Racing season is underway, with the Melbourne Cup Carnival kicking off festivities even here for us in New Zealand, with many hospitality outlets hosting screenings and long luxurious lunches today. Christchurch Cup and Show Week, Wellington Cup Carnival and Auckland Cup Week all follow in succession over the Spring/Summer season and as much as the events are about the thrilling on course action, the thrilling off course action that is race wear fashion is just as – or maybe even more! – appealing for many attendees.
Generally it’s easier to pick out your outfit first and then find headwear (an absolute race wear essential, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise) to match. As a guide, race wear follows an elegant and sophisticated code, a strapless micro mini won’t quite fit the bill here; think ladylike silhouettes and demure hemlines – it’s a fun opportunity to incorporate seasonal trends and your own personal style into your look while adhering to the etiquette. Kate Sylvester’s current collection boasts a plethora of gorgeous frocks in bold colours and captivating prints, our top pick is this leatherette dress in the hue of the moment – lilac.
Witchery have recently released a limited edition race wear range with pieces perfect to style you from head to toe, and we just love this coral dress from their mainline which will surely take you from a day out at the races to wedding season and beyond. Headbands are an easy way to add a little something atop if you may be too tentative to try bigger headpieces; there is a large variety of styles to choose from in stores at the moment, from turban style designs, bow headbands, floral and lace crowns to charming jewelled designs like this one from Mimco.
Lorelai Dress, $299 from RUBY (left), A Certain Charm Headpiece, $495 from Natalie Chan (centre), Fluid Silk Blouse $199.90, Satin Slip Skirt $199.90, Ellerslie Fascinator $79.90 and Autumn Heel $229.90 all from Witchery (right).
Florals are always a welcome sight at summer events, and at the races are no different, how pretty is this midi length floral dress by RUBY? Working with a pattern enables you to pick any of the colours featured to then highlight in your headwear, for instance the blush pink floral ties in with the blush pink and rose gold flowers in this gorgeous Natalie Chan headpiece, alternatively you could also opt for an emerald green headpiece such as this turban headband from Witchery. The Natalie Chan headpiece would also work wonderfully with this dreamy head to toe blush outfit from Witchery, choosing separates is a great way to prolong the pieces lifespan in your wardrobe.
Perhaps you could incorporate a headscarf into your ‘do, the clever team at blow dry bar Dry and Tea have made this easy having launched a new service aptly named ‘Tie Me Pretty’. They are offering clients the option of adding a scarf to any of their hair styling services for an additional $15, and have a range of looks on their menu, we particularly love the modern elegance of the ‘That’s a Wrap’ style pictured on the left. On the other end of the headwear spectrum is a wide brim hat, perfect for making a statement as well as offering practical sun protection, this Karen Walker design is imbued with her signature quirky charm and gorgeous in its shade of ink blue. Either of these headwear options would work well with this sweet floral day dress also by Karen Walker, depending on the style route you wanted to take.
Derby Day during Auckland Cup Week hosts the ‘Prix de Fashion’ competition-the national fashions in the fields final with finalists from all over the country vying out for the grand best dressed title and it’s an inspiring parade to behold as well as an exciting crowd to be amongst. Traditionally Derby Day calls for black and white attire for all attendees, and who doesn’t love a theme! Consider a smart jumpsuit like this tuxedo style from Storm or go bold in this polka dot dress by Kate Sylvester, and pair either option with this striking veiled headpiece by Morgan and Taylor. Add chic cat eye sunglasses and a mini cross body bag (go hands free so you can juggle your betting stubs and bubbly) for a look that’s sure to stand out.
If you’re heading to Ellerslie today for the Melbourne Cup here’s the key info you need to know:
– Gates open approx. 11.00am
– First race at Ellerslie Racecourse approx. 12.10pm
– Lexus Melbourne Cup race approx. 5.00pm (broadcast live on super screens)
– Last race at Ellerslie Racecourse approx. 6.00pm
– Event closes approx. 9.00pm
– Free General Admission
– Hospitality tickets start at $85pp
– Limited private areas and corporate marquee sites available. Contact Auckland Racing Club for more.
– Free parking and Ellerslie Racecourse is just a 600m walk from Greenlane Train Station