Cup winning style at a good price


Models show off Spring racing fashions at Ascot. Picture: Lee Griffith

Since English model Jean Shrimpton stunned the nation by attending Derby Day in 1965 wearing a one-piece shift dress four inches above the knee, with no hat, gloves or stockings, racing fashion has been in the spotlight.

And whether it is the world famous Race That Stops the Nation at Flemington on Tuesday or trackside closer to home, women's fashion on the field has become an essential part of the racing season.

At Flemington's Melbourne Cup spring racing carnival some of the country's most fashionable women will step out in incredible ensembles, vying for the top prize in the women's race wear competition.

At WA's biggest Melbourne Cup event at Ascot race course, fashion is no less important, but you don't have to spend a million dollars to look it.

Perth fashionista Brooke Smith, who won the WA leg of the Myer Fashions on the Field National Competition at Ascot earlier this month created a classic black and white outfit, with Lady Gaga inspired shoulders and a pencil skirt.

The complete outfit, with a handmade fascinator, clutch and gloves, cost just $100, proving winning style does not need to be expensive.

Perth Racing marketing manager Kristi Ullrich said classic race wear was the key to looking your best on the day.

"A stylish dress accompanied with a head piece; clutch bag and heels sets the race day scene," she said.

"Black and white is a striking and sophisticated combination and true Derby Day culture, nude is highly fashionable with classic appeal and block colours and florals bring the vibrancy of racing to your style."

Hatinators have made a comeback again in 2010 and matching gloves are a sophisticated touch.

Perth retailers St Vinnies, Target, Myer, Billie & Rose and stores from enex100 put together racing ensembles, ranging from under $50 to almost $1000, showing ladies can step out in style at any price.

St Vinnies general retail manager Lisa Pappas said she had been surprised how many outfits, many featuring designer labels, could be put together from St Vinnies stores for under $50.

"We have dozens of hats, some of them made by well known milliners, and none of them cost more than $12," she said.

"It is really easy to put a look together and our volunteers love to help out.

"It shouldn't be daunting, it should be a fun experience and it is amazing what you can find."

Racing fashions to suit any budget

Models (Left to right)

Enex 100 - $1000 and under

Satch versailles frill dress $399

Mimco boudoir racer $239

Ninewest phyllis shoe $159

Mimco tinkle wrist $99.95

Witchery ribbed clutch $69.95

Total $966.90

Target - $250 and under

Stella McCartney for Target dress $149

Shoes $40

Clutch $20

Flower hairclip $10

Flower headpiece $15

Ring $10

Total: $234

Myer $550 and under

Jane Lamerton black and cream panel dress $159

Tony Bianco black peep toe shoes $139.95

Olga Berg black clutch $39.95

Gregory Ladner black and cream hatinator $159

Basque belt $49.95

Total $547.85

Billie and Rose - $750 and under

Lonely Hearts singles floral dress $325

House of Baulch new lucite clutch $190

Peep Toe miss soho nude shoes $235

Vintage gloves from model's grandmother

Total $750

St Vinnies - $50 and under

Hat (Claremont store) $8

Top (Retro Freo store) $6

Shirt (Claremont store) $8

Guess shoes (Retro Northbridge store) $15

Belt (Morley store) $2

Bag (Retro Freo store) $7

Total: $46