The countdown is on and all bets are off ahead of the 2023 Bollinger Best Dressed competition at this year’s Punchestown Festival from Tuesday 25th to Saturday 29th April. Following such positive reaction to a fresh outlook on race day style at last year’s event, organisers have further enhanced this aspect as the 2023 Style Council is revealed.
The concept is Bollinger Best Dressed – Full Stop. The challenge is set and the competition is open to ladies and gents who catch the eye of the Style Council members by dressing with confidence, elegance and creativity whilst considering sustainability and appropriateness of their outfit.
Tasked with the challenge of scouring the Punchestown crowds and identifying the best dressed race goer is a collective of ladies and gents who are highly regarded in their respective fields, have a passion for style and have excelled to establish successful careers in the fashion, style and beauty industries.
The Bollinger Best Dressed Style Council Lead Jess Colivet explains what makes this Punchestown’s competition different to other best dressed race day’s: “whilst style is timeless we are looking for something fresh and new. Last year we embraced the fact that Punchestown was probably the first real opportunity to find your style feet again and dress up following Covid. This year all bets are off and we are looking for a fresh approach to race day and occasion outfits. We invite entrants of all ages and genders to show us their true style with special emphasis on individuality, creative styling and a fresh outlook.
Colivet continued to explain the sustainable angle: “Being stylish is not about spending a fortune, the most sustainable thing you can do when it comes to fashion is to wear what you already have in your wardrobe. Real style is how to wear it and what you wear it with so get creative and borrow, swap, reimagine and alter your way to the Bollinger Best Dressed title”.
Allow us to introduce you to the nine Bollinger Style Council members who will attend on a combination of days to ensure a diverse and varied selection of finalists:
Jess Colivet @jesscolivet
Jess is The Bollinger Best Dressed Style Council Creative Lead and this will be her second year judging The Bollinger Best Dressed at Punchestown. A London College of Style trained image and style consultant, Jess’s passion lies in assisting both women and men in discovering their own personal unique style. Jess is a neighbour of Punchestown racecourse and has enjoyed attending the annual Punchestown Festival for many years.
Jess’s work as a personal stylist involves a consultation service for clients who want to feel more comfortable, confident and happy in their general appearance. Jess believes that “feeling confident and happy impacts all aspects of life from personal through to business. This can come from something as simple as how you dress and present yourself to the world”. Jess believes that fashion is less about clothes and more about personal style.
Lawson Mpame @lawsofstyle
Lawson Mpame is a Creative Director and menswear stylist who has been working in the fashion industry for seven years. His passion for fashion and storytelling through visual mediums has led to collaborations and projects with some of the biggest fashion brands in the world. Styling their latest collections and creating high end content allows Lawson to showcase both his style and creativity. The three pillars of his brand are class, creativity and confidence. 2023 will be Lawson’s first year on The Style Council and his very first visit to the Punchestown Festival.
Suzie O Neill @suzie.ayu
Kildare resident and award-winning entrepreneur Suzie O’Neill is the owner and CEO of Ayu Cosmetics and Koolfit Apparel. Suzie’s ethos has always been about engagement with the customer and using feedback to inspire and develop new products. This will be Suzie’s second year on The Style Council at Punchestown.
Suzie’s business journey started with a range of affordable, premium quality brushes back in 2015 and since then AYU has expanded to include a full suite of cosmetics with many new and innovative products in the pipeline. A champion of women in business Suzie has a team of over twenty talented women across her brands.
When not running her successful business this busy Mum is running half marathons with Clane Athletics Club.
David O Connor @styledoc
Louis Copeland Group GM/Creative Director/ Made-To-Measure specialist.
Aptly named known as ‘The Style Doctor’ David has been working with the Louis Copeland group for over twenty years where he has styled some of the sharpest dressed, well known gentlemen including actors Patrick Dempsey and John C Reilly, celebrity chef Donal Skeahan, Tv Presenter and Olympian Greg O’Shea and globally renowned Mentalist Keith Barry.
This will be David’s Punchestown debut and as a passionate flag bearer of gentlemen’s style he will be looking for impeccable grooming, excellent tailoring fit and perhaps a different take on the traditional occasion suit.
Keen to champion gentlemen’s style and optimize the opportunity for the title to go the way of the men for the first time, David will be looking for perfect fit through great tailoring as well as attention to detail on presentation.
Katie Du Jour @katiedujour
2019 Bollinger Best Dressed Winner and 2022 Style Council member Kate Nally McCormack is a mother of four from the Midlands who works with the HSE. Although a Punchestown Festival regular for many years, Kate made her best dressed debut in 2019 a winning one and having literally walked the walk knows what it takes to land the coveted title. The winning prize of a money cannot buy trip to France including an exclusive tour of Champagne Bollinger Estate, Michelin star dining and chauffeur transfers ranks as an experience of a lifetime for Kate. She believes that everyone should give it their best shot to be in with a chance to enjoy the same wonderful experience.
Kate possesses the knack of achieving a polished stylish look by combining high street with designer or vintage items.
Sinead Keary @sinead_keary_personal_
Sinead Keary is a fashion designer and entrepreneur who founded her self-titled fashion label in 2019. The first collection came to life after 12 years of working in luxury retail and with hundreds of personal shopping clients who repeatedly expressed the age old adage that they had a wardrobe full of clothes and nothing to wear.
Sinead set about designing a collection of luxury essentials to help in forming the foundations of a capsule collection. Minimalism, femininity, fine fabrics and perfect fit are all essential components to the label collection that has been worn by Vogue Williams, Fearne Cotton and Rachel Stevens.
Sarah Battle @housebythewhitethorns
Sarah Battle is a modern day wonder woman. She lives in the West of Ireland with her husband and five kids. In 2019 Sarah began her blog to showcase her passion for home décor, style, baking and now uses her platform as an insight to daily family life along with style and décor advice.
Sarah has collaborated with many high profile fashion and lifestyle brands and has amassed over 123,000 followers on Instagram.
Roxanne Parker @roxanne_parker
Roxanne Parker began her journalism career 20 years ago and has been working as a fashion stylist for more than 15 years. Roxanne’s styling skills are highly sought after for magazine and print media editorials and designer brand look books as well as curating television broadcast wardrobes. Roxanne holds a regular TV segment on Ireland AM and has dressed celebrities in sustainable looks for the red carpet. Roxanne has launched a Sustainable Fashion Podcast My Soul Style.
Roxanne champions sustainable and slow fashion and supports designers and brands creating pieces with a planet conscious mission while encouraging people to dress as their authentic selves and not be a slave to trends. A Roxanne style top tip would be to source a great tailor and alterations service which can transform existing items or elevate great second hand finds.
Michelle O’Sullivan, Champagne Bollinger International Representative
Perhaps the most qualified of all the style council members Michelle O’Sullivan, representing Bollinger International has observed the evolution of style and occasion dressing at Punchestown since Bollinger’s sponsorship began in 2016. Bollinger say life can be perfect and with years of experience in the industry Michelle knows exactly what encapsulates the iconic Bollinger brand, ethos and customer.
Punchestown’s Shona Dreaper explained the thinking behind the Style Council concept “ The style element of the festival is so important and the best dressed competition gets plenty of discussion and airtime throughout the week I can assure you! At Punchestown we embrace progress and fresh thinking. Our concept is to move away from the traditional format, encourage entrants of all genders, age and style to get involved. The Punchestown Festival is a celebration and like all great parties a well-dressed guest list is essential”.
The Bollinger Garden in The Style Quarter will be the epicentre of all things fashion at The Punchestown Festival. From Tuesday 25th to Friday 28th April, style scouts will be tasked with finding the most stylish attendees at the racecourse. Finalists will be selected each day and daily winners will be presented with Bollinger goodie bags complete with gorgeous AYU products. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday’s winners will be fast-tracked to the grand final on Ladies Day, Friday 28th. Stay tuned for more information on prize and format as the countdown to Punchestown 2023 continues.
The Punchestown Festival runs from Tuesday 25th to Saturday 29th April. Race & Dine Hospitality packages from €159pp. Tickets from just €35 with group concessions available. Bundled transfers, accommodation and event packages are available.