What to wear at the Caulfield Cup 2017:
The inaugural event of Melbourne Spring Racing Festival, Derby Day is a traditionalist’s delight. Derby Day is set in the classic mode, with strict etiquette and dress code to follow. Derby Day is about monochrome, about tints and tones of black and white.
On Derby Day 2016, monochrome will manifest itself in every avatar, ranging from grids and checkerboards to graphics, chevron and black and white stripes. Stark whites or solid blacks with a few examples of black and white colour blocking will be visible. Lace will be abundant in sheath dresses, maxi and midi dresses and dainty hatinators. Speaking of headgear, a few avant garde shapes will nestle cheek by jowl with fedoras, sequined hats, floral wreaths, miniscule pearl numbers and spiked tiaras. The frocks will be complemented with boxy minaudiere clutch bags and envelope bags with side slings.
This Derby Day, do not be afraid to experiment within the traditional monochrome dress code. Intersperse stripes with florals, combining the two seemingly conflicting trends. Offset the monotony of neutral dresses with bold and bright metallic bags. For an on – trend racegoer look, wear a ’70s dress with fluted sleeves or a ’90s off shoulder dress with a touch of shimmer. Metallic accessories are ideal for adding the glamour quotient to your Derby Day outfit without going overboard.
If you are generously endowed, you may wish to stay away from the ruched ‘new look’ dresses. Wear a kaftan dress by itself or over a pencil skirt. Define the waistline with a slim belt.
Do not write of the classic LBD. It can look stunning combined with a fascinator and a bejeweled clutch bag.
Men can do their bit to keep the spirit of Derby Day alive by sporting a cornflower – Derby Day’s official flower – on the lapel.
Follow Deidaa’s ‘Frocks and Fillies’ series for an event by event breakdown of fashion tips for the racing season.
How to Dress for BMW Caulfield Cup 2016
Curtains rise on Melbourne Spring Racing season 2016 with BMW Caulfield Cup Day. The elaborate marquees with their opulent décor offer intimacy and comfort. Each year the marquees have different themes ranging from over indulgent Rococo to provincial shabby chic. A safari themed marquee can be cheek by jowl with an English garden. You can rub shoulders with celebrities, sip Moet & Chandon and nibble hors d’ oeuvres created by master chefs.
BMW Caulfield Cup 2016 Fashion Forecast
While there is a strict dress code that rules out shorts, denims, parkas, pullovers and thongs, among others, the atmosphere at the BMW Caulfield Cup 2016 is a little more relaxed and youthful. The weather is benign this Caulfield Cup Day. Sunshine will yield to windy gusts. Mid length dresses with fitted torsos will be abundant. Punters will opt for the classic white on white or vivid colour blocking. Neutral dresses will be complemented with bright hats and clutch bags and vice versa. If you happen to be in a Safari themed marquee, a luxe animal print dress will flaunt your wild side. Go easy on spaghetti straps and cropped tops, warm weather notwithstanding. Too much skin showing is frowned upon. If you are unsure about how much skin to show, you may carry a light floral scarf, in case you are caught unawares.
BMW Caulfield Cup 2016 Fashion Accessories
Race wear is incomplete without accessories. Opt for the classic fascinators or you may dare to be different and wear your favourite scarf as a turban, a sequined beret in a fluorescent colour or a flapper headband. If you are having an anti – fashion moment, you may tie a bright graffiti patterned scarf around your head. A handbag with zebra motif will add pizzazz to your entry into the safari themed marquee while the ethnic bags with pompoms and danglers will infuse boho chic into your racewear wardrobe. There is a ‘70s revival on the runways and flower girls and psychedelic prints are hot trends to be followed.
Innovations like clutch bags with side slings or mobile bags are a boon to the 21st century race goer. They combine classic elegance with contemporary convenience. So does footwear like wide pumps or wedges that save you the discomfort of twisted ankles and trips to the podiatrist after the races. The floral printed ones or the nautical themed ones complement your floral or striped dresses. Bright coloured patent leather shoes are a safe choice if you prefer the spotlight to be on your bejeweled clutch bag or headscarf turban.
More on the next Spring Racing event next week!!
Deidaa Frocks Fillies… Fashion Tips for Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival 2016
Come spring and Melbourne wears a festive look. Board shorts and scruffy t-shirts are replaced with dapper suits, ties and pocket squares. Women vie with one another to get the right mix of dresses, heels, hats and bags. Melbourne Spring Racing Festival is as much about the frocks as it is about the fillies. The races are attended by celebrities and royalty from all over the world.
Fashions on the field at the Melbourne Spring Racing Festival sets many a heart aflutter. However, one must appreciate the subtleties of race wear before attempting to put together a spring racing carnival ensemble. One should follow some cardinal rules, when dressing up for the spring racing festival.
Deidaa Frocks Fillies Rule No 1.
Do not wear cocktail dresses to the races. Race wear and club wear are not the same. Fashions on the field is a blend of elegance and pizzazz. A race wear dress can be off shoulder or can have a deep back. If you are not comfortable with hosiery you may go bare legged. But do not combine bare legs with deep back and plunging décolletage. Draw the fine line between sexy and crass.
Deidaa Frocks Fillies Rule No. 2:
Do not follow fashion blindly. Fashions on the field is about highlighting your positive assets and minimizing your negative features. Wear shapes that suit your silhouette and colours that complement your skin tone
Deidaa Frocks Fillies Rule no. 3:
Fashions on the field apply to the complete outfit, from head to toe. Start with the dress and match the shoes, bags and scarves.
Deidaa Frocks Fillies Rule No. 4:
Accessorise correctly for fashions on the field. Add a new lease of life to your classic LBD with an on trend boxy clutch bag. The boxy clutch bag or the oversized envelope bag with jewels and rhinestones are what the fashion punters are backing this season. Clutch bags with extra features like side slings leave your hands free for the canapés and champagne. Combat possible rain and chill with a Pashmina or a silk scarf that can be discreetly tucked away and brought out if the weather plays a few tricks on you. A note of caution, do not over accessorise. If you carry a diamante clutch bag, go easy on the jewelry.
Deidaa Frocks Fillies Rule No. 6:
Be comfortable: Sky high stilettos look cool but do not feel cool when stuck in the grass. Spare yourself the embarrassment of walking bare feet at the end of the day. Fluorescent wedge heels in smart patent leather offer colour, comfort and safety for fashions on the field.
Deidaa Frocks Fillies Rule No. 7:
Follow Deidaa Frocks Fillies series for more tips on spring racing fashion.
Racewear and Degas Introduction:
Edgar Degas, the French painter, sculptor and print maker is regarded as a pioneer of the Impressionist movement. Degas himself preferred realism to Impressionism, painting common subjects like dancers, racehorses and cotton merchants. Degas frequented racecourses where the movers and shakers of French society congregated. At the racecourse, Degas found ample opportunity to study the movements of man and beast.
Racewear and Degas Hats and Scarves:
Degas collected fashion accessories. His penchant for hats and scarves finds expression in several of his paintings where his subjects wear headgear ranging from bonnets, veils and headscarves to top hats, middle eastern caps, trilbys and sunhats. In one of Degas’ early works, a pensive Roman beggar woman sitting on a a window sill, her head covered with a plaid scarf in neutral colours, epitomises melancholy and destitution. Degas painted his friend Alice Vilette in front of a window in his studio in rue Blanche. The red scarf and the black head dress could have been suggested by the artist himself.
Racewear and Degas Inspiration:
Degas touched the lives of everyday performers – dancers, jockeys and working men and women – through his sculptures and paintings. As we approach yet another spring racing carnival, we can learn a lesson or two from Degas’ works of art to accessorise correctly for fashions on the field. The fashion punters are backing the boxy clutch bag or the oversized envelope bag embellished with jewels and rhinestones this season. A statement clutch bag can rejuvenate a slightly weary dress. Clutch bags with extra features like side slings leave your hands free for the canapés and champagne. Combat possible rain and chill with a Pashmina or a silk scarf that can be discreetly tucked away and brought out if the weather plays a few tricks on you.
Emulate Degas this Spring racing season, his eye for detail and mastery over colour and form to achieve that perfect blend of sensuality and sophistication in your racewear.
Of Horses and Hats… Edgar Degas
Winter 2016 is officially over. Spring is finally at our doorstep, bringing in its wake the Spring Racing Festival. Spring 2016 coincides with a retrospective of Edgar Degas, a French Impressionist artist at the National Gallery of Victoria. Horse racing as a theme recurred in Degas’ work. Horse racing was a popular pastime of the bourgeoisie in the 19th century. Members of Parisian high society gathered at the racecourses, offering Degas an opportunity to study shapes and movement.
Degas collected fashion accessories. An array of headgear – bonnets, hairbands and bows, top and bowler hats, middle-eastern caps and wide brimmed sun hats adorn many characters of Degas’ paintings. Degas had a penchant for scarves. He catches ‘a Roman Beggar Woman’ wearing a plaid scarf in a pensive mood. He drapes a striking red shawl on his friend, Alice Vilette.
A full review of Degas’ new vision, coming soon on Deidaa.
Caulfield Cup this afternoon heralds the beginning of racing season and your ultimate nightmare is almost coming true – you have nothing to wear!! The frocks you have a re a size too small, they look tired or, worse still, the prints on them are outdated. How do you revamp your race wear wardrobe?
PROBlem 1: Your RACE WEAR wardrobe is overly populated with jeans, t- shirts and tracky daks.
Solution – Get your tracky daks out of the way. Tracky daks, though comfortable, are slob garments. They are ok to take your pooch out for walks, but are a definite no – no when it comes to dressing for the races.
Dresses and hats with coordinated clutch bags for women and suits with roses on the lapels for men are part of a time honoured dress code. Caulfield Cup has a reasonably relaxed dress code. For men, a tie and a jacket are not mandatory, smart trousers, shoes and long sleeved shirts are. Women are encouraged to wear summer dresses or tailored coordinates. A formal fascinator can be replaced with sequined hats or floral headbands.
Races are as much about dressing right as they are about horses. By dressing right you are only showing your respect for the tradition and etiquette of horse racing.
Problem 2: RACE WEAR Dresses are out of date.
Solution – Invest in frocks that do not date. A well tailored LBD in a classic style is a good example of this. Make sure the dresses have ample seam allowance (extra fabric inside the dress) which can be taken out or in response to a fluctuating silhouette.
Invest in over jackets in medium weight, all weather fabrics. Thrown over the dresses, these jackets can define or camouflage your contours. Long jackets have a slimming effect and can effectively conceal the extra kilos you may have gained.
Problem 3 – Cannot select colour or print
Solution – If you have the adventurous streak, opt for the bold and the beautiful – bright reds, tangerines, cobalt blues and emeralds. Opt for feminine frocks, clinched at the waist. Floral dresses work well as racewear. Go wild with African animal motifs or leopard print dresses. If you want to celebrate all things Polynesian, wear the frangipani or the hibiscus print with gusto. Replace the traditional fascinator with frangipani in your hair and usher in Pacific rhythm in racewear.
It is a myth that black and white suit most women. Black clearly outlines the body contours. It is recommended for women with perfect body shape. White is an advancing colour and makes you look bigger than you are. If you still prefer solid colours, opt for not black, but charcoal and not white, but ivory.
The trick to wearing solid colours is to accessorise correctly. Read more about how to accessorise racewear in the next post in Deidaa’s ‘Frocks and Fillies’ series.