She’s like my little sister – one of the sweetest, happiest people I’ve ever known. She has the goodness of a labrador puppy - she makes you feel better about everything. Even when you’re really down.
Combine this bit of magic with the legs, the hair, the smile and it’s a pretty formidable package.
She’s been in Melbourne for the past week attending Derby Day, Melbourne Cup and Oakes Day – that’s a lot of hats and shoes – so I asked her to keep a frock diary. Here she shares her pre-racing prep and style survival guide for the most fashionable race meet of the year.
Fashion On The Field.
What’s your favourite thing about the races?
I love that you really get the chance to dress up. It’s not everyday you can wear hats, fascinators and items that push the fashion boundaries. Race wear has a long history and is full of tradition. I love this aspect too.
What do you love most about the fashion at the races?
I love that everyone puts in a lot of effort. It’s great to see the men dressed like gentlemen and the women like ladies.
What are the biggest fashion mistakes you see people make at the races?
The biggest fashion mistake anyone can make is dressing up like they are going to a nightclub or cocktail party! You have to remember it is a daytime event so dress accordingly. And PLEASE don’t take your shoes off.
Do you think there are any specific rules that need to be followed at the races?
Pay attention to the rules of race wear for different seasons. For example, felt is acceptable in autumn and winter but not for the spring races. Don’t wear anything strapless or too revealing and always take your hat or fascinator to the hairdresser with you so they can fit it properly!
How did you decide on your hair and make-up look?
The hair and make-up is the final piece to the puzzle. I always lay my outfit and all of my accessories out then talk the look through with my hair and make-up team. I have been working with Michael Brown for my make-up and Caterina Di Biase from Heading Out on my hairstyles. I give them a general idea of what I think I would like then we work together to create the look. I love experimenting with colour, I love a bold lip and I like my hair out.
Did you use a stylist? Why? Why not?
I am lucky enough to have my beautiful sister as my stylist. She is a creative soul and loves to pull things together to create an outfit for the various events I attend. I go to so many functions and events and always need to have so many different outfits so someone to help me out with that makes life less stressful!
Hats or fascinators?
Hats. I like hats because they are more traditional. I also think its fun to experiment with the idea of a hat, put your own twist on it and inject some personality in to it.
Are there certain details or designers you look for when it comes to picking a race day hat?
I like to experiment and have fun. It’s really the only time of year we can wear crazy headwear. It’s all in the detail so it needs to be finished perfectly. Kerrie Stanley doesn’t let any of her work leave her studio unless it is perfect so I was lucky in that aspect.
What She Wore.
Talk us through how you choose your outfits for the races?
My stylist, who also happens to be my sister, puts together a PDF of all of her ideas and inspiration for the different race days then we go through it together and choose the things we absolutely love. Derby is traditionally black and white so we worked with that and did something different with the hat.
Melbourne Cup is when you can really experiment and have fun. It’s the day you can go all out! I found a gorgeous one-off beaded Manning Cartell skirt which I had been wanting to wear for a long time but couldn’t find the right event to wear it to. It was hard to find a top to match so I approached Steven Khalil who created a custom-made French lace top for me. I LOVE it! Because the outfit was all white we wanted to do something very different with the hat. I wore a turban in a photo shoot I did last year and have been waiting for the right time to wear another one. I worked with Kerrie Stanley, one of my favourite milliners, to design something turban inspired for the day.
The inspiration for my Oaks Day outfit was drawn from the Dolce and Gabbana Cruise Runway show. We loved the idea of a headscarf and bold, bright colours that popped!
What She Wore: Ginger and Smart dress; Kerri Stanley hat; YSl clutch and shoes; Raphael jewellery.
What She Wore: Steven Khalil blouse; Manning Cartell skirt; Kerrie Stanley hat; Roberto Cavalli handbag; YSL shoes; Raphael ring.
What She Wore: ASOS dress; Kerri Stanley hat; YSL clutch; Zu shoes (last minute purchase!); Claire Aristides bracelet.
What’s your ‘getting ready for the races’ routine?
It’s always important to get a mani and pedi. I am not a fan of a spray tan at the races so I just use a light tanning moisturiser the few days beforehand to get a natural summer glow. I love Vani-T Bronzing Custard and Asayana Tan Extender! I also suggest laying out your outfit and accessories the night before, have everything steamed and ready to go so that you are not stressed in the morning.
Do you listen to music as you get ready? What’s on your playlist?
Yes, I always have music playing…it depends on what mood I am but on my playlist this morning was Ellie Goulding’s new song “Anything Could Happen” and I have Frank Ocean’s album “Orange” on repeat.
Do you indulge in any pre-races pampering, like a mani, massage or facial?
If I have time I will but I rarely get the chance. I always try to get my nails done but if I can’t I have a little manicure kit I carry around so I can do it myself.
What’s in your race day clutch?
Powder as it’s important to touch up your T-zone so you don’t get shiny! I always carry the lippy I am wearing in my bag. A few bandaids in case I get blisters, as it’s a long day on your feet and taking your shoes off is a big no, no. My phone as there’s nothing like a good Instagram pic trackside. Some cash so I can have a cheeky bet or two.