Northern Ireland news

Model agency boss Alison Clarke on her style choices for Ryder Cup WAGs

Suzanne McGonagle
23 September, 2016 01:00

WHILE the attention at next week's Ryder Cup will be on whether Darren Clarke's team can seal victory for Europe, much focus will be paid to the glamourous wives and girlfriends led by his wife Alison.

As Team Europe and Team USA do battle on the fairways and greens of Hazeltine National Club in Minnesota, the model agency boss will lead the so-called GWAGs - golfing wives and girlfriends - onto the sporting catwalk.

Just days before the couple travel to America, the former beauty queen was joined on Thursday by Darren at a fundraising event for the Northern Ireland Hospice.

Serving teas and buns at her model agency in east Belfast to raise money for the charity, Mrs Clarke described her fashion plans for the Ryder Cup wives and girlfriends.

It has become customary for the wives of the two team captains to plan the oufits for the women, which this year falls on the shoulders of Mrs Clarke for Team Europe.

With stunning women such as Erica Stoll, fiancée of Rory McIlroy and Nicole Willett, wife of English golfer Danny to style, Mrs Clarke said she had opted for a "luxurious, elegant" look.

"I've styled the opening ceremony outfits, but for me it is simple and chic, it's not about being over the top and likewise on the golf course, it's practical golf attire," she said.

"I think it's going to be cold, I think it's going to be wet so there's no point in us running about freezing. I've got beautiful cashmere sweaters and lovely scarves, wraps and we'll probably be in raincoats and wellies.

"Lora Piana International are an Italian brand, you will see the brand in Vogue, it's very high end and they have a relationship with the European tour, it was them that I went to and it's very understated, casual, gorgeous, luxurious, elegant.

"The colours I have gone for are muted tones, a little bit of navy, bit of grey and white so it's not as if we are going to be standing out like a beacon."

Team Europe's wives will face stiff opposition though from Team USA, whose GWAGs include Phil Mickelson's wife Amy and Jordan Spieth's stunning girlfriend Annie Verret.

But Mrs Clarke said while there was rivalry on the course, she enjoys a good relationship with their partners.

"It's a golf competition, it's not really about the women and what they're wearing, we're there to support our husbands," she said,

"I'm looking forward to going, we head over off on Monday. There's a lunch involved onTuesday with Davis Love III (US captain) and his wife Robin beforehand.

"Robin's a lovely lady, I've met her on several occasions before, she's good fun. She wants her husband to win as much as I want mine.

"It's all very polite, it's not bitchy. We will see all the other wives and girlfriends on the course obviously and they will be supporting their husbands and partners and we will be there for ours."

Mrs Clarke added: "The pressure is on Darren, I'm looking forward to it, but I'm nervous for his sake and I hope Europe can do it."

The former beauty queen also said she was proud to support the 'Big Coffee Break' event, which raises funds for the NI Hospice.

"I try to drum up as much support and really try to give it as high a profile as possible as they do need so much money," she said.

"It's such a worthwhile cause, whatever they're doing, we're behind them."

23 September, 2016 01:00 Northern Ireland news