MAYOBRIDGE woman Charlene Byers is normally the one getting ladies styled for the races but the right fitting dress ensured that Charlene stood out at the Galway Races Ladies’ Day where she received the title of Best Dressed Lady 2018.
Owner of the Dress House, Mayobridge, Charlene had already made sure that the 30 clients she had helped pick the right headpiece for were set for Ladies’ Day.
Passing through Kildare Village with her husband Paul Byers, Charlene noticed a dress and fell in love with it.
“I told Paul that if the dress fitted I would go to Ladies’ Day. I had absolutely no intention of going to the event before I saw the dress so I felt that it was meant to be.”
Charlene along with her husband and mum Marie Garvey (Mayobridge) set off on Thursday morning (2 August) for Galway Racecourse.
“I have been at a few ladies’ days including Cork on Easter Sunday and Downpatrick Ladies’ Day.
“I couldn’t get an appointment to get my make-up applied that morning so I had to do it myself.”
Charlene wore a dress by Umit Kutluk Designs, hat by Laura Hanlon, clutch bag by Lulu Guinness and heels by Next.
Charlene described the experience as a “complete whirlwind” adding that even making it into the top 25 was a big achievement.
“I received my finalist badge and then it was down to the last 10.
At this stage I wasn’t even sure what the winning prize was, that is how unprepared I was but literally five seconds before the winner was announced a photographer told me that I had a bit of mascara in my eye.
“I quickly removed it and thank goodness I did because before I knew it they were calling my name out as the winner and I was instantly bombarded by the cameras.
“It was a great day from start to finish.
“I got to meet AP McCoy who was really lovely and great fun to chat with.”
Charlene received a €6,000 diamond and pearl pendant from Galway Jewellers, €2,000 cash, a trip to Paris for two plus a luxury stay in the penthouse of the g Hotel.
Sitting on the judging panel were fashion editor of the Irish Independent Bairbre Power, owner of Catwalk Modelling Agency & Stylist Mandy Maher as well as Chanelle, Lady McCoy entrepreneur and previous best dressed winner and General Manager of the g Hotel & Spa, Andrew Drysdale.
Charlene added: “I have been inundated with messages and I would really like to thank everyone for their kindness and support.
“There have not been too many women from the north win the title so I feel extremely proud and honoured.
“Also to the ladies who wore my hats to the races, it is such a privilege.”
Charlene is going to spend some time now focusing on her family as she admits the summer has been very busy with the Dress House.
“I have a son called Adam aged seven and my daughter April who is four. April loves all the different hats and their colours.
It will be lovely to take some time now with them before September.”