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FLASHBACK: Caitriona Balfe's First Irish Tatler Cover 18 Years Ago

Shots from the actress' early days as a model in Ireland have hit the internet and they are the perfect noughties nostalgia.
Caitriona Balfe in a slinky black dress and top hat for the February 2001 issue of Irish Tatler

Two-time cover star and Outlander actress Caitriona Balfe's throwback modelling images have been released. 

Irish actress and former model Caitriona Balfe is a dream in structured tailoring and pink scrunchie dresses on the recent InStyle digital cover – which got us to thinking, that it's been 18 years since the Monaghan A-lister first hit the cover of Irish Tatler!

Fresh off the back of the press circuit she's just completed with Ford v Ferrari / Le Mans 66, it would be easy to forget about the four-time Golden Globe nominee's humble beginnings. 

At the age 18, she was walking for Chanel, Moschino, Givenchy and Louis Vuitton, to name a few. She was also once ranked in the top 20 models in the world and she has appeared on the covers of Vogue, Vanity Fair, Harper’s Bazaar and, of course, Irish Tatler (twice!).

On top of that, she’s somehow found the time to land roles in The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, in addition to joining the secret wedding society after reports circulated insisting that Balfe secretly wed her fiancé, Tony McGill.

Back in her modelling heyday, Balfe starred on the cover of the February 2001 issue of Irish Tatler magazine, then known as IT, in a specially commissioned shoot heralding the return of the black dress. 

Titled Black Vanity, the shoot, shot by Irish fashion photographer Kip Carroll sees the Monaghan model sporting full-length gowns and sequins by designers like Dries van Noten and Irish vintage label Jenny Vander. 

"It's official - black is back," reads the editorial, name-checking the black dress as the "quintessential classic staple that exudes a simple, sexy, sophistication."

Balfe shows off a slinky, backless dress, complete with top hat, lots of satin and lace and, dare we say it, some very early noughties eyebrow action. 

It's hard to believe that nearly 18 years have passed from Caitriona's last cover shoot to her current one, as the model-turned-actress continues to shine as one of the most beautiful Irish women to grace the cover of glossy magazines worldwide. 

Indeed, Balfe is a busy lady. And being busy in showbiz means one thing: a plethora of public appearances. Be it interviews, press junkets or red carpets, she's regularly in the spotlight, and this has required dozens of carefully considered outfits. 

Androgynous and graceful in equal measure. Balfe’s style is somewhat undefinable, changing with every look. From monochrome tailoring to metallic gowns, her one constant seems to be her signature red lip. With a wardrobe as broad as her talent, Balfe certainly makes for an interesting style case study.

The February 2001 cover of Irish Tatler

The February 2001 cover of Irish Tatler


Balfe's most recent Irish Tatler cover showcases a much lighter, romance-filled fashion rail, with floaty pieces from Valentino and Dolce & Gabbana all featuring, as well as a full interview in which Balfe reveals her latest role alongside Matt Damon and Christian Bale as well as talking about her rise to fame in Outlander and tackles the sensitive issue of #MeToo in Hollywood.

July 2018 Irish Tatler

July 2018 Irish Tatler

The February 2001 one, however, is officially so last decade. 

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