No surprises as fashion shines through clouds

The four-legged stars had to take a back seat at the Dublin Horse Show as the country’s snappiest ladies fought to put in a fault-free round to take the best-dressed honours.

More than 450 women, emboldened by unseasonally sunny weather, donned their finest attire for the Blossom Hill Best Dressed Competition on Ladies Day.

Many queued for longer than is healthy in high heels at the RDS Band Lawn to be briefly interviewed about their outfit by compère and judge, RTÉ’s Off the Rails star, Brendan Courtney.

“That’s what I love about being Irish — we’re always surprised when it starts to rain,” observed Courtney as dark clouds made an appearance just as the winner was due to be announced after more than three and a half hours of judging.

Other judges were London-based fashion designer Sorcha Ó Raghallaigh, who is originally from Birr, Co Offaly and who counts Lady Gaga as “a really good client”, and RTÉ presenter Lucy Kennedy, who joked there should be a special prize for most fashionable umbrella.

The overall winner was Lucy Gillmor Murphy from Enniskerry, Co Wicklow, who wore a cream dress with matching accessories.

The 24-year-old milliner, who designed her own hat, is a veteran of such competitions, given she won a similar event at The Curragh earlier this summer. Gillmor Murphy said entering Ladies’ Day events was a great way of promoting her own designs and website. She said she would invite boyfriend Graham Barry to share her prize of a trip for two to New York — worth €8,000 — as he bought her the Calvin Klein dress as a surprise birthday present.

Her outfit was completed by a bag from Penney’s worth €8 and a pair of Jimmy Choo shoes worth somewhat more — €452 more to be precise.

Runner-up prize went to Elaine Bury from Dunboyne, Co Meath, while the prize for most colourful outfit — a €3,000 Longines watch — went to Maeve Byrne, a doctor from Dundalk, Co Louth, who wore a bright, yellow coat she inherited from her grandmother who bought it in Paris in the 1960s.

The best dressed man competition attracted just six entrants, leading Lucy Kennedy to brand all males present as “wusses”. Winner Mark Flood, Newbridge, Co Kildare, secured a prize of a Louis Copeland suit.

Kerry-based Joanne Murphy won the competition for most creative hat.

Today, the focus of the Dublin Horse Show returns firmly to the horses and riders, with the highlight being the Nations Cup, with Ireland competing against seven countries for the Aga Khan trophy.


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