I feel like I say this each time but this might be one of my favorite racing outfits to date!
I feel in love with Hong Kong designer Sarah Lai when I traveled across the pond for the Longines Hong Kong International Races. I was lucky enough to wear one of her gorgeous designs on raceday there and have been attached to her online shop ever since. She dresses the fashionable yet classic gal and that style is right up my alley. Do you remember the dress I wore in the HKIR?
I picked out this dress ages ago and knew it would be the perfect piece for Woodbine’s Queen’s Plate. The length of the skirt tied in with its ‘paneling’ for the perfect twirl made choosing my #QP16 outfit very easy! Plus, after contacting Sarah’s team and begging for some extra fabric, I knew I was able to tie in the perfect millinery.
When you see a racing fashionista in all of her glory and think ‘How does she do that?!’ … the answer is usually custom millinery. Planning the perfect raceday outfit is hard to do last minute; there are too many moving parts. Shoes. Hat. Jewelry. Dress. Purse. This isn’t just a “throw your LBD on, grab a bag and go!” Racing fashion is all about the details and to be precise in your details, you really need to put in the time and effort.
This was the first racing outfit that I was able to incorporate the exact fabric and pattern from my dress into my hat. Once I found out Sarah Lai’s fabulous team was able to accommodate my fabric request, I contact the talented Jenny Pfanenstiel from Formé Millinery to create a custom piece to tie into my dress.
I had the fabric sent to her and just let her do her thing!
“When Bri sent me the picture of her dress and I saw the panels and pleats in the skirt, I immediately thought of a pleating technique to compliment the dress. This would allow me to use fabric from the dress too in order to bring the whole look together.” Milliner Jenny Pfanenstiel, Formé Millinery
I knew it was going to be a long hot day at the races and my hair doesn’t fair too well in humidity (frizz ball guilty) so I brought in the professional to give me a clean elegant up do and set my make up for the day. I showed Make up and Hair Artist Karima Sumar a photo of a hair style I wanted to try and she absolutely nailed it! I wore my first Cat-Eye ever and think this might be my new favorite make-up. If only I could keep my hands from shaking with eyeliner! PS- I actually had a black eye (left) from a tubing/boating incident on my birthday (whoops!)- Karima, the Goddess that she is, covered it up and made me look pretty again!
Accessories stayed simple with borrowed royal blue earrings, my elegant Longines timepiece to keep me on time, and a white clutch that held all my raceday necessities. I once again wore my white BCBG sandals that I knew would keep my toesies happy for the entire day. There are some shoes that you can always count on and never go out of style.
Queen’s Plate was an absolute blast. We had 150 ladies line up at the FATR table to sign up for their chance at $3000 prize and the red sash awarding them the Best Dressed on the day. My shoulders got a great tan while I was stationed at the table until heading to the stage to host the George Brown College Millinery Design Competition followed by the Fashion at the Races Contest. After it was all said and done, the FATR team grabbed some cocktails in the #RethinkattheRaces tent and played some croquet…seriously!
This raceday is one that I hold near and dear to my heart for a few reasons:
- 3 years ago Duane (My Babe) and I traveled to Toronto on a whim just to check out the raceday because I heard such a buzz about the event and thought the FATR contest would be a great fit. It was our first trip to Canada together and we not only enjoyed the raceday but had so much fun in the city of Toronto sight seeing (still have pics on my phone!).
- That next year we held our first Fashion at the Races Contest at Woodbine and heard so many great things from the contestants.
- Now in only its second year, we had 150 sign ups in the female division, the most we have ever had at any of our contests as well as a prize pool worth over $4000.
- Woodbine just gets it. They have created an event around the races to bring in all generations and get a buzz going about it through social media.
- I honestly cannot wait for next year and I am already hastagging the #QP17 in my head. Get ready…only 360 more days to go…
If you are thinking about heading to Toronto for the Queen’s Plate next year (always the first Sunday in July) …DO IT! You will not be sorry. Shoot me an email if you need any suggestions on where to stay, where to eat, what to do, what to wear and of course anything about the raceday itself! xxoo
#QP17 – Here we come!
Be sure to check out our gallery of all the fashion on the day!