It’s not spring racing carnival time here in sunny Australia…but it is in the US and England. Or at least it will be soon enough.
In the US you have the Kentucky Derby (pronounced der-bee). When I moved to Australia, I quickly found out that there is Derby Day (pronounced dar-bee). Even though the Kentucky Derby is part of the US’s Triple Crown of Racing and huge racing event for the country, I’m afraid it can not compare to the spectacle of the Spring Racing Carnival here in Victoria and one of the big racing days is the traditional Derby Day, where the focus is on Black and White.
And if you aren’t familiar with horse racing in Australia, can I tell you it is a
big, BIG deal! I’m sure I’ll go in to it more at sometime as I love horse racing but part of what I love about it here in Oz is how they get the women involved by making fashion such a focus at the races. That was some smart marketing!
So Derby Day, it’s the first race day in the week-long carnival and as I said, it’s all about the black and white. Which means that I can’t help but think of the scene from “My Fair Lady” when Audrey Hepburn was heading off to the races in her black and white attire trying to impress everyone with her manners and style. Kind of the same thing happens here! Myer, one of the large retail stores here sponsors the Fashions on the Field competition at each race day and let me tell you it is taken seriously! Women spend big money on outfits hoping to win the car, the tens of thousands of dollars in prize money and all the other goodies and perks that come with.
Obviously some things have changed since Eliza Doolittle went to the races. As seen here hats are still a must have item for race day but size varies dramatically. Even though styles are of each contestant are different on Derby Day it is best to play off the classics. Each of these looks is lovely and ladylike. The big surprise was seeing the fabulous #197 do as well as she did in the comp wearing slacks! I thought that was fantastic! She looked great and would still be comfortable heading down to the stables to get a good look at her horse before the race! Keep in mind, these are the regular girls getting frocked up, not a bunch of celebrities.
On the right, we have some celebrity looks from Derby day. Over the past couple of years some of the ladies have been putting a bigger influence on white, but the LBD remains a race day staple. Although stilettos are beautiful and most of the ladies will wear them, because I do like to get closer to the racing and be down on the lawn for some of the races, I tend to work with either chunkier heels or wedges so I don’t sink into the grass! If you are a celebrity spending the day in the birdcage you don’t need to worry about being on the lawn so stilettos are fine.
Unfortunately, Derby Day is one of the race days I have not yet attended but hope to remedy soon. It won’t be this year because we will be in Spain but maybe next year. By then I should come up with something amazing to wear! Not that I would ever dream of going in the Fashions on the Field competition, I just want to fully embrace the spirit of being dressed in proper race day attire.
Have any of you attended Derby Day? What would you go with the LBD, LWD or some variation?
- Kentucky Derby 2012: Horses That Can Win the Derby (bleacherreport.com)
- My Version of the “Derby Fascinator”! (babyjill7.wordpress.com)
- Kentucky Derby Turquoise Hat of the Day (blogher.com)
- Another Kentucky Derby Hat (whatagreathat.wordpress.com)