Coordinating the right ensemble for Spring Racing can take months of planning. From headwear to toe, racewear is all about the details, and unless you have a stylist on-hand, it can be hard to ace every element. But, with risk comes great opportunity to explore the most enthralling trends of Spring. We approached some of the best minds in fashion, footwear and hair to assist you in creating your best racing look yet.
C/MEO Collective Head Designer Siham Elmawey was recently nominated as Cosmopolitan Woman of the Year in the category of Fashion Designer of the Year. The iconic Australian label plays a significant role in the lives of women around the nation and all over the world, as Siham’s designs turn every day into an occasion.
According to Siham, the C/MEO girl is culturally engaged, with authentic taste and a propensity for making looks her own. “You will find her at the latest exhibition or opening of a new bar that you hadn’t heard of until now,” Siham said. “She is a risk taker, but not reckless when it comes to fashion,” she said. “Empowered by her choices, she is a leader and a source of inspiration for her friends.”
The archetype is thought of throughout every collection to best capture the essence of the C/MEO girl. “It is important to recognise and understand her lifestyle, who she is and how C/MEO Collective can play such a large part of her individual expression,” she said. “Therefore, the brand is always evolving, ensuring we are always offering pieces that are directional and innovative.”
This season’s direction is a colourful one, inspired by Siham’s trip to Capri last July. “You can expect to see lilac, soft yellow, marigold and cherry red in the upcoming collections,” Siham said. “The collection’s palette was inspired by the fresh, playful colours of the architecture and traditional homes; yellow, cherry, chilli, copper and blue coast lines,” she said. “Playing with volume and scale to accentuate the female form, we used lightweight linens, cinched-waist shirting and blue denim to create a true resort collection.”
Shoe Shed Director Sognia Slade echoes Siham’s feel for colour, marking floral and bold prints as key spring trends, best paired with a neutral-toned shoe. “Wide leg pants and pretty floral dresses look great with an espadrille wedge,” Sognia said. “Buckle or bow details will help you stand out in the crowd and are great to pair with block-coloured dresses,” she said. “Don’t be afraid to go with a bold colour like red to brighten any outfit.”
Accessories make the racewear, and Sognia says her racing shoe checklist consists of comfort, fashion and practicality. “A thicker heel is more practical for different terrains, but if you choose to wear a stiletto, a Starletto heel protector is a must to stop you sinking into the grass,” Sognia said. “I would recommend a block heel or a wedge for a race day, this will give you some stability and help keep you upright after a few champagnes!”
Siham believes it is important to understand the traditional themes and dress codes across the race meets throughout Spring Carnival, from Derby Day’s monochrome to Melbourne Cup’s quintessential flamboyance. “Racing fashion can be so expressive and a lot of fun,” Siham said. “It is your opportunity to make it ‘your own’ with styling,” she said. “Even if I have a new outfit, I like to find vintage pieces to style it back!”
Siham’s favourite spring trends are fashion denim, oversized eighties sleeves and fine frill details, which seamlessly translate to racing attire. “My spring racing pick is the Thousand Times Midi Dress,” Siham said. “This dress makes a statement with the rich marigold colour, puff sleeve and fine frill detailing whilst keeping with the race wear dress standards.”
Evo Hair and Cloud Nine Creative Director Lauren McCowan believes hair is best kept simple if you have chosen a high-drama sleeve. “A classic wave will balance out the volume of the sleeves,” Lauren said. “The new Cloud Nine Curling Wand is the perfect tool for creating soft, beautiful waves which will last all day,” she said. Akin to Siham’s signature hairstyle – a natural, healthy, undone wave – the look is best finished with evo’s helmut extra strong lacquer for a superior hold.
If you are opting for a relaxed silhouette, however, Lauren recommends a sleeker look to give contrast to the flowing lines of your dress. “To achieve this look, use evo’s icon welder hot tool shaper before straightening hair with the Cloud Nine Original Iron,” Lauren said. “Tie hair in a tight bun at the back of the neck, tucking hair behind the ears and finishing with a strong hold hairspray (evo’s helmut extra strong lacquer).”
Siham names BNKR as the ultimate racing fashion style spot, for their monthly releases of fresh and exciting pieces from their house labels C/MEO Collective, Finders Keepers, Keepsake and The Fifth. “If you’re attending all of the spring racing days, BNKR is a go-to destination to find something for each of them,” she said. “May it be a power suit, dress, jumpsuit, co-ord set… there is so much variety.”
To best pair hair with a power suit, Lauren recommends a simplistic up-do. “Whether it be a top-knot bun or ponytail, keep the hair slightly messy and off the face using evo’s Conrad brush to smooth any lumps and evo’s cassius styling clay to tame fly-a-ways and keep hair in place for a long day at the races.”
If your jumpsuit features finer shoulder straps, Lauren thinks it best to keep hair out and long. “Use evo’s salty dog sea salt spray on wet or dry hair for beautiful, malleable texture and finish with evo’s love touch shine spray to enhance shine and protect from humidity.”
In the shoe department, Sognia is expecting Espadrilles to be the top shoe trend at the track. “Espadrilles at any height is the new trend that everyone will be wearing this spring,” Sognia said. “Rope detail on flat sandals, casuals, flatforms and wedges will keep you up to date with the latest fashion.”
As for Siham’s top trend prediction, the style icon thinks we will be seeing a lot more of bum bags over the upcoming race days. “Trending but also leaves your hands free for a drink, canape or selfie,” she said.
Bum bags are ideal when worn with a complex neckline; you can complement your look by keeping the hair off of the face, so it doesn’t conceal the decadent details, according to Lauren. “For a relaxed, undone style, prep wet hair with evo’s macguyver multi use mousse for volume and texture,” Lauren said. “Once hair is dry, create subtle waves with the Cloud Nine Original Wand and tie up in a messy bun.”
As for styles on the way out, Lauren believes the messy ponytail has had its moment, for now. “Many women are opting for sleek and polished styles,” Lauren said. “As the weather can always be unpredictable, up-do styles are on the rise, making it easy to manage on the day.”
When it comes to makeup, Siham prefers to keep her skin dewy and bronzed – an infallible beauty look that takes her from desk to dinner. “The trend at the moment is to embrace your freckles, spots or dots,” Siham said. “So, just a light layer of tinted moisturiser or foundation to keep your skin looking healthy and natural.”
Bronze is an ever-popular racing trend for the eyes and complexion, favoured for its adaptability to different light settings and lip colours. The shade works with any ensemble, and even highlights the marigold tones in C/MEO Collective’s Thousand Times Midi Dress. Lucky for you, FATR has a guide to help you master a bronzed race day look. Find our step-by-step with Media Makeup here.
Now you have your look together, it’s time to plan your Spring Racing event in South Australia. Find all the upcoming race days here.