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Style Notes: Bairbre Power’s tips on how to turn heads at Ladies’ Day

Our fashion editor rounds up the latest style news and fashion trends

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Female jockeys dressed in Irish looks from Curated by Design Centre at Kildare Village in advance of the Irish Oaks weekend at the Curragh last weekend. Jody Townend wears Roisin Linnane, Miriam Walsh wears Cobblers Lane, Aine O’Connor wears Paul Costelloe, Georgie Benson wears Roisin Linnane and Siobhan Rutledge wears Paul Costelloe

Female jockeys dressed in Irish looks from Curated by Design Centre at Kildare Village in advance of the Irish Oaks weekend at the Curragh last weekend. Jody Townend wears Roisin Linnane, Miriam Walsh wears Cobblers Lane, Aine O’Connor wears Paul Costelloe, Georgie Benson wears Roisin Linnane and Siobhan Rutledge wears Paul Costelloe

'Montserrat' leather gloves, €495, Paula Rowan, Westbury Mall. Available in a range of colours, including silver

'Montserrat' leather gloves, €495, Paula Rowan, Westbury Mall. Available in a range of colours, including silver

Blue dress from the Paul Costelloe SS22 runway collection, available from Curated by Design Centre at Kildare Village

Blue dress from the Paul Costelloe SS22 runway collection, available from Curated by Design Centre at Kildare Village

'Nina' leather gloves, €85, paularowan.com

'Nina' leather gloves, €85, paularowan.com

'Connie' gloves in blue, €170, PaulaRowan.com and from her store on Dublin's Westbur

'Connie' gloves in blue, €170, PaulaRowan.com and from her store on Dublin's Westbur

'Linen' Wolfhound sunglasses, Optica, Dawson Street, Dublin, and 1950s vintage hat and suit and pearl earrings, Dirty Fabulous, Glaslough Street, Monaghan. Picture: Kenny Whittle

'Linen' Wolfhound sunglasses, Optica, Dawson Street, Dublin, and 1950s vintage hat and suit and pearl earrings, Dirty Fabulous, Glaslough Street, Monaghan. Picture: Kenny Whittle

Lady Gaga wearing Paula Rowan's 'Fergie' gloves

Lady Gaga wearing Paula Rowan's 'Fergie' gloves

A dress from Ukrainian label Paskal

A dress from Ukrainian label Paskal

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Female jockeys dressed in Irish looks from Curated by Design Centre at Kildare Village in advance of the Irish Oaks weekend at the Curragh last weekend. Jody Townend wears Roisin Linnane, Miriam Walsh wears Cobblers Lane, Aine O’Connor wears Paul Costelloe, Georgie Benson wears Roisin Linnane and Siobhan Rutledge wears Paul Costelloe

Talk about excitement! In all the years I’ve been writing about, and judging, best-dressed competitions on the Irish racing circuit, I have never come across anything like the sense of anticipation about dressing up for this summer’s events. I can safely forecast that the style quotient at Ladies’ Day in Galway next Thursday will be off the Richter scale.

Two years of virtual events have translated into one massive vortex of interest, and to assess the sheer scale of this appetite to compete on the racing circuit again, all you have to do is ask the country’s milliners, who are busy burning the midnight oil to meet the demand for fabulous, big chapeaux.

I must commend the racecourse management at Ballybrit for having the presence of mind to extend the judging time by two hours, and they have introduced online pre-registration from 8am-11am on Ladies’ Day. So, if you think you might not get to the course early to be spotted, you can at least throw your hat in the ring by entering digitally.

Comfort is key, and I have a niggling suspicion that it is the return to high heels which is probably going to cause the biggest headache. Big hats, huge dress, not a worry... but a day in heels!

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Blue dress from the Paul Costelloe SS22 runway collection, available from Curated by Design Centre at Kildare Village

Blue dress from the Paul Costelloe SS22 runway collection, available from Curated by Design Centre at Kildare Village

Blue dress from the Paul Costelloe SS22 runway collection, available from Curated by Design Centre at Kildare Village

I picked up a great tip from Marija Aslimoska, the classically trained perfumer who owns Parfumarija in Dublin’s Westbury Mall. A super glamorous lady, I went to visit Aslimoska to check out the stunning scents from Australian milliner Naomi Goodsir.

Aslimoska loves her vertiginous heels, and when she heard that I was breaking in new sandals before judging the Most Stylish competition at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby, she let me into a great secret which naturally I now feel compelled to share.

She recommended the Compeed anti-blister stick, which reduces rubbing on skin from new sandals. It’s always my heels that erupt with water blisters, so now there’s no need to emblazon them with a criss-cross of plasters, which can totally wreck the look of a gorgeous, cutaway, strappy sandal.

Anyhow, after picking up one of these sticks at Boots, I can now confirm it works a dream, and after a day judging with Doireann Garrihy and Greg O’Shea, I didn’t even have to resort to flat shoes, which was amazing, since I haven’t worn anything but flat trainers for two years.

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Galway calling

After enjoying all that the Galway International Arts Festival had to offer, I will be back in the City of the Tribes again next Thursday. This time, I’m pulling on my judging hat again for the Ladies’ Day evening event at The Hardiman Hotel alongside two local fashion legends, twins Mary McSweeney and Margaret Gallagher, owners of Les Jumelles on Chapel Lane.

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A dress from Ukrainian label Paskal

A dress from Ukrainian label Paskal

A dress from Ukrainian label Paskal

I love these opportunities to spend time with Ireland’s top retailers as I travel around the country during the summer, checking out stores and talking to these independent buyers who possess an incredible eye for discovering brands that really add to our wardrobes.

The sisters are giving a prize on the night of a voucher to spend in their boutique, where I could happily do lots of damage, especially among the Rick Owens leather jackets. However, one label in particular caught my eye, and that was Paskal, which comes from a Ukrainian designer who now has her manufacturing base in Odessa. There are handy transeasonal dresses that work for race days, special occasions and also layer up nicely for the autumn.

Speaking of dresses, sometimes in life, a dress comes along that haunts your dreams. That is the case of the blue, ankle-skimming dress (above) which I spotted on a visit to Paul Costelloe’s studio in London’s Mayfair. Costelloe’s runway pieces are now stocked as part of the strong Irish offer at the Curated by Design Centre store at Kildare Village.

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'Linen' Wolfhound sunglasses, Optica, Dawson Street, Dublin, and 1950s vintage hat and suit and pearl earrings, Dirty Fabulous, Glaslough Street, Monaghan. Picture: Kenny Whittle

'Linen' Wolfhound sunglasses, Optica, Dawson Street, Dublin, and 1950s vintage hat and suit and pearl earrings, Dirty Fabulous, Glaslough Street, Monaghan. Picture: Kenny Whittle

'Linen' Wolfhound sunglasses, Optica, Dawson Street, Dublin, and 1950s vintage hat and suit and pearl earrings, Dirty Fabulous, Glaslough Street, Monaghan. Picture: Kenny Whittle

Styling some of my favourite racing looks, I naturally called in the Costelloe dress. I love how a strapless design opens up the neckline and puts extra focus on a hat — in this case, a straw hat by Carol Kennelly with a trailing black bow. A thoroughly modern-day Audrey Hepburn look.

I like to invest in great sunglasses, and I’m crushing hard on the slate frame from Irish collection Wolfhound by Optica. They accessorise beautifully with the look, and be sure and visit the Dawson Street store to check out the full range, especially the ‘Linen’ frame with green lens (€350).

Finishing touches

I cannot resist finishing off an outfit with great gloves, and, in Ireland, we are very fortunate to have Paula Rowan on our doorstep. I know international travellers who make annual pilgrimages to Rowan’s store in Dublin’s Westbury Mall.

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'Montserrat' leather gloves, €495, Paula Rowan, Westbury Mall. Available in a range of colours, including silver

'Montserrat' leather gloves, €495, Paula Rowan, Westbury Mall. Available in a range of colours, including silver

'Montserrat' leather gloves, €495, Paula Rowan, Westbury Mall. Available in a range of colours, including silver

I chose her ‘Mouchette’ black leather bow gloves (€520) to go with the Costelloe dress and, at the moment, her 16-button ‘Montserrat’ gloves (left) are having quite a moment. Ariana Grande wore them in ivory for a recent beauty campaign, and Tatler magazine in the UK styled the long gloves with a strapless Bulgari dress. 

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Lady Gaga wearing Paula Rowan's 'Fergie' gloves

Lady Gaga wearing Paula Rowan's 'Fergie' gloves

Lady Gaga wearing Paula Rowan's 'Fergie' gloves

This week, Lady Gaga kicked off her Chromatica Ball tour wearing Rowan’s ‘Fergie’ fingerless gloves and also her cuff gloves.

Check out Rowan’s full range on paularowan.com.


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