26 Jun 2022

Primary school teacher wins Curragh Racecourse virtual style event

First past the post in fashion stakes

Primary school teacher wins Curragh Racecourse virtual style event

Winner all right: Catherine Furlong

A primary school teacher scooped the first Curragh style crown of the season last weekend.

Catherine Furlong from New Ross won the Tipperary Crystal-sponsored Romi Dublin virtual style event, announced on Saturday during the weekend's Guineas festival. The competition was judged by stylists and presenters Judy Gilroy and Lorna Weightman. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, it was held as a virtual event, which saw approximately 100 entrants show off their creative and colourful outfits online.

Catherine fashioned a beautiful colourful coat, from iClothing, as a dress. Her headpiece was by Kilkenny milliner Alison Roe, with shoes from River Island, bought on sale. The bag was by Karigari by S from Etsy. Catherine used the Impressionist painters as inspiration for her individual sense of style. The judges were looking for an individual and authentic racing style in line with the Romi brand As Individual As You, and Catherine’s look ticked all the right boxes.

Judges Laura and Judy noted Catherine’s use of colour and her ability to re-style a piece into a new outfit.

“Catherine’s use of colour – from her dress to her shoes - shows off her individual style and is ideal for the Curragh. We all need more colour in our lives! And her smile was so natural in her photograph so we could see how comfortable and confident she was in her outfit,” they shared on Instagram Live, announcing the results.

Catherine received a €1,000 Tipperary Crystal voucher for Romi Dublin jewellery, a magnum of Taittinger champagne and four admission tickets to next year's Irish Guineas Festival at The Curragh.

Catherine Furlong's winning outfit

Two other finalists also received Tipperary Crystal hampers worth €500. Gemma McDonagh, a nurse from Headford, Co Galway, self-designed her two-piece outfit. She was inspired by a pantsuit she saw online and, using material she bought in the Garment Centre, New York, she worked with a seamstress friend to create her unique outfit. Her headpiece, from Roscommon milliner Laura Hanlon, added a dash of summer flair to the look, accompanied by shoes from Zara and handbag from Top Shop.

Gemma McDonagh

Brid Brouder, from Limerick, also championed vibrant colours with her look. She wore a pink cape jumpsuit from Lavish Alice, flower-crown headpiece made by local milliner Aoife Hannon, shoes from New Look and a camisole underneath from Zara.

Brid Brouder from Limerick

Speaking about her win, Catherine said she has enjoyed entering virtual style events over the past year. “I love the opportunity to get dressed up. I’ve been based in Wexford, working on the farm with my dad, so it’s been a way to meet new people. We connect around these events and will definitely meet in real-life in the future! It’s also nice to have the chance to dress up,” she laughed. "I start back teaching on Monday in Kilkenny, so this is a great way to celebrate the weekend," she continued.

Speaking to hundreds of people online as they announced the winners, the judges noted the impact of the pandemic on traditional style events on-course. “Despite not being at the racetrack, women around the country didn’t hold back on getting Race Day glam. They snapped pictures in kitchens, gardens and hallways; connecting online and bringing colour to their day. We can’t wait to see them at the races soon!”


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