Colour and glamour light up grey day at the races


Dressed to impress: women in the spotlight for Ladies Day at Punchestown

A DAY that loomed grey and cheerless received some welcome colour at Ladies Day at Punchestown races in Co Kildare.

Women were first on the track yesterday for the final day of the Coast Best Dressed Lady competition, which judge and celebrity stylist Lisa Fitzpatrick described as “the biggest and most elegant this event has ever been”.

The other judges were X Factor’s Louis Walsh, Coast managing director Margaret MacDonald, Aurora Fashions Ireland chairman Ian Galvin and Olivia Gaynor Long, the owner of Dublin private members’ club Residence.

“We’re looking for something that is race and weather appropriate but also manages to have colour,” Ms MacDonald said, while Walsh stressed that the winner “just needs to be different, to stand out”.

The person they were looking for needed “to be confident in herself, [with] a bit of humour”, said Ms Gaynor Long.

What triumphed above all, however, was vintage and recycled clothing. Among the contenders, almost all were wearing pieces that were vintage, recycled or self-made and all were bought locally.

The winner was Jennie Pierce from Naas, Co Kildare. The pharmaceutical representative said she went to Punchestown every year, but “never dreamt I’d win the overall prize”.

Ms Pierce (31) wore a Zara dress under a green coat from Crave Boutique, Naas, contrasted with electric-blue bowed Christian Louboutin shoes, a Chanel bag and a vintage hat.

Walsh said he knew Ms Pierce was an instant winner because of “her sophistication”, while Ms Gaynor Long loved “her choice of colours that complemented her red hair”.

The prize included flights for two to Madrid, New York and London, with €1,000 to spend on a shopping spree in each city.

Ms Pierce said she was going to bring her best friend with her on the trips.

Brian O’Connor’s Punchestown report and preview: SportsWeekend