Wednesday 22 January 2020

Kathryn had 'trial run' of dress to avoid popping out on red carpet

Kathryn Thomas at last week's VIP Style Awards
Kathryn Thomas at last week's VIP Style Awards
Kathryn Thomas in 2007
Kathryn Thomas at the 2008 IFTAs
Kathryn Thomas at the 2005 IFTAs
Kathryn at last year's IFTAs
Kathryn at the 2007 IFTAs
Kathryn experimented at the 2007 TV Now Awards
Kathryn at the 2009 TV Now Awards

Bairbre Power, Fashion Editor

Red carpet veteran Kathryn Thomas left nothing to chance with her Style Awards gown which has turned fashion newcomer Lya Solis into red hot property overnight.

Kathryn collaborated with Russian-born Lya to create a tulle and lace fishtail gown which attracted huge complements for the RTE star after she who scooped Most Stylish women at the 2013 Peter Mark/VIP Style Awards on Friday night.

However, The Voice presenter wasn’t risking anything. After parking the option of a voluminous tulle skirt in favour of a narrow fishtail skirt by Lya, the two collaborators even did flash photography to rule out any embarrassing “nipple moments” with the dress made from revealing see-through tulle and ultra fine lace.

“During the fittings, we did flash photography to ensure there were no nipple moments,” Kathryn confirmed to the Irish Independent.

Becoming an overnight sensation is something Lya (31) could only have dreamt of as she worked by day in online marketing and at night, studied fashion design at the Grafton Academy.

The Design Centre in Powerscourt Townhouse Centre have been fielding lots of enquiries since Saturday about Lya’s elegant daywear collection which they only began stocking this season.

Just three seasons after launching her own label, Lya has a studio in Dame Street and her popular daywear sellers at the Design Centre include her hourglass cream silk dress (€485), animal print jersey dress (€245) and white silk top (€325) with snake print skirt (€195).

Indeed, the flattering white dress has proved so popular, it has been re-ordered three times. However Lya’s couture evening wear is more expensive and Kathryn’s bespoke tulle dress , which has been returned to the designer after the Style Awards at the new Marker Hotel , would cost, she says , “around €1,600-€1,700.”

“I love doing the daywear especially the hourglass pieces but yes, it is the fantasy evening wear that I love doing most, “ said Lya who was introduced to the Design Centre by her former Grafton Academy colleague Umit Kutluk. who also enjoyed a meteoric rise to success after winning four student design competitions in one year. Umit has attracted lots of well heeled customers for his bespoke designs and is opening an exclusive salon on Merrion Square.

Kathryn says she is “absolutely delighted” for Lya that the dress was so favourably received.

“Aisling Kilduff invited me to a charity launch in early April and I went along and that’s where I saw Lya’s clothes for the first time. I loved the tulle and lace top. There was a full skirt with it which was too big for me because I’m too hippy,” said Kathryn.

And so began a collaborative process which drew gasps of admiration on Friday night as Kathryn revealed the dress with the ultra fine, transparent silk tulle, lace overlay, Swarovski beads and a sheer panel across the middle to reveal Kathryn’s enviable washboard stomach.

“Lya came over, we sat down and came up with the fishtail design, “says Kathryn who admitted to the Irish Independent that she arrived at the Marker Hotel thinking “the dress might not be to everyone’s taste.”

Working with lots of multiple elements such as long sleeves and a bare back, Kathryn says the dress could have been “either very right or very wrong.” Working with mesh-like, see through tulle that revealed lots of flesh and lace that covered her modesty, Kathryn said “there is a fine line between trashy and classy but the end result looked fabulous. I absolutely loved it and I felt so confident wearing it.

People were coming up to me all night saying how much they liked it.

“Lya’s dress is definitely one of my favourite red carpet dresses ever,“ said Kathryn who also namechecks another favourite gown, a mint green and cerise pink dress with internal corset top which Limerick-born designer Synan O’Mahony made for her to wear to the 2008 IFTAs.

Kathryn’s ‘posh frock’ look has evolved and matured over the years and while the hemlines have gone up and down depending on the gig – usually shorter for the informal TV NOW awards , she has consistently rolled out Hollywood glamour for the IFTAs and rarely attracts the wrath of the fashion police.

Kathryn (34) insists there will be no posh frocks on her horizon for the next few weeks as she plans to holiday with her sister with a wardrobe of casual clothes.

However for all those critics who lambasted her crinkle curls on the semi finals of The Voice, Kathryn has news. “I loved the curls and I intend wearing them to a wedding I’m going to”.

Follow Bairbre on Twitter @bairbepower


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