Louisiana Derby Fashion at the Races Contest
Congratulations to our Winners, SarahJane Brady and Gary Luccioni
We caught up with SarahJane after the contest to get the details of her outfit:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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)
- 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?
- 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!
- 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!
New Orleans’ Hottest Race Day
Who needs an excuse to travel to New Orleans?? Saturday March 24th brings Fair Grounds most exciting raceday – Louisiana Derby! Fashion at the Races for the first time will travel down to New Orleans to put on a full scale fashion contest in their new ‘Fashion 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 email@example.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: $300 Gift Certificate to Neiman Marcus at the Outlets at Riverwalk , Bottle of Woodford Reserve Bourbon, $150 Racing Voucher to Fair Grounds Racetrack
2nd Place: $50 Gift Certificate to CD Glamour Cosmetics at the Outlets at Riverwalk, Bottle of Woodford Reserve Bourbon, $100 Racing Voucher to Fair Grounds Racetrack
3rd Place:$25 Gift Certificate to CD Glamour Cosmetics at the Outlets at Riverwalk, Bottle of Woodford Reserve Bourbon, $50 Racing Voucher to Fair Grounds Racetrack
2nd Place: $50 Gift Certificate to The Tie Rack at the Outlets at Riverwalk, Bottle of Woodford Reserve Bourbon, $100 Racing Voucher to Fair Grounds Racetrack
3rd Place:$25 Gift Certificate to The Tie Rack at the Outlets at Riverwalk, Bottle of Woodford Reserve Bourbon, $50 Racing Voucher to Fair Grounds Racetrack
Louisiana Derby Day Fashion Contest
First Post: 12:30pm
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:
• 2:15pm – Contest & Judge Introduction (right after race 5)
• 2:20pm – Men’s Showcase – All (30) finalists walk the stage (3 heats of 10) to showcase their outfits
• 2:25pm – Judges’ deliberation period
• 2:30pm – 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)
• 2:40pm – Women’s Showcase – All (60) finalists walk the stage (5 heats of 12) to showcase their outfits
• 2:55pm – Judges’ deliberation period.
• 3:00pm – 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)
• 3:10pm – 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!
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
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
Where to Stay and What to Do:
From Bri Mott
The Louisiana Derby is right around the corner. Having been to New Orleans for the races before I can give you a few pointers on how to enjoy your racing as well as destination to the fullest.
Spend the extra buck and book a hotel down in the French Quarter. You are only a short taxi ride away from the track and a walk from everywhere else. You will thank me! Hotel Monteleone is a gorgeous staple of New Orleans and also a proud partner of Fair Grounds Race Course. Gorgeous chandeliers will greet you right after the AMAZING door men open the door. (Trust me they will make your experience a happy one!) If the gorgeous chandeliers and charismatic doormen aren’t enough to peek your interest, just wait until I describe the Carousel Bar and Lounge! Around for 65 years and covered in various magazines and travel shows, this one of a kind bar is something that you need to see.
Regardless where you stay, stop in the Hotel Monteleone and experience a cocktail with unique and one of a kind surroundings. Yes, you probably need to fight for a seat but your wait will be rewarded. Grab your go-to cocktail or be adventurous and try something new! I tried one with raw eggs in it and have no regrets!
Be sure to chat it up with the person behind the bar, and the fellow drinker next to you. The interaction is as good as the cocktail as everyone in New Orleans is there to have a good time. Need a conversation starter?? Tell them you are there for the horse races! Everyone wants to learn about horse racing and how you are involved whether it be as a fan, an owner, a jock, a trainer, or just a little happy fashion blogger.
If you are attending the races on a Saturday, make sure you leave time on Friday and even Sunday to explore the area. Visit Café du Monde and enjoy their famous Beignets. Too busy? Get on the street car and travel down the famous St. Charles Avenue. Stop midway and find the New Orleans Coffee and Beignet Company and grab one there! See the grand old southern homes with their constantly glowing lamps and unique architecture. If you think you’ve gone too far, just hop off, walk a little and catch it on the way back.
Of course there is the famous Bourbon Street to visit. Where to go? Well pretty much anywhere. Hop in a spot with a live band. Grab a cocktail, (even if it is in a plastic cup), and boogie! Pet the Police Horse (asking first of course) and watch out for flying beads!
Heading down to #NOLA for the Louisiana Derby couldn’t get any better. With amazing culture, people, and of course race day- it is a destination to be appreciated.
Last tip- TALK to you taxi drivers. Ask them how they are. Where they are from. If they love New Orleans. If they have been to the races. Tell them about your horses or who your favorite jockey is. They will appreciate it and they will give you wonderful insiders’ tips of the areas. Put that phone down and interact!!
See you at #NOLA and of course the #LADerby! Couldn’t be more excited 😉