A Limerick woman wearing a Grace Kelly inspired vintage baby blue lace dress won over the judges at the Anthony Ryan’s Best Dressed Lady Competition on Ladies’ Day at the Galway Races.
Rachelle Guiry from Newcastle West, Co Limerick, a make-up artist, was the winner of the Best Dressed Lady competition on Thursday.
Despite the torrential rain women donned their finery, stepping out in stunning numbers with only the aid of cheery coloured umbrellas to protect them from the fretful elements.
Ms Guiry’s dress - which featured a sheer panel on the top - was accessorised with a Carol Kennelly designed net and pearl hat with cream flowers.
The lucky Limerick woman walked away with a one carat diamond solitaire pendant valued at €8,500, a shopping spree worth €1,500 in Anthony Ryans and €1,000 cash. She also received a Lancôme presentation gift hamper worth more than €600 and a corporate hospitality package for Galway Races October Bank Holiday Racing Festival. .
UCC student Alex Butler from Midleton, Co Cork was the winner of the Anthony Ryan’s Best Hat Competition. A white floral creation, it comprised 100 white roses with one black rose at the top and was designed by Ina McCarthy, a florist who is also from Midleton. Ms Butler clinched a much coveted fashion shopping spree worth €1,500 at Anthony Ryan’s.
The winner of the new Anthony Ryan’s Wear Irish Award, for the woman with the most appropriate choice of Irish design or accessories in her ensemble, was Aisling Maher from Castletroy, Co Limerick. Her outfit was centred around an opulent baroque inspired neck piece which she made herself. Accessorising this was a black synamay hat hand blocked and encrusted with crystals and embellishments to match the neck piece.
Anthony Ryan, the managing director of Anthony Ryan Ltd, Galway’s longest established independent department store, presented the winners of the Anthony Ryan’s Best Dressed Lady, Best Hat and Wear Irish Competitions with their prizes in the parade ring immediately after the prize presentations for the seventh race.
All 40 contestants in the Best Dressed Competition at the Anthony Ryan marquee received a special collection of Lancôme cosmetics compliments of University Pharmacy, Newcastle Road.
Judging this year’s competition were three of the best known names in the Irish fashion industry - television presenter and VIP Style Awards Most Stylish Woman Kathryn Thomas; Bairbre Power, the fashion editor of the Irish Independent and executive editor of the Irish Independent Weekend magazine; and PJ Gibbons, the editor of Social and Personal magazine.
They were joined by well known faces from the Galway fashion scene Patricia McCrossan, the managing director of Galway NOW magazine and Mandy Maher, the director of the Galway based Catwalk Model Agency.
The judges were seeking a Best Dressed Lady with an innate sense of style who could put together a winning ensemble, appropriate to both the wearer and the occasion.
“Our judges had the unenviable task of picking a winner from the very many stylish ladies present in Ballybrit,” said Anthony Ryan. “I would like to congratulate the winners of the Anthony Ryan’s Best Dressed Lady, Best Hat and Wear Irish competitioms for their outstanding sense of style and elegance.”
“We were particularly pleased with the response to our ‘Wear Irish’ Competition and to see so many Irish milliners and designers featuring high up in the style stakes in Ballybrit. Our finalists deserve a special commendation for adding so much to the occasion with their colourful ensembles and complementing accessories. Ladies’ Day here in Ballybrit continues to be first past the post as the most stylish and glamorous fashion event on the Irish racing calendar.”