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The blingtastic phase that made me Ireland's answer to Ivana Trump


Lisa Fitzpatrick wearing Bastyan

Lisa Fitzpatrick wearing Bastyan

Lisa Fitzpatrick wearing Bastyan

Bling and shiny attire have always been a staple part of my wardrobe as far back as I can recall. I remember once going to a very private dinner in Ernie's restaurant in Donnybrook, which is now closed, and wearing a pair of these over-the-top sparkly, shiny Jimmy Choo shoes which I had gotten for my 30th birthday. As I got up from the table, Welsh singer Dame Shirley Bassey told me how much she loved my teetering heels, which delighted me.

Fast forward to winning Most Stylish Woman at the VIP style awards in 2007. I was still going through a very blingtastic phase, so I wore these big chandelier earrings with this very sparkly sapphire blue dress and thought I looked fabulous.

Louis Walsh saw me at another event where I was so blinged out, I looked like I was about to go on stage. Everyone else was demure in their black and lace. That night, I had definitely embraced the crystal ball effect - I genuinely looked like I was going to be the entertainment for the night.

My huge hair and glitzy costumes amused Louis greatly. He looked at me, saw these exaggerated chandelier earrings, my breasts hanging out of this shiny, sequinned dress and just shouted at me "Ivana" because I reminded him of Ivana Trump, the Czech-American socialite and fashion model noted for her marriage to American business magnate, Donald Trump. It's just a coincidence that my husband Paul is a hotelier too!

I first met Louis Walsh 18 years ago when I was judging Miss Ireland and Westlife were on stage, there was no talk of me being Ivana at that time, but as I started to grow up, experiment with clothes and go to these events, it just clicked with him and we often laughed about it. The name has stuck to this day and my friends, including Alan Hughes and Derek Mooney amongst others, call me "Ivana" around Louis. The real clincher came six years ago, when myself and Paul went to the lavish Elton John Ball at his Windsor mansion. I was like a complete child walking into the exquisite grounds of Elton John's home; I could have gone home at that point and it would have been a great night.

Previous to this, I had been at all the singer's concerts and had watched him in the lashing of rain in the RDS one night in my plastic rain coat - I refused to leave until he left the stage. I wouldn't have cared if it was gale-force winds outside, I was staying put because I just love his music. So, to be going to his annual party had me on cloud nine.

It was the only time in my life I was star struck as I normally never stop talking and am a complete motor mouth. When I was walking into the party on the night in question, I shook Elton's hand and he complimented me on my over-the-top attire and said to me "great dress", which left me speechless.

I was wearing an ensemble which made me look like I was part of the movie set of the film Dreamgirls. I tried to say "Thank you I love you" but nothing came out, so I just stood there and smiled.

The A-list guests on the night included American fashion designer Tom Ford and former X Factor judge Sharon Osbourne. Simon Cowell's girlfriend at the time, Terri Seymour, was on my right at our table and Graham Norton was next to us.

The whole thing was outrageous - it was so fabulous. I spent the whole night people watching. It was the best night of my life, it was just amazing.

At one point in the night, Louis Walsh saw me, came over and gave me a hug, saying "Hi Ivana" as he normally would. Then he burst out laughing and told me to turn around. I did as he said and there, standing in my eye-line, was Ivana Trump.

I had a big back-combed beehive and a show-stopper of a sparkly dress on, as did Ivana - we were both all done up the same. The only difference was I was wearing costume jewellery, while her diamonds were obviously real! I couldn't even talk to her, I was too shy and in shock for much of the night.

I've changed my groove since then, I think we all go through little phases and I thought at the time I looked well. Unfortunately, we all have those tragic fashion moments. At least mine had a name!


Irish Independent