Bairbre Power... Out and about
Our resident diarist calls into the best parties and events around the country
Well, after my day judging the Dundrum Town Centre Best Dressed Lady, at Ladies' Day in the RDS, one thing I am certain of is that Xposé presenter Cassie Stokes has a glittering career in stand-up comedy, if she ever decides to give up the telly.
Cassie (below) was absolutely hilarious as she interviewed a retinue of 401 ladies and gents about their outfits. Razor-sharp wit on fire, she delivered sizzling one-liners with speed. Cassie was on a roll as she dispatched the style hopefuls back into the arms of attentive crowds, who sat so patiently through four hours of a non-stop fashion conversation. The RDS is always so democratic because you can enter yourself into the competition and, up on stage, myself and my two fellow judges, Courtney Smith and Lorna Weightman, were super-impressed by the very original outfits (and there was no missing all those Penneys shoes stepping across the stage).
The previous night, I called into the Merrion Hotel, where Horse Racing Ireland were rolling out this year's Longines Irish Champions Weekend, of which INM are the media partners. I caught up with my favourite trainer, the very gracious Jim Bolger - and I have to admit wins with his horses have contributed to some very nice wardrobe additions. I chatted with Jim, his wife, Jackie, and Irish Champions Weekend style ambassador Pandora McCormick, who was striking in cobalt-blue Louise Kennedy.
Horse Sport Ireland hosted a reception for the owners of the Ireland team horses on the eve of the Aga Khan Nations' Cup. Team sponsors Devenish and The Underwriting Exchange, plus new clothing sponsor Equiline, were recognised for their support.
Brazilian manager of the Irish show jumping team Rodrigo Pessoa (here with wife Alexa and daughter Sophia) spoke about the vital role owners play in the team's success.
Good luck to Andy Ferreira - bar manager at Cask in Cork - who's taking on the world's top bartenders at the World Class Finals, starting in Mexico City on Monday. Andy won the Irish finals at Zozimus in Dublin with 'grass to glass' bespoke cocktails made from foraged materials!
If baking is the new gardening, you can certainly add millinery into the 'favourite hobbies du jour' mix. The vista of stunning home-made hats on Ladies' Day at the RDS was staggering, but what surprised me most was the number of new milliners coming on the scene. Aoibheann McMonagle (above, with her husband, Gavin Fleet) claimed the RDS title with a boater by Ashleigh Myles while veterinarian Louise Malone won the Best Dressed prize at the new post-Ladies' Day event at the InterContinental Dublin. She wore a saffron Caithriona King extravaganza. Louise was presented with her prize of a trip to Bordeaux by the hotel's GM, Nicky Logue, who hosted a terrific party attended by dozens of well-dressed hopefuls. Nicky deserved a prize himself for that cool plaid jacket!