Kildare teacher Ann Marie Dunning wins Best Dressed Lady at Dublin Horse Show
The first female competitors at the Dublin Horse Show rode side saddle in 1919 and Ladies Day at the RDS got its name.
One hundred years later, the focus was on glamorous style yesterday as the Dundrum Town Centre Ladies Day took place and attracted just over 380 competitors at the historic Ballsbridge showgrounds.
They happily queued, sipped prosecco, chatted fashion, swapped names of milliners and posed for photos before joining MC Nadine Reid on stage.
It was hard not to be impressed by the ingenuity of the entrants and the energetic recycling clearly going on in Irish wardrobes nationwide. Sustainability isn't a buzzword, it's a reality in Irish fashion in 2019.
Ladies shared stories of splicing and dicing dresses and jackets to create completely new outfits.
And the gents were at it too, wearing bow ties made from wood and natty cravats made only that morning from silk curtain lining.
Ann Marie Dunning who clinched the coveted Dundrum Town Centre Best Dressed Lady title and a €10k prize wore a stunning monochrome dress best described as My Fair Lady meets modern dressing.
Her ivory neoprene boatneck dress by Australian designer, Bel Capello, featured a dramatic black and white striped bow that flourished its way up the front and over the shoulder.
It was the epitome of understated elegance and reminded me of the Royal Ascot scene in the My Fair Lady movie where the ladies were dressed in stunning monochromes with giant bows and even bigger hats, in utterly fabulous costumes designed by Cecil Beaton.
Ann Marie's headpiece was a giant bow by Roscommon milliner, Laura Hanlon which sat on a chic chignon.
Ann Marie is back to school as a fifth class primary teacher in Scoil Mhuire in Newbridge in a few weeks but she will have a little time before then to decide how to spend her prize.
Gemologist Gemma Gleeson won the Stena Line Most Creative Hat prize with a wonderful rose-like, red headpiece by milliner Celestine McCoy from Hattitude in Kinsale.
Dramatic hats were thick on the ground but Gemma, who only moved back to Cork three months ago, wore it so well, teamed with an Alexander McQueen red and black dress and skick of Bobbi Brown lippie. She attended Ladies Day with her two-year- old daughter, Hope.
I was judging with my fellow Weekend magazine colleague, Darren Kennedy and we had the best fun chatting with the entrants.
Luke Gibbons from Claremorris, Co. Mayo won a made-to-measure suit from Louis Copeland & Sons for his classical Irish tweed houndstooth and bold blue prints.
The coveted ‘Longines Elegance is an Attitude’ prize of a Longines Conquest watch with white mother of pearl and diamonds, was awarded to Denise Curran from Armagh, who wore a Grecian goddess style dress and Suzanne Ryan headpiece.
Telling her boyfriend, golfer Michael Gallagher from Cookstown, Co. Tyrone what to wear certainly paid off as he won the 'Longines Elegance is an Attitude’ men's prize with his look of brown jacket and hat layered with lighter stone colours.