Best-dressed at the 2016 VIP Style Awards: my verdict


Let's set the scene, for a moment, shall we? I wasn't invited to this year's VIP Style Awards. (I've been invited once; oh, it was a glorious night. No, I did not go to the afterparty.) I am currently sitting at home, awaiting a takeaway delivery (#cheatmeal), wearing a man's jumper and a pair of khaki trousers with my slipper socks. In short, I am perfectly placed to scathingly criticise Ireland's glitterati, while they compete for sartorial recognition. However, I'm finding myself in a kind of mellow mood so, rather than single out those I thought were dressed badly, I thought I'd use this opportunity to write about the dresses – and gals – I did like. See, Mother? I have changed. So consider this a round-up of those whose dresses gave me (mostly) positive feelings.

Without further ado, let's get to it, shall we?

(Almost) perfection: UTV's Jenny Buckley

Jenny Buckley

It's funny how people assume that one's ability to critique others' fashion choices is directly related to one's own fashion choices. What I mean by that is, the most common reaction I get when I sit on Xposé's fashion panel is, "and what the hell is she wearing herself?" No one expects sports journalists to be incredible footballers, do they?

This is a long-winded way of saying that Jenny Buckley's dress would not be something that I would wear myself – but that doesn't mean that I can't recognise how perfect it is for this, the most illustrious night of the Irish fashion calendar (sad but true). The shape is perfect on her, the colour is gorgeous and the bag works really well. I could have done without the slightly odd white cuff, but in the grand scheme of things, this gets a solid four stars.

I'd marry you in this: Vogue Williams

Vogue Williams

I saw quite a few mixed reactions for Vogue's ensemble – as red carpet gowns go, this was fairly unorthodox. But I loved it. (See? I can be nice!) It was very Ralph Lauren in Harper's Bazaar to me; it would look incredible against a dusty middle American desert background, or in Taylor Swift's video for Wildest Moments. In fact, everything about this look was genius: the relaxed hair, the perfect red lip, the belt. Love, love, love.

Not keen, but not mad at it: TG4's Caitlin Nic Aodh

VIP Style Awards 2016 Caitlin Nic Aodh

Okay, so, ultimately, I don't really like this. On the red carpet, in natural light, it was a very old-fashioned high-shine satin, and I feel as if it was quite dated and a little too rigid for this kind of event. It's a style awards, so it's about fashion, rather than "black tie".

That all being said! Hello, pockets – which I love – and it also reminded me of Amy Adams' dress in Enchanted, one of my top 15 films of all time, so this dress makes me feel warm inside. It helps, obviously, that Caitlin looks gorgeous – her hair is wonderful, and her smile is even better. I'd like us to be friends.

Hallo, queen ride: Rozanna Purcell

Rozanna Purcell

I frequently find myself thinking of new, exciting ways to prove that there is no God. The fact that Roz Purcell exists; can cook; owns a puppy as adorable as Wilko; and, ultimately, is really, really nice, is proof enough. (Sure, if there was a God, we'd all be blessed equally, wouldn't we?!)

If I had to quarrel about this, I'd like to have seen it with different shoes – the pointy toes feel a little day-at-the-office with an otherwise scorching ensemble – and I would always, always, recommend keeping one's leg inside one's thigh slit, but those are minor issues with what was, otherwise, a fairly winning get-up. We get it, okay, Roz? You're a 10. We get it.

Jessica Rabbit vibes: Aoife Walsh

VIP Style Awards 2016 Aoife Walsh

I would, historically, have been pretty vocal about my tiredness with seeing hot women wearing body-hugging dresses (it's just so obvious), but this emerald green sequinned number just works on former Miss Ireland Aoife Walsh. Plus – and here I'm letting myself down with nods to my Disney / cartoon obsession – it's a total Jessica Rabbit vibe, with a serious touch of class (I think it's the earrings). Good hair never hurts, either.

A turn up for the books: Rosanna Davison

Rosanna Davison

It's unfortunate – and nothing personal – but I rarely like what Rosanna Davison wears. I always feel like there's too much sparkle, too much hair, too much make-up... But this is where I shut up and admit it: Rosanna Davison looks deadly. The red works so well with her colouring (although, please, let's stop with the Lady in Red puns, shall we?), the relaxed updo is just perfect and the make-up is stunning.

Now, while y'all know I love me some cape action, I didn't love the double thigh splits. And I feel like the Grecian theme – cuffs, earrings, sandals – was a little overdone. But who cares what I think?! Rosanna looks awesome.

In living colour: Elaine Crowley

Elaine Crowley VIP Style Awards 2016

Elaine is always getting slated for her red-carpet choices, but I just don't see how this is going to be criticised, unless they want to start panning her for having tits, and not hating them. The colour is gorgeous, the gold bag is perfect and I'm really impressed that she didn't go OTT with her jewellery (I probably would have).

I love Elaine's fringe, but I probably would have swept the rest of her hair behind her shoulders – only to show off the neckline a bit more. But that's nitpicking, because she really looks incredible.

Abs on fleek: Courtney Smith

VIP Style Awards 2016 Courtney Smith

It's been a while since Coco got it wrong (I'm tempted to find some very old pics to make myself feel better, but I want this to be a positive space*) – and this is just another on her long list of fashion hits. It's by Cushnie et Ochs, customised by the Zip Yard, and so very, very slick. I have nothing much to say about this; I wish Irish slebs had assistants to hold their bags, like at the Oscars, but really, I'll get over that.

So there you have it! The outfits I loved at the 2016 VIP Style Awards. Do you agree? Disagree? Anyone else tickle your fancy?

* We all know that's not true.