Louisiana Derby Fashion at the Races Contest

New Orleans’ Hottest Race Day

Who needs an excuse to travel to New Orleans?? Saturday March 23rd brings Fair Grounds most exciting raceday – Louisiana Derby! Fashion at the Races for the second time will travel down to New Orleans to put on a full scale fashion contest in their ‘Party Tent’ on the track apron. Ladies will be invited to compete in their best raceday fashion in front of our celebrity judges to win a fabulous pack of prizes.

Fashion at the Races’ Bri Mott will host the competition while the ladies and gents line up in front of our judges and the fashionable crowd in heats of 8-10.  From the first round, 10 Finalists will be selected to once again walk in front of our judges and from that group, the winner will be selected.

FATR Gift bags will be given to the 60 female contestants and the 30 male contestants and a fabulous prize pool including shopping sprees and a bottles of Woodford Reserve Bourbon and racing vouchers will be presented to the winner.

The Fashion at the Races Contest was established in 2012 to celebrate the traditions of fashion in the horse racing world. Fashion has always been a staple of popular horse racing events dating back to the Great Depression. Ladies and Gents would put on their best dresses and suits, adorned with beautiful millinery, and head to enjoy an elegant day at the races. The Kentucky Derby has always promoted fashion and has created its own sense of raceday style and now other tracks have embraced the fashion activation including Fair Grounds in New Orleans.

“The FATR Contest has grown in popularity and prestige each year and we are excited to bring it the New Orleans for Louisiana Derby Day.” -Bri Mott, FATR,  “I look forward to seeing the ladies dress up and have fun on stage in the hopes of taking home the prize. Regardless of the winner, everyone always enjoys the event and it just seems to add something extra to the raceday.”

Any questions, please email briana@fashionattheraces.com

Registration: 12:00 to 2:00pm at the Apron Tent (***First 30 male and 60 female to sign up)

Contestants will be judged on raceday fashion, millinery,  and overall appearance and deportment. 

10 finalists will be chosen from the full group of contestants to ‘re-strut’ their stuff in front of the judge, giving them one last chance to make an impression for the win. One winner will be chosen along with a runner-up and 2nd runner up.



Winner: $125 Gift card to Neiman Marcus Last Call (The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk)

$125 Gift card to Nordstrom Rack (The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk)

$150 Voucher to Fair Grounds Racecourse

Bottle of Woodford Reserve Bourbon

2nd Place: $100 Voucher to Fair Grounds Racecourse

3rd Place: $50 Voucher to Fair Grounds Racecourse



$125 Gift card to Neiman Marcus Last Call (The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk)

$125 Gift card to Nordstrom Rack (The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk)

$150 Voucher to Fair Grounds Racecourse

Bottle of Woodford Reserve Bourbon

Louisiana Derby Day Fashion Contest
First Post: 11:00am

Sign up Period: 11:00am to 1:30pm 

Contest Timing & Location: Once all finalists have been selected, the Contest will take place in the ‘Event Tent’ located on the track apron. All finalists must arrive at the stage no later than 2:00pm.

The approximate breakdown for the Contest is outlined below:
• 2:00pm – Contest & Judge Introduction
• 2:05pm – Men’s Showcase – All (30) finalists walk the stage (3 heats of 10) to showcase their outfits
• 2:15pm – Judges’ deliberation period
• 2:20pm – Top 10 announced. Group photo will be taken. Top 10 will then be asked to give one final walk while judges make their selection for the Top 3 (Race 6 run)
• 2:30pm – Women’s Showcase – All (60) finalists walk the stage (5 heats of 12) to showcase their outfits
• 2:40pm – Judges’ deliberation period.
• 2:45pm – Top 10 announced. Group photo will be taken. Top 10 will then be asked to give one final walk while judges make their selection for the Top 3. (Race 7 Run)
• 2:50pm – Top 3 announced. Flowers, sashes & prizing will be distributed. Group and individual winner photos will be taken.

Good luck to all the fabulous men and women on the day!

Contestant criteria 

All Contest contestants must adhere to the below criteria, and acknowledge that they understand and agree to abide by the criteria, as they register in order to enter Fashion at the Races Contest:

  • Contestants must be 21 years of age or more to win
  • Contestants and/or their outfits are not permitted to promote commercially a brand, store or designer
  • Contestants must not receive any compensation from a third party for entering this competition
  • Female contestants are encouraged but not required to wear headwear
  • All prizes awarded to the contestant must remain the property of the contestant

Judging criteria

A panel of judges will base their vote on the following:

  • Style and originality
  • Appropriateness of the outfit for the Louisiana Derby
  • Attention to detail with accessories
  • Understanding and interpretation of the current fashion trends
  • Grooming and deportment

Congratulations to our 2018 Winners, SarahJane Brady and Gary Luccioni

We caught up with SarahJane after the contest to get the details of her outfit:

  1. What brought you to the Louisiana Derby this year? Have you been before?

We went the Derby to celebrate my best friend Sean’s birthday and enjoy a beautiful day at the track. The Fairgrounds is always an enjoyable day.

  1. Tell me about your dress. 

I found my dress in a tiny vintage thrift store in Brookhaven, Mississippi. We often gloss over the beauty of small town style. I was looking for a dress that had an eclectic and classic flair. And what I found was this spunky early 1990’s light pink dress reminiscent of a mid century ballerina. I paired the dress with a pair of hot pink low pumps, lace gloves, and pearl bracelet and necklace. My favorite accessory is a vintage 1960s white beaded handbag that I found I another small town store.

  1. What about your hat? 

My mother wore this hat to my daughter’s First Holy Communion, and it was white and quite large. With a few updates (including spray painting the fabric) and adding couple paper flowers, I transformed it from church lady to Derby Day fashion.

  1. Did you think you were going to win the fashion contest? How did it feel? 

Absolutely not. There were many stunning outfits, and flabbergasted that I was chosen. It was quite the whirlwind and a delightful surprise. I personally thanked each judge for being so kind!

  1. Congratulations on winning the shopping spree at Riverwalk! What do you think you want to buy with it?

Accessories. An outfit is always better with a little extra… jewelry, gloves, hat, clutch, pumps, sunglasses!  (Check out Riverwalk Outlets here)

  1. Will you be sharing your Kentucky Derby bottle of Woodford Reserve? 

Already did, we opened it at the Derby and celebrated! What is a Derby without a good bourbon?

  1. How did the rest of the raceday go? Win any money? 

Unfortunately, I did not win on any of the races this year. But my first Louisiana Derby was about a decade ago, and I bet on the long shot and won $1,000!

  1. What is your advice to any ladies wanting to compete next year? 

I loved seeing everyone in their individual style — modern, classic, fun, simple, extravagant. You do you. And enjoy it, of course!


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