Down Royal Ladies' Day: Style reigns at the races
Glamorous gowns and bold headwear were the order of the day for ladies attending Down Royal at the weekend, writes Amanda Poole
The style stakes were high as the 2013 Down Royal Ladies' Day competition was hosted on Saturday.
While some were there to watch the derby day action, others put in great effort to sport their finest outfits in keeping with the Escapism theme of the summer festival.
Alice Moore (22), from Belfast, saw off competition from six other finalists in the Fitzwilliam Hotel Best Dressed Lady competition and bagged a £5,000 prize.
While many women splashed eye-watering amounts on their elegant and colourful outfits, other fashion savvy style fans spent more modest sums.
Shauna Scott (38), an admin manager from Dunloy, wore a lime green get-up costing around £150.
"I shopped at Stone Rose in Rasharkin," Shauna said. "They specialise in handmade pieces and their jewellery is lovely.
"I got my dress online from the Amy Childs range and my shoes are from Next.
"I picked lime green to escape from the norm."
Mother-of-five Angela Caldwell (44), a civil servant from Banbridge, spent around £700 on her eye-catching duck egg blue ensemble.
"I made the fascinator, shawl and belt myself," Angela said. "My dress is vintage style from Diamond Dolls Banbridge. I got my parasol from The Linen Green in Dungannon and my shoes from Millars in Lurgan."
Shelley Bryans, a retail manager from east Belfast, arrived at the venue with friends in a Hummer as part of her 32nd birthday celebrations.
She spent around £100 on her green, white and fuchsia ensemble.
"I got my hat from Cancer Research UK on the Cregagh Road and customised it myself," she said.
"I got my dress in Topshop two years ago."
Strangford-based milliner Marie-Claire Ferguson (39) wore one of her own designs to compliment her monochrome and neon pink outfit, which cost around £400.
"This is my first ever time at Down Royal and I'm really enjoying myself," Marie-Claire said.
Melanie Talbot (36), a marketing manager from Dromore, spent £100 on her outfit, including just £9.99 on the buttermilk dress she bought from Oxfam in Coleraine.
"I decided to go for the whole Gatsby look, because I just loved the movie," she said.
"My friend made my hat, my dress from Oxfam has been customised a bit, my parasol is from The Linen Green in Dungannon and my shoes are Kurt Geiger; I got those at a swap shop."
Unison organiser Gemma Curran (31) spent around £500 on her navy and black dress and accessories.
"I'm wearing a hat by Marie-Claire Ferguson, I love the feathers in it, and my dress is from Biba at Victoria Square," she said.