Ladies gear up for the ultimate experience in fashion
Former hairdresser-to-the-stars turned milliner, Michael Leong has triggered a streak of hat envy in the fashion world, launching a new collection of bespoke headpieces.
The award-winning hairdresser who tended the tresses of all visiting A-listers and local celebs has re-trained to launch a new career in hats and his full collection will be unveiled tonight at the Irish Tatler Designer Showcase at the Ultimate Girls' Day Out show at the RDS.
Malaysian-born Michael came to Ireland to study medicine but quit to cut and coiff hair at Peter Mark, where he became creative director before going solo. His hats, which start from €350, were modelled yesterday by Sarah Morrissey and the word quickly spread amongst the style brigade that there was a new name in the considerably competitive millinery sector.
The hats will be sold by appointment only.
The three-day event at the RDS features shopping and a smart-girls zone, with talks by leading business women and media figures on how to get on in your career. There's advice on how to be the hostess-with-the-mostess by Sallyanne Clarke of the Michelin-star restaurant L'Ecrivain.
Meanwhile, cut-price beauty products costing €4.60 and €8 were among the winners in the Prudence Best Buys Beauty Awards at the Gibson Hotel last night.
Kirstie McDermott from Beaut.ie, who organised the awards for the Irish magazine 'Prudence', said: "We had a couple of unusual winners, including a lip tint that costs just €4.60. The focus was really on budget and we chased brands that were really good value. A company called Purity Organic Skincare, which is exclusive to Superdrug, scooped two skincare awards, a facial exfoliator that cost €8 and an anti-ageing serum and mask costing €11.
"The skincare categories were voted for by a beauty therapist who would be dealing with high-end products all the time, so it was even more surprising. People are really open-minded about products these days because they have to be. These awards say a lot for trying out products."
Another brand that did very well in the lips category was a brand called Stargazer, a cheap and cheerful line from New Look stores.
"This lip-liner pen was another surprise winner at €4.60," said Kirstie.
"It's a lip tint, you paint it on, and it would copy more expensive products."
High-maintenance ladies have found new ways around the recession, Kirstie revealed.
"They are not giving up on their beauty products, but they are being really smart and looking for brands that duplicate at a cheaper price," she said.