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Spring Fashion Peaks At Royal Randwick

By Julieanne Horsman

If you enjoy dressing up or simply appreciating the style of passers-by you’ll be in your element at The TAB Everest at Royal Randwick tomorrow. In just its second year Australia’s richest race has become Sydney’s biggest race day and the trackside fashion is outstanding to boot.

Emma Wells won The Harrolds Fashion Chute at Moët & Chandon Spring Champion Stakes Day.

Whether you make a bold statement or opt for an understated outfit is an entirely individual choice but there’s an added reason for racegoers to put in that little bit extra in the fashion stakes tomorrow,  the Harrolds Fashion Chute. The competition, which replaced the traditional fashions on the field, requires men and women to have a professional photograph taken in the purpose-built marquee between 11am and 1pm for a chance to win a share of more than $20,000 in prizes. Some of Sydney’s leading influencers of style including milliner Nerida Winter and The Daily Telegraph’s Elle Halliwell will choose finalists to participate in a fashion parade before revealing their top pick.

If last weekend’s Moët & Chandon Spring Champion Stakes Day is anything to go by, we’re in for a real treat tomorrow. A mix of bright block colours and pretty patterns dominated the lawns with wide-brimmed hats the most popular millinery choice. From a line-up of twelve stunning finalists country girl Emma Wells, who had driven up from Young in the South West Slopes, was announced the winner. Her royal wedding-inspired outfit got the tick of approval from the judges and while Emma looked a million dollars she certainly didn’t spend it.

“I love the modern vintage look and I knew that was the direction I wanted to go with this outfit,” she said. “I was inspired by the dress worn by Abigail Spencer to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s wedding so I found some polka dot material and had a similar design made. The millinery was an op shop find, lovingly restored and updated by Jade at Sovata. My accessories were all borrowed from my friends and I hired the YSL bag from Adorn Collection.”

Savvy women are increasingly choosing to hire all of part of their outfit. It’s simple, cost-effective and means you never have to be photographed in the same outfit twice. Anastasia Pappas from Australia’s leading online dress hire company GlamCorner says they experience a surge in business around major race days.

“Usually when you buy an outfit for the races you are torn between the perfect dress for your desired look and something that you can make use of again that may not stand out as much,” Miss Pappas said. “Hiring opens up endless possibilities for customers who can choose from thousands of different styles from hundreds of designers for an affordable price point. Renting also eliminates waste so it’s better for the environment.”

The Harrolds Fashion Chute recognises style and creativity. Winner Emma Wells is pictured third from right.

GlamCorner also offers fascinators, crowns and hats for hire. While millinery is by no means compulsory for the races, most people do choose to wear something on their head because unless you’re lucky enough to be invited to a royal wedding there aren’t many other opportunities.

“Gold and silver crowns are popular and this year the bigger the crown the better like the collection from Eve Til Dawn,” Miss Pappas said.

Putting together an outfit can seem like an overwhelming task, especially if you’ve never been to the races before, but starting with one item like a beautiful hat or a unique clutch and building piece by piece is the simplest way. The TAB Everest is a daytime event so neither a floor length ball gown nor a tight sequined mini is appropriate. Instead, choose an elegant dress, skirt and top or pants for something different. For the ladies, power suits are having a moment. Team it with a wide brimmed hat, drop earrings and killer heels for an effortlessly chic look.

“Trending colours for this Spring Carnival include red, blue, pink, and purple,” Miss Pappas said. “Designers such as Rebecca Vallance and Thurley have collections featuring these colours and have been really popular with our customers.”

Racegoers who choose to enjoy the day in General Admission are required to be neatly dressed while those with Members tickets must adhere to a more strict dress code. Denim, joggers, midriff or cutout tops, shorts and playsuits are not permitted in Members areas.

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