The Glamour of Galway

Image: Hany Marzouk

The Galway Races is Ireland’s, if not all of Europe’s, most stylish horse event. And, this year’s event did not disappoint. Interestingly, while Galway Racecourse has no official dress code like other races, it’s one of the most fashionable of them all. All the fashions exhibited a sartorial elegance that is unparalleled elsewhere. Women in Europe, and specifically in Ireland, seem to have an intuitive sense of style that was reflected in each jaw dropping look. Dresses were tailored to perfection in rich fabrics, with color pallets ranging from neutrals to unapologetic pops of color. Barbie pink – yes! Garish, tacky revealing Barbie dresses – no way, not at Galway. Which is what makes it so special. These women know how to combine chic sophisticated glamour with a modern edge that blows Carrie Bradshaw away. Nothing is forced or coerced. It’s inherit style and grace that is, well….Galway. Hundreds of stylish women arrived on the concourse on Ladies Day, the day the coveted Best Dressed and Best Hat prizes are given. The Best Dressed prize of €10K and Best Hat prize of €3K are the one of the largest in the fashion racing world. This year, the judges really had their work cut out for them. Judges for the event were social media star Rachel Gorry, businesswoman Mandy Maher, and style influencer Keiran O’Malley. The competition was fierce, but ultimately the prize for Best Dressed went to Maritess McCarthy from Douglas, Cork County. Ms. McCarthy is originally from the Philippines and her prize-winning look was designed by a Filipino designer, Raffaella; known for their intricate embroidery, structured silk taffeta, rich velvets, and sublime colorways. Her outfit held true to the designer and consisted of a full velvet skirt and stained-glass look embroidery top with balloon sleeves. Her accessories were the perfect complement and consisted of Jimmy Choo red slingback stilettos, Jimmy Choo crystal handbag, Tiffany bangles, and topped off with a floral red fascinator designed by Elizabeth Christina Designs. The Best Hat was awarded to Ann-Marie Corbett from Mitchelstown, Cork County. Ms. Corbett stunned in a vivid hat consisting of flowers and leaves in blazing shades of orange, red and yellow feathers, designed by Galway milliner, Emily Jean. Her understated yet chic orange dress with puffed sleeves was the perfect balance to the showstopping hat! There is a certain civility and charm to Galway that cannot be described. You must go! But, what to wear? Hmmm. I am already coming up with so many ideas!!! What will you wear?