I would usually be into racing and I go show-jumping myself so we’re kinda into horses but Galway’s more about the fashion to be honest.
It wasn’t just the horses groomed and aiming to win big at the Galway Races on Thursday, July 30. With Melanie Morris, Bairbre Power, Maura Derrane and Mandy Maher judging the Kilkenny Best Dressed Ladies Day Competition, the style stakes were high. Along with the odd rain shower and wind, excitement also filled Ballybrit as glamorous ladies added colour to the crowd and huddled near the Champagne Tent hoping to be spotted by the four fashionistas. Stylist Marietta Doran kept the lovely ladies entertained with fashion shows and chats with competitors until the ten finalists had been found.
Inglot were also on hand in the IMAGE gazebo for lipstick and make-up touch-ups and awarded a hamper for the best selfie tweet on the day.
At 3.30PM ten finalists soon became three as Cork lady Alex Butler was crowned the Kilkenny Best Dressed Lady with two dapper dames doing Claremorris, Co.Clare proud. Milliner Mary White’s 1950’s inspired bespoke outfit earned her the nod for the Kilkenny Best Irish Design and a prize worth €4,000, while Danielle Gingell’s veiled floral cream creation with tulle netting by Arturo Rios ensured her the Kilkenny Best Hat prize valued at €2,500.
We caught up with the ecstatic winner, Alex Butler from Midleton in Cork…
Alex, tell us about your outfit. “My hat is by Jennifer Wrynne who is a milliner in Leitrim. My dress is from Vanilla Boutique in Fermoy and my shoes are Christian Louboutin and were a ‘just cos I loved them’ present from her boyfriend of eight years and actually the same shoes as Glenda Gilson today! I bought my bag a while ago in Middleton.”
Did you expect to win today? “No, I didn’t expect to win at all. Last week I was actually thinking about changing my dress. I was thinking about buying another one and my mum was like, ‘look you have left it too late, go up with what you have’ cos I actually bought the dress for a wedding so I said I’d go with what I have and I really really didn’t expect to win so I’m absolutely delighted.”
Have you ever won a Best Dressed Lady Competition before? “Two years ago I actually won Best Hat here at Galway and this is the third time I have ever been picked as a finalist.”
Are you prepared for stardom? “Ha, oh I don’t know about that now, ha ha.”
Tell us about your prize! “My prize is valued at €10,000. Kilkenny Shop are sponsoring it so there’s a lovely Waterford Crystal vase, a shopping spree, loads of make-up from Lancome, vouchers for Peter Marks, the list goes on and on. Oh and an overnight with Ireland’s Bluebook too.”
And when you are not winning Ladies Day what do you do? “I’m a manager in Hurley’s Super Value in Midleton.”
So it’s back to work tomorrow? “No I’m actually on holidays for the week so I have a few days off to celebrate.”
Did you put any bets on today? “No, the only time I saw a horse was when I was in the Parade Ring when we were getting the prizes. I would usually be into racing and I go show-jumping myself so we’re kinda into horses but Galway’s more about the fashion to be honest.”
See here for which hat Melanie Morris chose as the best headpiece at the G hotel later that night.