Black tie attire has changed considerably over the years and there’s no better reminder of that than the Peter Mark VIP Style Awards.
There was a time not so long ago that guests would be guffawed off the red carpet if their gown wasn’t full length and their hair wasn’t twisted into a French twist hairstyle with a few complementary ringlets to match.
But style has come leaps and bounds over the years and the competition between influencers and celebrities on Instagram means that we get front row seats to some of the most exciting fashion wars.
Due to the incoming arrival of Storm Hannah, this year’s red carpet set-up was moved indoors at The Marker Hotel for the first time. And there wasn't an item of satin or ringlet in sight.
Stylist Courtney Smith arrived to The Marker Hotel in a pink feathered mini-dress by a sustainable fashion brand mixed with a pearl Zara hairband.
Model turned cookbook author Roz Purcell sashayed down the red carpet in a custom creation by Irish-Turkish designer Umit Kutluk.
Influencer Louise Cooney continued the ostrich feater trend, while designer Helen Steele unsurprisingly wore a design of her own and Natalie B. Coleman’s Gothic-inspired dress remained true to her collections signature aesthetic.
Xposé newcomer Nadine Reid brought her signature headwear with a flower crown by Ennis-based designer Margaret O’Connor and a fit and flare dress, while her co-presenter Remy Naidoo, who was also nominated in the same category, turned heads in a white floral applique mini-dress.
Former winners like Pippa O’Connor, who attended with best friend Brian Dowling, and Rosanna Davison, who arrived with cousin Paul Byrom, each opted for contrasting metallic and black shades.
Celia Holman Lee, who last year received an icon award for her contributions to the industry over the course of 30+ years, added her signature elegance in a breathtaking piece from Cork boutique Phoenix V.
Undoubtedly, the most fanfare surrounded Derry Girls star Saoirse Monica Jackson, a Best Newcomer nominee. Her competition includes former Miss Universe Ireland Joanna Cooper, Shona Guerin and actress Lynn Rafferty, among others.
The additional top categories tonight include Most Stylish Man, Favourite Irish Designer, Look of the Year and Most Stylish Woman - the most coveted prize of the night. British Vogue writer and activist Sinéad Burke, Lucy Kennedy, Kathryn Thomas are among the nominees, as are sisters Doireann and Aoibhín Garrihy.
Eileen Smith, aka Eileen the Style Queen, the 80-year-old influencer who has built a cult following on Instagram with her inspiring mature style, brought her daughter Suzanne Fehily as her date for the night.
"Because of my age, I had to look a bit harder to find something so I was thrilled to find this in Monsoon," she told us. "I can wear both pieces again and I have a granddaughter and daughter can wear it if they like.
"It's lovely even to be nominated and see the beautiful people around."
The forner Fair City, a previous two-time winner, opted for a breathtaking monochrome combination by Catherine Clyne, while Doireann opted for full glam in a black gown with plunging neckline and high slit - her first time wearing a dress on the red carpet.
Inside, guests will spend the night sipping on Bollinger champagne and enjoying a three-course meal, with free wine flowing, as they observe the winners and entertainment throughout the evening. There is no official after-party these days, so guests divide their time sipping cocktails at The Marker until the wee hours or the brave few head to Copper Face Jack’s on Harcourt Street to dance the night away.
For all the pictures from the Peter Mark VIP Style Awards, see our gallery below: