There is no better era to attend a racing carnival in Australia than now. Our range of on-shore designers is thriving, and the revival of mid-lengths combined with our fresh and unique interpretation of femininity make for bountiful race wear options.
As spring approaches, you know you won’t last until your mid-morning coffee break to survey the arrival of the names you’ve grown to admire on the big race days. But what has caused our nation’s long and steady relationship with racing to reach peak infatuation?
The days of picking up a magazine as your sole source of celebrity looks at the races are over; though the news cameras are there to capture the big names stepping out, we no longer have to sit and ponder what it’s like inside the VIP marquees. Thanks to social media, we are right there with our race day rock stars.
Our Social Media Ambassador for the 2018 Festival of Racing Jamie Reilly believes our favourite apps are to credit for younger audiences embracing racing culture. “It's a great tool for inspiration and to see what is happening right then and there,” Jamie said. “It makes you want to go to the next races, so you can have your turn to dress up.”
Influencers using tools like Instagram stories and going live are only going to get bigger according to Jamie. “If you aren’t actually there, it makes you feel like you are,” Jamie said. “People love that; no-one wants FOMO!”
The first racing maven Jamie fell for was Jodi Gordon. “She nails the races look every time,” the Westfield Senior Stylist said. At major racing carnivals, Jamie keeps an eye on Jesinta Franklin, Rachel Finch and Rozalia Russian. “And all the social influencers give me so much inspiration - Nadia Bartell, Vydia Rishie, Saasha Burns, Ksenija Lukich, all the favs,” Jamie said.
Looking to Instagram and Pinterest as her main sources of racing fashion inspiration, Jamie said celebrity stylist Lana Wilkinson is her favourite to follow. “I really love following Lana Wilkinson to see how she styles her clients, she dresses them immaculately and they always look so put together,” she said.
Crediting social media for upping the fashion stakes, Jamie believes being adventurous with playful ensembles that are grounded in racing tradition makes for the most fun. “It’s definitely a little more over the top these days, glam and outfit-wise, those interested in fashion love to have a play, and style it right up – that’s the fun of it all.”
Naming Acler and Camilla and Marc as some of her favourite labels for her previous racing looks, Jamie opted for Finders Keepers and Keepsake this season. “They have created some stunning pieces in their collections,” Jamie said.
As for millinery, Jamie adores local designer Sylvy Earl. “I love wearing her pieces,” she said. “Also, Mimi Jane is another favourite, we are lucky to have such beautiful, kind, talented designers in Adelaide, right at our fingertips.”
Describing her personal aesthetic as minimal, relaxed and a little bit bohemian in summer, Jamie loves dressing for Derby Day as she is very much about monochrome. “For me, it's kind of a creative outlet,” she said. “Race days are just getting more fun, there are so many amazing designers to wear these days.”
Jamie says the majority of her 15k following on Instagram jamie.loves are fashion and beauty-loving women between 25 to 34, many whom are mothers, but she insists she does not dress specifically for her audience. “I don’t really try to please anyone, I just love dressing up and having fun with it,” Jamie said.
“As long as you feel good in yourself, you exude confidence, and that’s all that matters,” she said. “I just hope people follow me because they like my style and I can give out some inspiration, even help people in some ways, to make them feel better about themselves.”
“Hardly anyone leaves any negative comments on my socials,” Jamie said. “It is impossible to please everyone,” she said. “I just go with what I love, and hope my followers love it too.”
As Adelaide’s racing carnivals are better with every year, Jamie says a day at the races is a must for your social calendar, as you will always leave with your appetite for style satiated. “Every year is getting a little more daring,” Jamie said. “I’m kind of loving it!” she said. “Always keeping to the basic rules of racing fashion, but jumping outside the box a little is what we live for, right?”
We want you to take your phone to the field - create your own covetable social media moments with a day at The Races.
For your Goodwood Day fashion inspiration, watch Lana Wilkinson and Chris Kontos Style Bel Sloane here.