I love the races. I could say it is because being born on the year of the horse, I love horses, but the truth is I have always loved the glamorous fashions in the race fields. Growing up as a child one of my favourite movies was My Fair Lady, with Audrey Hepburn, and one of my favourite scenes was when “Eliza Doolittle (played by Audrey Hepburn) goes to the Royal Ascot Races” and wears a fabulous black and white lace dress with the most stylish over the top hat.
Above: Eliza Doolittle (Audrey Hepburn) and her stunning black & white outfit at the Ascot in My Fair Lady
It is fitting that I have since been to the Royal Ascot in UK to admire the top hats & tails, and also seen Queen Elizabeth who always makes a visit to the races regularly. Back in Australia, I have been to a few races and my dear friend and fashion stylist Kash O’Hara (Head Style Doctor) introduced me to the Royal Randwick in Sydney and the fashion events of each season – the Fashions on the Fields – which has now been replaced by The Fashion Chute.
This year’s Fashion Chute, presented by theraces.com.au and the Australian Turf Club, was held as part of the Autumn Carnival on Sydney’s glamorous race day, the Champion’s Stakes Day, where fashionistas (both men and women) can compete for a racewear fashion competition. The finalists selected compete in the final on The Championships Day 2, Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes Day, for prizes including return Emirates flights to Europe and a Moët & Chandon VIP Experience in France.
I joined my friend Kash on the Championships Day 1, Derby Day, which is my favourite, black and white fashion. I wore one of my favourite Ellery dresses, which has a volumous skirt, and added a velvet belt, and paired it with some killer Zimmermann Heels, and borrowed my sister Clarice’s hat by Sarah J Curtis.
Above: Style Doctors at the races, me & Kash (on right)
Kash & I met some beautiful fashionistas competing at the Fashion Chute, where the Style Doctor interviewed a few of the competitors on their style inspirations for the outfits for the day. There were some great styles this year, some very creative headpieces, intricate millinery, as well as some very unique and beautiful dresses by a number of contestants who designed and made their own dresses for raceday.
Kash had also styled My Kitchen Rules contestant Betty Banks for the races, in a black dress by Nicholas that showed off her great figure and her amazing tatoos, and paired with the Sarah J Curtis hat (coincidentally the same as mine ;).
We also met milliner to the stars, Viktoria Novak, who wore a stunning Dolce & Gabanna dress and her own head-piece.
Above: Kash & I with the very stylish milliner Viktoria Novak.
And what is a race day without a cheeky bet and some champagne.
Above: Placing a bet and some champagne and below, my entry photo to the Fashion Chute competition, complete with the cheesiest pose.
Unfortunately we didn’t win on any of the races that day, but my friend Kash went on to compete for the finals at the Fashion of the Field’s Fashion Chute at Championship Day 2 and won the final competition! Her winning look, this stunning white Ellery dress, which she wore with a custom-made leather turban by milliner Jane Stoddart and amazing YSL heels, and personalised monogrammed clutch by the Daily Edited.
Above: Kash’s winning look, complete with those killer YSL heels.
Kash won the Fashion Chute at Royal Randwick races beating over 500 entrants over the 4 week Autumn Carnival held at both Rosehill Gardens and at Royal Randwick. The final award was judged by a panel of esteemed judges including Edwina McCann, Editor-in-Chief at Vogue Australia; designers Alexandra and Genevieve Smart from Ginger and Smart; Nerida Winter, the Official Milliner to the Australian Turf Club; and Robert Carroll from The Strand Hatters.
Above: Vogue’s Editor-in-Chief Edwina McCann presenting Kash with her winning prize
Kash did look stunning and was a well-deserved winner. Now if only I could convince Kash to take me along her trip to Paris instead of her hubby. 😉 Well done Kash!
Pictures from my own Iphone, The Style Doctor and the Races photographer (Paul McMillan).