Oaks Day is traditionally ladies’ day so the dress code is all about soft feminine looks. It’s the perfect time to embrace my girly side, so I always have a lot of fun with my outfit on the day, favouring pretty prints and accessories.
I saw this Prada dress and thought it was perfect for the occasion. The accordion pleat skirt and the frilled bib detail is classic and polished, but the playful lip print gives it a more modern feel. It’s always fun to work a print into a race day look and I tend to gravitate towards those that are fun and have a vibrant energy.
It’s always great to designate a focal point to any outfit and in this instance it was definitely the dress. Pink and black is always a fun colour combination so I decided to accentuate the touches of pink on the dress with dark accessories. Of course, I couldn’t go past the black textured Maticevski Prometheus clutch with urchin-like beaded detail—it added a fashion forward element to my look and I love accessories that are unique looking. Black heels with knotted detail and an oversized bow worked well with the rest of my outfit. But it’s always fun to incorporate some truly beautiful jewellery into any race day look and the Chaumet bracelets I was wearing added a luxe touch to my ensemble.
The varied dress codes during spring carnival mean that there’s an opportunity to play with lots of different looks. This floral beauty by Alessandra Rich would be ideal for Melbourne Cup or Oaks Day with its feminine feel and vibrant pink shade. Working with pieces incorporating striking details is always a guaranteed way to achieve a winning look, especially when there’s also a strong silhouette in play. The statement sleeves and high neckline along with ruffled finish work together to create an ensemble that’s a little bit different.
A statement dress requires a pared back approach to accessories. It was a no brainer to work a Prada headband into the look, especially when it’s a complementary pink colour which creates additional cohesion within my look. A headband is seriously one of the easiest ways to tick the headwear box when it comes to spring racing outfits, not to mention it’s on trend so definitely make it a go-to. Working with such vibrant hues I opted to keep my shoes simple and chic—two-strapped Giuseppe Zanotti heels with a crystal heel for just the right touch of glam.
Photography by Sophia Athas, Hatrik
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Dress: Ruffle-trimmed Floral-print Silk-organza Mini Dress, Alessandra Rich
Whether you’re attending Derby Day, Oaks Day or Melbourne Cup, half the fun is being able to pull together a beautiful outfit. I’ve been going to the races for years and it’s still such a thrill being able to play with different looks to suit every big event during spring carnival.
I’ve been lucky enough to work with Net-a-Porter during this time for the last few years, and it’s allowed me to wear some truly beautiful pieces and has given me so much fashion inspo along the way. The best thing about attending the races is the fact it’s the perfect opportunity to push a few fashion boundaries, try new trends and of course, enjoy getting dolled up.
If you’ve got a date with the races here are a few looks that will have you totally owning every single dress code.
Black and white is a must for Derby Day. It’s always such an elegant day trackside, as there’s a sea of crisp white looks or ultra chic black outfits (or a mix of the two hues) that takes the fashion next-level. If you’re working with a monochrome colour palette definitely don’t shy away from playing with textures whether it be embellishments or fabrication, embracing prints and adding elegant accessories such as pearls, which are hugely on trend at the moment.
A riot of colour
Key dates on the spring racing calendar such as Melbourne Cup and Oaks Day are the perfect time to embrace plenty of colour. Think punchy hues such as pinks and oranges, aquas and purples which makes both days a visual feast. When wearing colour it’s also a good time to let your outfit be the focal point and weave through accessories that are striking, yet slightly more subdued to allow your ensemble to shine. However it’s also the perfect opportunity to once again play with textures— think feathers, satin and gorgeous laser cut pieces.
I’m on reporting duties for the Caulfield Cup today and it was the perfect opportunity to rock one of my favourite trends this spring racing season—a beautiful, vibrant suit. This Rachel Zoe pants and jacket combination in a punchy bold hue is event appropriate and features a great silhouette including bell bottomed pants and a double breasted jacket and sophisticated finishing touches like an accent lapel.
A bold look requires some fun accoutrements. I decided on a small black bag by Rixo which is enhanced by a colourful beaded bracelet handle and gold shell clasp. The structured, boxy shape and patent leather finish make it the perfect piece to complement this look. Whilst a monogrammed Burberry scarf worn as a hair accessory elevates this look and gives it a classic feel.
Of all the days in the Melbourne Cup Carnival, Stakes Day is the most relaxed so I wanted to change things up a bit and veer away from dress territory. I couldn’t resist these pastel yellow pants and dramatic top by Jacquemus. The colour is fun and vibrant — perfect for a spring racing event. The top with its asymmetric silhouette and statement tie also adds a touch of drama to the look.
I was immediately sold when I saw these Ferragamo heels, most especially the gold column heel which adds a glamorous detail to such an understated design. In keeping with the trend for all things raffia, I opted for this Miu Miu clutch which has a light, summery feel and provided the perfect complementary accessory to the suit.
With such a strong outfit, I wanted to add some slightly softer pieces when it came to my jewellery. The pendant and bracelet from Chaumet features an adorable bow design, whilst the ring (which I also wore to Melbourne Cup) features a sweet floral design, all pieces that I think add a distinctly feminine, yet still understated feel to my look. To top off my look I went for a simple black straw hat by Nerida Winter—a sleek design that was the perfect finishing touch.
And just like that spring racing is upon us once again. This is always a hectic time of year for me as I have multiple events to juggle which means a number of outfits that I have to co-ordinate. And even though I’ve done it for years, styling just the right outfit can still be a little tricky at times as I have to take into account the dress codes, current trends and staying comfortable throughout the day.
One thing I do try and do every spring carnival is take a few style risks, experiment with different trends and elevate my look in various ways. It’s the perfect time to get dressed up and have a little fun with fashion. If you’re off to a few events, here are a few ways you can take your look next level, whether you’re opting for a bold, colourful ensemble, or a classic look of muted tones such as black and white. Here’s how to stand out in a crowd and pull together a winning outfit.
If you’re doing colour…
A colourful look makes an impactful statement so if you’re doing it, don’t be afraid to go bright and bold. Wearing a striking hue that packs a punch whether it’s shades such as fuchsia, a bright sunshine yellow or a rich green makes for a strong look. Now is the time to get in touch with your inner rainbow and try a few fun colours. I guarantee you’ll turn heads.
With coloured pieces it’s a great idea to also work with different silhouettes to give the look some further depth. A dramatic neckline, an elegant split or statement sleeves are all elements that can take your look to another level. The dress I’m wearing below works a vibrant pink with a Victorian neckline and an understated balloon sleeve and gives it a modern, yet classic feel.
It’s important to let your outfit take centre stage but that doesn’t mean you can afford to neglect your accessories. Quite the contrary. The right complementary pieces will enhance your look not detract from it. Headwear is a must at all racing events, so it’s a crucial component of your look. When wearing colour try having fun with your headpiece, incorporating texture and subtle embellishments.. My go-to is a great headband which is understated yet still hold its own, such as the star one I am wearing below. Other options I like include a straw hat or a beautiful turban, both of which I’ve worn in the past. Accoutrements should be the final finishing touch that completes your look.
When you’re doing slightly more muted tones such as black and white, it’s important to try and be a little more daring with the style and finishing touches to help elevate it. The black dress I’m wearing below features an on trend off the shoulder neckline, a textured finish along with a dramatic ruffled effect, all elements that that make it look far from an ordinary LBD. It’s a fun spring racing ensemble but with contemporary touches that make it stand out.
With black you can incorporate the colour head to toe, by wearing black accessories too, but choose pieces that have a little more edge to them to give the look some added depth. In the looks below I’m wearing two different headpieces, both of which are strong pieces in their own way. One is a beret which I feel gives the look a bit of a stylish edge, and adds an unexpected element to my ensemble, the other is an oversized bow headband which has a more playful feminine feel. Both are a great example of experimenting with headpieces—when you’re wearing black you have to ensure that your headwear is a knockout so the look doesn’t present flat.
Muted shades that are guaranteed to work—they’re classic, strong and have presence but it’s important to elevate them with the right finishes and accoutrements. By adding these touches, you are able to turn them into something that’s striking and different, whilst maintaining their general classic feel.
Christmas is just around the corner so it’s understandable you may be quite busy shopping up a storm in preparation for December 25th but it would be remiss of me not to point out that Net-a-Porter is having a crazy good sale right now. We’re talking up to 50 per cent off a looong roll call of designer brands including Chloe, Valentino, Gucci and more. So, now may be the perfect time to take a break from the frantic rush of looking for gifts for the fam (just for a little bit anyway) and find something to reward yourself for your efforts. Or you may very well find something unbelievable to gift to someone special in your life. In any case it’s well worth a look as you could find something that you’ve been eyeing drastically marked down or just stumble upon something you never knew you always wanted. If you don’t have time to scroll through everything here are a few things definitely worth adding to cart.
The perfection of the pastel pink shade was enough to sell me on this dress but it’s also well worth considering as a slip dress is a wardrobe’s best friend. Worn with sandals, heels, even sneakers, it can work for so many different occasions.
I tried on a few different outfits for Melbourne Cup this year and eventually went with this dress from Net-a-Porter by Alessandra Rich. I am really loving that brand at the moment and think the latest collection has some really strong fashion forward pieces. I usually like to go bold and bright when it comes to Cup Day and in this year I wanted to play with patterns given last year’s look was all about colour blocking and embellishment. I really loved the vibrant print of pink and yellow flowers on black whilst the bell sleeves and bow detail down the front help elevate it into a true statement piece. As far as my headpiece goes, essentially I decided that I had to wear this Gucci turban no matter what! Given its vibrant shade all other accoutrements had to revolve around it and I ended up opting for all pink accessories to tie the look together. Not only are turbans really in this season (I’ve always seemed to have a bit of a soft spot for them given my previous Cup Day looks) but the rose detail made it into a really striking piece. Melbourne Cup is usually always out there when it comes to what everyone wears, and this year I feel I’ve pushed my fashion boundaries with the shape of my dress and standout accessories… until next year!
As one of the more traditional days on the racing calendar, Derby Day is all about classic pieces in black and white. This year I wanted to stick to a mostly white ensemble and couldn’t resist this Roland Mouret jumpsuit from Net-a-Porter. I am really loving jumpsuits as an option for race day as it’s reminiscent of traditional suiting but with a more modern silhouette. With the sea of dresses on show it’s also nice to do something a little bit different and opt for a chic all in one look. To give the ensemble a ladylike and feminine touch I opted for a Jennifer Behr headpiece with net veil and oversized bow detail. My favourite Alaia studded heels and Salvatore Ferragamo bag help round out the look, and achieve a monochrome colour palette that’s in the spirit of the day.
When it came time to celebrate the start of spring and spring racing season with Net-a-Porter in Melbourne, I wanted a look that was classic and understated. Enter this white Miu Miu dress. I really loved the simple v-neckline and most especially the bow which is always a sweet finishing touch. Also I don’t know about you but I always love a dress with pockets—it’s definitely an underrated feature! I wanted to maintain the simplicity of the outfit so opted for a monochrome colour palette by pairing the dress with my black Alaïa heels. It’s definitely a combination that I can see myself wearing again and becoming a go-to ensemble for events that require a look that’s unfussy and polished.