Sunday, 14 August 2016

Galway Races Festival Summer 2016 Best Dressed Ladies & Hats

Galway Races Festival Summer 2016 Best Dressed Ladies & HATS!

The Galway races kicked off in style for my hats this year with Triona O'Donnell winning Best Dressed in the Latin Quarter Best Dressed Competition sponsored by and judged by Lorraine Keane.

With Millinery to the fore on Tuesday at the First Furlong annual event at the Ardilaun Hotel in aid of National Breast Cancer Research the ladies were out in full racing style.  The Hat show was modelled by Catwalk Modelling Agency showcasing some of my racing hats alongside other Galway milliners.

Wednesday 'Plate Day' brought us to the Connacht Hotel where Ruth Kemple and Marietta Doran judged best dressed from the days racing in Ballybrit.  Ruth wore Suzie Mahony Designs accessories for her week's racing and Wednesday's look was complete with this striking orange silk Hat.

The biggest ladies day in the country sponsored by Theghotel for the first time, kicked off very early this year.  From 11.30 on Thursday!!

Each year I design hats for the Galway Races and this year showed that the Ascot Style is coming to Galway in a big way.  The beautiful big hats elegantly finished with dresses or jumpsuits, it was all there, stunning to watch.  Many had opted for something different as the judges guided at the Races Launch, 'maybe trousers or jumpsuit but they would be looking for a look that is definitely very different this year to anything we've seen before'.  Racegoers take advice and tips like this very seriously so it was no surprise to see such wonderful outfits and hats on the day.  They came from far and wide, its always lovely to see so many local Galway Ladies out in style supporting Galway Races at its best on ladies day.

Whether you wore a large hat or a quirky headpiece it was the overall look that was important and every lady there went to such effort and looked special.  Its such a pity only 20 are chosen from so many.  Maybe the time has come to let all the wonderful ladies walk a red carpet in front of the photographers and enter if they wish, then they can enjoy some of the limelight they deserve.

This year I designed a gold Grecian style beaded headpiece for Judge Mandy Maher.

Delighted to see Angela Dowd wearing Suzie Mahony Designs Black Silk Bow chosen as a finalist and later that evening at theghotel she was a finalist for the Best Hat Competition.

The winner of the day was Lisa McGowan - Lisa's Lust List wearing her own fashion label 'Strawberry and Lime' with matching headpiece.

For my own look this year I wore a navy Phase Eight Jumpsuit which arrived on the Wednesday afternoon!! yes very late but it was perfect and so comfortable, with navy shoes from Clarks, a fab bag I picked up in Portugal last year, jewellery and silk hat all Suzie Mahony Designs.   In pic with Sophie Small wearing one of my Gold Bespoke Hats.

A little peek at some of my clients for Ladies Day Galway 2016, check out Suzie Mahony Designs for lots more images from the races.

Happy Customer Judy Fitzgerald went on to the Clayton Hotel Best Dressed where she was a finalist wearing a beautiful Phoenix V dress with a bespoke hat I dyed to match.

Sarah Jane Moran meeting AP McCoy at the parade ring on ladies day, wearing a beautiful 3-piece suit from Olivia Danielle and Bespoke Cerise Hat from Suzie Mahony Designs.

Jenny Tierney sporting a peacock Wave Hat from Suzie Mahony Designs with this striking dress. 

Two Broke Divas - Louise Gallagher wearing a Black Silk Hat from Suzie Mahony Designs, check out details of her outfit on her blog.  

Ruth Kemple was chosen by Roz Purcell as a finalist at the Halo Nightclub best dressed Competition on Ladies Day wearing Royal Suzie Wave Hat with jumpsuit from Olivia Danielle.

Mary Lee owner Chez Lee looking radiant in this striking red dress with large nude / red hat.

On Friday I was delighted to be a sponsor alongside Athlone Town Centre for Friday's Fair Lady again this year, judged by Lottie Ryan and Marietta Doran.

Lottie Ryan looked radiant in stunning purple, I designed a purple orchid headpiece with tiny silk swirls in purple to match her dress.  This year saw a huge increase in ladies attending with a very relaxed but stunning array of outfits and hats.  A very enjoyable evening at the Champagne Tent.

What a week of style and so many events throughout the city and in all the hotels to entertain racegoers for the week.  Some real style treats along the way and of course the racing highlights.  Not forgetting Ruby's great win for the Guinness Hurdle on Thursday.  I didn't back a winner all week but I certainly enjoyed styling and creating beautiful hats for ladies.

Suzie x

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Galway Racing Festival Week - Events with Style and Hats!!

Events with Style and Hats!

What a week there is planned throughout Galway for the Galway Races.  There is so much on each day at the Race Course and also each evening.  The city will be buzzing for the week.  Here's a list of some of the special events planned where you can wear your beautiful hats and racing style.

Monday 25th July/12pm - Prom to the Paddock at the Salthill Hotel in aid of Enable Ireland
Prosecco reception, followed by a four course lunch with wine and style and fashion showcase.
Racing pundits Tracy Piggott and Tom Lee will also be on hand to offer their tips
MC for the event is Noel Cunningham, TV3 showbiz correspondent and best dressed male and female will be judged by style guru Marietta Doran.
Tickets for the event are €65 and include racecourse ticket and bus to Ballybrit at 3pm sharp. Tickets can be purchased from the Salthill Hotel on 091 522711 or from Enable Ireland on 091 545800.

Monday 8pm : The Latin Quarter  with Street Fashion Show
Guest MC Lorraine Keane will take us through the latest trends and stunning styles kicking off at 8pm followed with a best dressed competition in Busker Brownes Bar & Kirbys Restaurant judged by Lorraine Keane and Fashion Editor of Aoibheann Mc Bride. One lucky lady will walk away with vouchers worth 2000 to spend in the Latin Quarters.

Tuesday 26th July: 
First Furlong at the Ardilaun Hotel in aid of Breast Cancer Research
12.00 Lunch, Fashion & Races Extravaganza
* Sparkling Drinks Reception on Arrival with live music by Guinness Jazz Band
* Four Course Lunch with Wine * Millinery Showcase *Post Lunch entertainment by Love Shack
* First Past the Post “Raciest Lady” & “Bookies Favourite Gent” sponsored 

Wednesday 27th July:  XPOSE's Best Accessories and Headpiece Event at the Latin Quarter
Xposé's Lisa Cannon, Claudia Gocoul and Triona McCarthy will be popping in and out of all the bars, restaurants and stores throughout the Latin Quarter selecting finalists as they go for best headpiece and accessories. The finalists will be invited to a party in the House Hotel where one lucky lady will be chosen.

Wednesday/ The Connacht Hotel Marietta Doran will be pick the Best Dressed Lady on Wednesday from 8pm with the help of one of Galway's top bloggers The Beauty Kemple make sure you're in for a chance to win.

Thursday 28th July:Best Dressed Lady & Best Hat Competitions at the Galway Races
• 10.30am: gates to the racecourse are open • 11.30am: Judging will commence at the racecourse 
• The five judges will walk around the racecourse through the crowds and invite a select number of chosen finalists to the Ladies Day g Hotel Best Dressed Marquee, adjacent to the Champagne Marquee, near the parade ring.
• Finalists must immediately make their way to the g Hotel Marquee. The finalist badge is required for entry of the g Hotel Best Dressed Marquee.
• 2.30pm: all finalists gather in the g Hotel marquee for an informal chat with the judges.
• 3.30pm: the winner of both competitions are announced outside the g Hotel Best Dressed Marquee with MC Marietta Doran
• 4.10pm: the prize giving ceremony takes place in the parade ring

Casino Night at the Galway Bay Gold Resort with Bradley Motors Tkts €65 Table of 10 for €600
Shuttle from Racecourse (if required)/Drinks Reception/Casino Chips/Dinner/Auction
Music by Cafolla & Engel/Dancing til Late ....... Event in aid of Irish Injured Jockeys. 
This promises to be the highlight of Galway Race Week social calendar with live music entertainment.
For tickets contact Nuala at Galway Bay Golf Resort 091 790711 or

Make sure to tag and follow gosh_shoes_galway #ohmygosh on your Instagram snaps LADIES DAY to be in with a chance of winning Best Dressed Shoe with Gosh! Shoes
the g Hotel & Spa Best Hat & Most Stylish Man
Dining with complimentary prosecco in Restaurant gigi's - Bubbly Tipster Brunch hosted by Ruby Walsh & Katie Walsh - Live Music from The Supernovas – Cafolla & Engel – The Good Hustle Big Band – Spring Break 80s Band - the famous 'Best Hat' Competition on Ladies Day with Philip Treacy Prize [#gBestHat] - the 'Most Stylish Man' event with €1,000 strellson suit from Hanley’s Menswear [#gDapperGent]. For Cocktails – Dining – Fashion & Fun - the g is the place to be during Galway Raceweek! 

Hotel Meyrick "Most Stylish Lady Competition-" at 7PM
Sponsored by Fallers Jewellers, this year’s "Most Stylish Lady" competition boasts a coveted first prize fund of €1,500 worth of stunning jewellery and a second prize of fund worth €500 for the runner up.
Judges: TG4 Rugbaí Beo presenter Máire Treasa Ní Dhubhghaill alongside Mandy Maher, owner of Catwalk Modelling Agency and leading Irish model Mary Lee.
Thursday Night At Halo Nightclub:
Style never goes out of fashion in Halo & this Ladies day Ireland's top model, blogger & “Natural Born Feeder” Roz Purcell will judge our Best Dressed Lady competition. Former Miss Universe Ireland, Roz will be on the lookout for the most stylish, elegant and glamorous Lady in Halo on Thursday night with a designer handbag from Brown Thomas worth over €1000 for the winner. As we love our stylish men too we have a timeless timepiece from Hartmann’s Jewellers with our Best Dressed Gent winning a stunning Tissot Watch.

Clayton Hotel Best Dressed Lady and Gentleman Competitions for the evening.

Claregalway Hotel - Best Dressed Competition

Friday 29th July:Friday Fair Lady Competition at The Galway Races
Friday’s Fair Lady Best Dressed Competition is coming back to the Galway Races for the fourth year in a row with a prize worth €2,000 judged by Marietta Doran and Lottie Ryan

The best dressed lady on the evening will walk away with a €1000 shopping spree in Athlone Towncentre, a luxury hotel & spa break at theSheraton Athlone Hotel, a delicious meal for two in award winning restaurant The Fatted Calf, a €300 voucher to spend on treatments in The Laser & Skin Clinic in Athlone Towncentre and €250 voucher for a bespoke headpiece crafted by Suzie Mahony Designs.

Enter online for a chance to WIN Tickets to the event:

Fantastic choice for everyone all week in Galway.
Looking forward to it!!

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Rooftop Wedding Garden Event at the Sheraton Athlone

Rooftop Wedding Garden Event at the Sheraton Athlone

The Sheraton Athlone launches the fabulous rooftop wedding garden by hosting a beautiful fashion and bridal show for upcoming brides and grooms.  This oasis of privacy is in full bloom and is an ideal setting for any wedding party.

The Rooftop Party showcased the Sheraton at its best with canapes, bubbles, samples of dishes created by Rory Gabriel Executive Head Chef.  Cocktails and craft beer options were also on hand with help for you to choose your drinks menu.  Guests were also treated to a peek inside the 2-floor Bridal Suite with views of the river Shannon.  It really is a stunning wedding venue.

The fashion show with Catwalk Modelling Agency featured the best of exclusive style and bridal wear to the Sheraton Athlone.

Featuring the latest looks for Mother of the Bride and Groom from Olivia Danielle Athlone.

Millinery from my Suzie Mahony Designs collection complemented the style from Olivia Danielle.

They stock a large range of perfect hats and headpieces for all the top fashion labels.

Evening dresses from the brand new Debs Room  Athlone.

The collection of elegant evening gowns offers lots of variety in style, with a huge range of colours.  Something for everyone.

Well worth a visit for your upcoming special event or debs.

The Bridal section of the show was from Belladonna Galway, a stunning range of bridal dresses gracing the catwalk.

With the rooftop garden, the Sheraton offer a unique platform for weddings and a wonderful area for guests to enjoy a family wedding.

Delighted to be part of this unique show.

Suzie x

Friday, 24 June 2016

Complete Your Racing Outfit

Complete Your Racing Outfit

Planning your Ladies Day outfit begins early in the year.  With so many race meetings and exciting 'Best Dressed Lady' Competitions all over Ireland the racing season gains momentum once we have witnessed the stunning style and racing from Royal Ascot.  This year was no exception with the beautiful Duchess of Cambridge wearing soft creams and elegant Millinery.  A little sunshine puts us all in good form and gets us thinking about what to wear to the Dubai Derby in June, Galway Races, the RDS and others later in the summer.

The Weather:
You need to be prepared for the weather, we have had fabulous sunshine and torrential rain at Ladies Days so think about adding an umbrella to your outfit or even a coat, just check the forecast before heading out.  All aspects of your outfit need to be thought through to avoid added stress on the day itself.

The Style:
Irish ladies certainly know their style, its really about putting the correct elements together to look fantastic for racing.    Dress for 'you' in an outfit that fits your body shape and you will carry it elegantly. Choose a style you feel good in and you will look amazing.  The fashion colours for ss16 offer plenty of choice for your tone and whether you opt for a calm pastel soft look or the strong bold tones they can be styled to work for you.

Pic: I am with Emer Nash wearing one of my bespoke designs winning Best Irish Design.

Hat or Headpiece:
Having designed hats for nearly 15 years I really enjoy the creative element to racing millinery.  It allows for much more freedom in design.  Giving a unique look whilst complementing the colours and textures.  Hats are definitely in vogue this year for racing and the bigger the better.  Elegant wide brimmed hats are a stunning finish to any racing attire. Giving you an air of confidence, sophistication, a statement piece. I love an element of class, an edge on a design, a little twist or something a little 'out there'.
Hat Tip:  Wear elastics on your hat to secure it or a headband with proper foam cushions for comfort.

I designed a collection of statement 'Bow' hats a few years back and they really stood out, in different angles and embellished with contrasting veiling and beading they were striking with just a simple styled chic suit or dress.    Here is one of these designs I have designed for ss16 racing season.

Choose your bag and jewellery to enhance your overall look, have fun with them, use them to add an accent colour or a beaded collar to give a different look altogether.

Shoes must be comfortable!!  There is nothing glamorous when watching a lady, struggling to walk with painful feet.  Don't torture yourself with 5" heels, be honest with how high you are comfortable to walk in for a full day!!.

The main tip for going racing is to look and feel comfortable in your whole outfit and enjoy the racing!!

Thank you for reading my blog and I hope you find it useful. x

Monday, 20 June 2016

The Wedding: Mother of the Bride/Groom

The Wedding:  Mother of the Bride/Groom

Having a son or daughter getting married has to be one of the biggest moments in a parents life. As Mother of the Bride you are the main troubleshooter and being there for your daughter.  Learn how much input is required of you from your daughter, some ladies want to do almost everything themselves whilst others need a little more assistance and listening ear along the way.   With the excitement comes the various debates and discussions about 'what to wear', 'colours', 'style' and much more.

I have witnessed every conceivable scenario over the years styling Mothers of the Bride or at least I think I have until I am faced with a new one!!  Mums who have never worn a hat before, panicking about what to do.  The last thing to do is panic.  There is a hat or headpiece that suits every lady and when you visit my studio you learn the designs that best suit you and your outfit.

With the lapse of time comes the variety and changes in wedding ceremonies.  Weddings are held not just in churches now but on a beach, at a castle, in the hotel ballroom or abroad.   If you are travelling abroad your hat is your hand luggage!!

When it comes to choosing her outfit the Mother of the Bride is often guided on which colours to wear or not to wear, the particular 
look that her daughter wants to achieve for her wedding day.  This collaboration is wonderful between Mums and their daughters.  Spending time with each other during this process is precious and should not be stressful, you should be able to enjoy it and express what it is you feel confident wearing.   Mother of the Bride should be dressed for her own role not matching bridesmaids unless the Bride has specifically instructed this.

'Mum' is very important and she should be elegant, look her absolute best but most of all, 'Mum' needs to be relaxed on your wedding day so she can enjoy it, meeting family and friends. Sometimes, the importance of this is lost in all the drama.   If you are a little organised and plan ahead, everything will fall into place.  You don't have to go shopping for numerous days to find an outfit or dress.  Do your homework first, all the leading Mother of the Bride/Groom Boutiques in Ireland stock an amazing array of labels and staff are experienced in choosing the right style and colours for you.  

When clients arrive at my studio I really enjoy getting to know a little of their personality as this is key to choosing the right hat design for her.   I coordinate all the accessories, the headpiece or hat can be designed dyed to match, occasion shoes and bags are also dyed to match, an array of beautiful clutch bags and occasion jewellery to complement any outfit. Your whole look can change totally with the right styling.  This process is relaxed and often lets us see the real personality of the Mother of the Bride. Giving you a complete look head to toe for your daughters wedding at Suzie Mahony Designs.

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Style Tips for Ascot

Style Tips for Ascot

Royal Ascot is synonymous with elegance.  I love Ascot, watching all the style, the hats all shapes and sizes, the Royal procession and of course the beautifully turned out horses from around the World. If you never backed a horse you would still enjoy Ascot.

It is the racing fashion spectacle of the year for everyone to enjoy.  Ascot actually was first organised way back in 1711 by Queen Anne and has been attended by the Royal Family ever since.

With the Hat rules at Ascot you must have a base of more than 4' on your hat.   All my blog hats show bases of more than 4'. I always enjoy designing hats or headpieces for Ascot, there is just something special about styling the completed look for a client attending the Royal Enclosure.  Using the freedom to design from the dress or suit I can focus on the hat design that would look perfect on my client.  Have your hat designed with comfortable elastics or a narrow headband with foam cushions on it.  Ensure you hat is well packaged when travelling.

There is a certain elegance and finish about the whole look required for Ascot and this year is no exception.  Remember, fascinators are not permitted in the Royal Enclosure.  That title for a hair accessory never did appeal to me!!

Larger wide brimmed hats are making a return and are the perfect style for the Ascot Classic Look.   Strong vibrant colours are popular this season alongside the beautiful soft pastels working together like mixing mint and candy to accent your outfit.  Using a block coloured hat also works very well like this pink orchid hat.

If you are heading to Ascot you should check over the rules before choosing your outfit and hat.

Royal Enclosure Rules:- Ladies are required to wear dresses or skirts which are just above the knee or longer.  Shoulder straps at least 1 inch wide, strapless or halter necks are not acceptable and no spaghetti straps.  If you choose to wear a trouser suit or jumpsuit the trousers must be full length.

These rules ensure that the ladies attending Ascot are dressed elegantly, a perfect complement to the Gentlemen in morning suits!!

If you haven't got your hat yet, check out my online store at Suzie Mahony Designs and have your hat delivered to your door.  I hope you enjoy the festival which starts this week. !!

Thank you for reading my blog.

Monday, 6 June 2016

First Furlong Launch

Launch of First Furlong

Wow!! it certainly was a day for stunning colours and fabulous hats!!  In the glorious sunshine, I
attended the launch of the First Furlong Event at the Ardilaun Hotel Galway.   Sharing some of my own pics from the day. Guests included the Galway Milliners who will showcase at First Furlong 2016.  Suzie Mahony Designs, Emily Jean O'Byrne, Catriona King and Majella Dalton.

The array of colours for this photo shoot were amazing and made for very colourful pictures taken by Julia from Wonderfulife Productions.  Along with the weather and of course the stunning gardens of the Ardilaun.

Attending the launch were John Ryan Owner of the Ardilaun Hotel, Maria Kelly - The Ardilaun Hotel who host First Furlong each year.  Maria is seen here wearing pinks, black and ivory mix, with a Suzie Mahony Designs Hat.

Cora Casserley - Anthony Ryans who are sponsors of the Best Dressed Lady at the event.  Cora wore the soft aqua tones and we teamed it with a silk aqua and ivory orchid Suzie Mahony hat.

 Christine Costello from Breast Cancer Research.  First Furlong is in aid of Breast Cancer Research.

 Probably my two favourite colours Emerald and Cerise Pink so it was very easy to design this silk Suzie Percher hat trimmed with a sharp green feather to match my dress.  Ideal summer look for the launch!!
With Eliska McAndrew from Catwalk Modelling Agency looking amazing sipping lemonade wearing a Suzie Mahony Peacock trimmed hat in purples and greens.

First Furlong will be held on Tuesday 26th July during the Galway Races.  Hosted by the Ardilaun Hotel the event is a sell out each year in aid of Breast Cancer Research.  Arriving from late morning ladies and gentlemen are treated to drinks reception, lunch, music, amazing raffle and a stunning Millinery Showcase from Ireland's Leading Milliners all from the Capital of Millinery - Galway!!

Looking forward to seeing you there!!