‘Risky’ number leads the field in style stakes

A glamorous woman who "took a risk’’ with her outfit stood out in monochrome and was first past the post in the style stakes at Killarney Races, yesterday.

On a sun-splashed Ladies Day, fashionistas came in droves and Denise Healy caught the eye in black Capri slacks from Reiss and a black and white striped top which had been in her home for about 15 years and which had also been worn by her late mother and sister.

A wide-brimmed matching hat from Debenhams, white high-heeled Dune shoes and a clutch bag purchased in Dorothy Perkins matched her outfit and helped her win the Dawn Dairies Queen of Fashion competition.

From Two-Mile School, Killarney, Denise takes her inspiration from her mother, Mairead, who was probably the most stylish woman she knew, she said

“Fashion is changing and people are taking risks. I tried to be creative and different and to think outside the box,’’ she said.

“My mother, who died two years ago, always dressed me for the races. She taught me to be lady-like, creative and simple but practical in what I wear.’’

A surprised Denise, who will next year marry Kerry footballer Aidan O’Mahony, received a trip for two to Paris. She is a language co-ordinator with Castle International Education, in Tralee.

Runner-up was Christine Hegarty, also from Killarney, and the prize for the best hat (which she made herself) went to Ellen O’Donnell, of Golden, Co Tipperary.

Competition judges were TV presenter Kathryn Thomas and Rose of Tralee Haley O’Sullivan who described the style as “stunning,’’ especially the range of vibrant colours, like cerises, purples, pinks and lime greens.

Ms Thomas, who will start a new Operation Transformation series in the autumn, recalled how her late grandmother, Margaret Keane, from Kenmare, Co Kerry, won the fashion competition at Killarney Races in 1960, for which she received £20 cheque.

“Cream, black and camel were her favourite colours. I feel she’s very much with me today and I’m also wearing cream for her,’’ she said. ‘’My grandmother loved big bold colours and women who stood out and made an impact.’’

Killarney Race Company chairman John Buckley, meanwhile, said crowds were up on each of the four days of the festival meeting, which finished yesterday.

We’ve invested around €7m in facilities in the last 10 years and that’s beginning to be reflected in attendances,’’ he said.


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