SPRING RACING STYLE TIPS

I'll be honest, the Races aren't my favourite thing in the world; for many reasons both personal and political. But shooting fashion IS my favourite thing in the world, so when Street Smith offered me the opportunity to shoot Stakes Day in Sydney I jumped at the chance!

If you're heading to any of the upcoming Melbourne Cup Carnival events, read on for tips on this year's racing trends, as spotted by me and Hannah Roche... 

Street Smith: Hi Hannah and Rachel, thanks for doing such a great job on Saturday. It looked like a great day and your images were everything I could have hoped for. Tell me about the day?

Hannah: It was windy which was challenging for everyone wearing a hat or a dress (or anyone trying to take a photo..!) but everyone had a great time and didn’t feel defeated by the weather at all - it definitely got a lot busier as the day went on.

Rachel: Despite the blustery weather, everyone was in very high spirits. Most of the ladies made straight for the Fashion on the Field area, while the men were all happy to have a punt (or ten!).

Although you’ve both shot at numerous fashion weeks, this was your first day at the races. Was it everything you expected? And anything like shooting at MBFWA?

HannahFewer photographers at the races, which I loved! It's a bit more relaxed - people are happy to give you their time to have their photograph taken, which can be tough at fashion week as everyone is usually running late to shows. 

Rachel: It’s definitely like shooting MBFWA in the sense that I'm constantly on my toes to rush from my current shot to the next one I've spotted out of the corner of my eye. The fashion is completely different though - it's so easy to get distracted by all the beautiful millinery on show. 

Favourite fashion moment of the day?

Hannah: I loved Fleur Harrison’s outfit - she painted big blue strokes on her dress to match her blue shoes and hat.

Rachel: While it may not have been the biggest standout in the fashion stakes, my favourite outfit was definitely Kate Lynch who wore an outfit made entirely by her mother - who was there with her too! Very sweet. 

What was the biggest trend for headwear this year?

Hannah: I saw a lot of floral headbands and floral hats. 

RachelCrowns. Particularly in gold. 

Tell me about the men. 

Hannah: Navy or tan. I saw some great colour combinations, 3 piece suits, colourful pocket squares and hats paired with a solid beard or cool sunnies. 

Rachel: Blue suits everywhere!!! And I mean EVERYWHERE!!

Where were all the cool kids hanging out?

Hannah: Up in the members lounge! 

RachelThe Moet & Chandon Lounge on Level 4 of the Members area was definitely the cool hangout. 

What was the most feminine moment of the day? 

Hannah: Ingrid Lovett looked fabulous in her crepe ivory dress, YSL bag and straw hat - simple and classic.

Rachel: I can't go past a beautifully pregnant Elle Halliwell wearing Scanlan & Theodore - she looked divine. 

What was the most fashion forward races outfit?

Rachel: It’s a tough choice: either Liz Dixon wearing KitX and Valentino, or Viktoria Novak wearing Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, and Valentino. 

Anything you learnt about racing fashion from shooting at the races this year?

Hannah: There are so many variations of millinery! 

Rachel: The more demure, the better! I also shot a lot of custom/self-made designs, which was a thrilling surprise and definitely not something I see at Fashion Week. It's nice to skip the labels sometimes!