Friday 22 November 2019

Ladies take a 'hats on' approach to glamour stakes

Laura Jayne Halton, from Kildare, winner of the best dressed lady at the Dublin Horse Show in the RDS
Laura Jayne Halton, from Kildare, winner of the best dressed lady at the Dublin Horse Show in the RDS
Caroline Connolly enjoying Ladies' Day at the Dublin Horse Show in the RDS
Cormac Bates, from Wexford, won best-dressed man
Sisters Pam, Jackie, Kitt, Lil Una and Joan Ayres, from Meath, in the RDS
Linda Morrison, winner of the most creative hat on Ladies' Day at the Dublin Horse Show in the RDS
Linda Malone, from Athboy, Co Meath, won the prize for most colourful outfit at the Horse Show
Nollaig and John Kelly, from Salthill, Galway at the Dublin Horse Show in the RDS

Nichola Anderson

Patience is a virtue when you are battling your way through a sea of vertiginous heels and daringly swaying hats that double the 'blind spot' of the wearer.

You have to bide your time. Smile sweetly. Even if you're absolutely dying for greasy chips from the van right down at the very end of the showgrounds.

But amid the crowds of the Very Fashionable battling it out with polite steel on Ladies Day, a flying figure managed to cut all that nonsense and navigate the grounds of the RDS at an admirable speed.

And it wasn't a horse.

Charlie McCullen Harvey (9), from Stamullen, Co Meath brought the whole place to an standstill on his blue space hopper as he bounced breezily to the side of his mother, Maria, all dressed up for Ladies' Day. For additional speed, Charlie was wearing a colourfully striped baseball hat with propellers.

"Much easier!" he declared.

Summer could not have picked a better day to finally make a teasing, merciful return to the capital. Nothing worse than spending a fortune on a hat only for it to end up a curling ruin at the end of the day, never to be worn again.

It gave an extra pep in the step of the lavishly dressed to think that they might at least get a wedding out of their millinery masterpiece.

One woman revealed that she had topped off her outfit of Victorian eBay finds with a riding crop from a shop specialising in naughty items.

Cllr Mary Hanafin, clad in lilac, was enjoying the good life with two friends, while former RTÉ newscaster Anne Doyle was camped out in the champagne tent. The Horse Show is an annual treat, she explained.

The same went for Philomena Gribbin (80), from Straffan, Co Kildare, who was attending for the 42nd year in a row.

"Anywhere she goes, she is always glamorous - but I suppose that's the era she grew up in," said her niece Maureen Malabat.

Choosing what to wear on such momentous occasions is always a vexing puzzle and Nollaig Kelly, from Salthill in Galway, admitted that her orange polka-dot hat had waited patiently in the wardrobe for a long time.

Her husband, John, had come back with it triumphantly three years ago, having phoned her to say that he had found her a lovely hat and bought it himself.

She disliked it on sight - but gradually it grew on her.

"Isn't it lovely after nearly 45 years of marriage?" she said fondly, revealing that their marriage photograph had made the front page of the Irish Independent in 1971.

Just starting out on their own journey were Keith Parkes and Nicola Hyland from Dublin, after Keith sprang a surprise proposal yesterday.

He chose the Horse Show because they have been coming here together for many years and it is a very special place for them, he revealed.

Keeping the ring concealed in the run up had been tough, he admitted with a grin.

And with the cameras recording every moment, luckily she said 'yes.'

Irish Independent

Also in this section