefully rehearsed pose. Look away now, if you do 'understated'. The red carpet is a career move for many in this tiny, tiny pool of so-called celebrities. What is the collective noun for a group of style nominees? A preen? A pose? A delusion?

If you're not a nominee, you're still a lock on for column inches if you (a) wear fur or a hideous dress, (b) have lost buckets of weight; 'you go girl', (c) have your assets hanging out, (d) look 'fierce' (Tyra's word, not mine) or (e) are Amy, Glenda or Aoibhinn.


Just like Christmas, every year traditions must be observed at the Style Awards. These include being mistaken for Donatella Versace because of the amount of fake tan applied, (the pal who reached the middle of your back is known as 'an enabler'), spending a fortune last minute on a too-tight, primary coloured dress and doing the dog on it in Krystle.

The goodie bags at these events are always generous. Tip -- a pashmina can always double as a cover to get out the front door with two under your oxter.

In a recession-proofed town, a free bar, sorry, complimentary bar, is as rare as a 'classic black number'. Krystle boss Rangan must have been misled about Irish people's propensity, or rather lack thereof, for pacing themselves at free bars. What could the bill have possibly been?

You've heard of the pink pound and the geek dollar.

What about the style buck? Attendees aren't shy about cracking open the safe on a night like this.

What's a €100 note when you've spent €600 in Lara?

Should I just leave Stieg on the shelf?

When do you give up on a book? If it doesn't jump off the pages and grab you by the jugular by the end of the first chapter?

Or, stubbornly, do you persevere in the hope that it will improve; that nagging, guilty feeling pushing you to plough on, bored and uninterested?

I'm considering jacking in the last in Stieg Larsson's trilogy, The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets' Nest. I couldn't put down the first in the series -- The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. The page-turner deservedly made it in to 'the top 10 books of the Noughties' in Eason's book club online.

But Professor Atwood Townsend once wrote, "Never force yourself to read a book that you do not enjoy. There are so many good books in the world, that it is foolish to waste time on one that does not give you pleasure and profit."

If I quit, I'll never know what became of one of fiction's most intriguing heroines -- Lisbeth Salander -- and whether or not she ended up with crusading journalist Mikael Blomkvist. Maybe just one more chapter...

SarcMark? That's so great!

Are you tired of having your irony misinterpreted? Sick of 'I didn't like the tone of that text', texts?

Well, your prayers have been answered.

A punctuation mark has been invented to donate sarcasm. Say hello to the SarcMark.

It was developed by Americans. (Way too obvious to write what you're thinking here).

Sarcasm is said to be the lowest form of wit, so if you have to point it out, aren't you sort of losing the point of it? If the person you send the mail or text to, doesn't get it, isn't that part of the laugh?

Is the punctuation mark simply for people too stupid to 'get it'? But the SarcMark may have actually been developed sarcastically, so maybe we're playing right into their hands by adopting it.

For me though, this little symbol has completely changed my life.