The transition from beauty queen to trackside fashionista is only natural in the realm of Australian racing carnivals, and 2017’s Miss Universe Australia is no exception. Olivia Molly Rogers possesses the intriguing features and golden aura reminiscent of old Hollywood, and when it comes to race days, she never forgets her secret weapon for eye-catching sartorial moments. Far more than just a handsome plus one, Olivia’s fiancé Justin Mckeone has verified the duo’s status as a racing fashion power couple with his considered approach to clothing and quintessential Australian charm.
Olivia and Justin have clocked up 18 months in couple time and just last week made it ring-official on vacation in Positano. Last year’s Spring Carnival their first racing appearance together and the pair’s favourite fashion moment was Derby Day. Olivia had a white moment in Elliatt, contrasted with a black Melissa Jackson Millinery hat and black Tony Bianco sandals, while Justin opted for a sleek black M.J. Bale suit, a pristine white shirt and black bowtie with a pair of high-shine oxfords.
“Melbourne Cup Day last year was so much fun, it absolutely poured with rain, but it made for some extra entertainment throughout the day trying to avoid puddles and stay dry,” Olivia told FATR. “We also loved the All-Star Mile,” she said. “It was my birthday weekend, so we had a big group of friends there with us and we had a ball.”
The star’s wardrobe display during Spring Carnival 2018 was nothing short of spectacular. “I was lucky enough to work very closely with my amazing friend and stylist Suzy Eskander,” Olivia said. “Suz has styled me head to toe for 12 racing events, including the official race days, media launches and other media commitments.”
“I loved my millinery by Mimco for Oaks Day and Victoria Novak for Cup Day,” Olivia said. “I think my favourite look as a whole was my Cup Day outfit; I adored the Bronx and Banco dress,” she said. “It was customised for me with beautiful big sleeves and Suz styled the look to perfection.”
Olivia attributes her infatuation with racing to her family history. “My grandparents haven’t missed a Melbourne Cup for the last 55 years, and they’ll be back again this year without a doubt,” Olivia said. “I remember being about seven or eight and watching my Grandma get ready and thinking it looked like a lot of fun getting dressed up for the day and spending it with friends,” she said. “So, I suppose my love for racing fashion started at a very young age!”
The Media Personality, Model and Mental Health Advocate’s passion soon led her to an ambassadorship for the Victorian racing industry, including Racing Victoria (RV), Victoria Racing Club (VRC) and the All-Star Mile. “My first ever racing role was actually a few years ago when I was the face of Morphettville Racecourse in Adelaide,” Olivia said. “I said to my mum at the time how amazing it would be to one day do something similar at Flemington - I never expected it to happen though!”
“Landing the role with VRC and again with RV honestly felt like my dreams came true,” Olivia said. “It was incredible having the opportunity to work with such prestigious organisations at one of the world’s greatest race tracks - I loved every minute of these roles.”
Justin’s appearance at these major race days with Olivia is part of a carefully curated process, where theming is determined firstly by the carnival. “If there is a dress code or tradition, I will always stick to that,” the Financial Controller said. “However, I’m always keen to wear a bit of colour on the race days where you can express your personality a little more.”
Keeping watch over Instagram, Justin often browses fashion magazines for inspiration while planning his ensembles. “I keep a keen look out for fashion trends in lead up to the spring racing carnival,” Justin said. “Then it’s always nice to coordinate a colour with what Olivia’s wearing, even if it’s a tie colour or pocket square.”
“We don’t always coordinate on purpose, it is more often by chance if Justin already has something that ties in with what I’m wearing,” Olivia said. “I think as long as our outfits don’t completely clash, they tend to complement each other.”
Justin always abides by his key racewear rules, which include a snug-fitted suit, colour variety and comfortable shoes. “Nothing is ever too bold; be brave, bold and mix it up” Justin said. “Heaps of accessories are the little one percenters I find most people notice!”
On the morning of a racing event, Justin admits to keeping his routine simple. “I take a back seat before the race and get out of the way of Olivia’s routine,” Justin said. “It only really takes me half an hour to chuck on a suit and get ready,” he said. “I’m the one with the clipboard telling Liv how much time she has left!”
Olivia’s racing beauty style stays classic, so as not to detract from the ensemble. “I do love to pop on a bright lip (usually red) whenever I can,” she confessed. “I worked with Cassandra Lusi for most of my looks, but I also worked with Dani (Cosmetique Make Up) - they both create beautiful make-up looks that manage to stay immaculate all day.”
When curating her accessories options, Olivia considers her dress and the race day foremost. “I like to match some of my accessories,” Olivia said. “Such as shoes with a bag, or millinery with shoes, but I also don’t like everything to match too perfectly,” she said. “Clashing some prints and colours can easily make an outfit a little bit more interesting and edgy.”
Forecasting this year’s racewear trends, Olivia wants you to take note on a big shift in headwear. “Going by everyone’s current hair clip obsession, I think there will be less of the usual millinery and more clips,” she said. “It will be fun to play around with these.”
While Justin’s go-to racewear designer is M.J. Bale, Olivia favours Pasduchas for creating dresses perfectly suited to racing, due to their elegant feminine aesthetic and enthralling prints. “Morgan & Taylor have beautiful millinery and hats, and Tony Bianco keep my feet looking good and feeling comfortable, which is a big necessity for the races!” Olivia said.
“I’m a big fan of Olivia Culpo’s style, although you could wrap her up in rubbish and she’d still look amazing,” she said. “Juzzy has a little man crush on David Beckham, which is understandable.”
While the couple are travelling Europe until the end of June, they are already anticipating their next race date. “As for outfits, we have no idea yet,” Olivia said. “However, I’m hoping to get Justin into a complete pink suit at some stage,” she said. “I think he would look amazing.”
While are all waiting for the sun to shine down on 2019’s Spring Carnival, you can soak in Justin and Olivia’s European summer style on Instagram, where the power couple are currently rocking their effortless wardrobe coordination in Croatia. Live vicariously through their loved-up shots via @juzzy_mac and @oliviamollyrogers.