…with John Talamini, Creative Director of Fashion Music TV
Big racing events such as Royal Ascot, Goodwood and The Derby draw the great and the good year after year. For others, it is a rare occasion when they mix in high society circles.
So getting the dress code right is essential, not only to fit in but also to add that extra accessory that can make you stand out from the crowd.
Here, John Talamini (pictured right), fashion industry insider for over 20 years and friend to such legendary designers as Cavalli, Lagerfeld and Donna Karan, tells how to dazzle your fellow racegoers with insider tips on what’s hot, and what’s not, at this summer’s major race meetings:
Do NOT wear bare shoulders in the Royal Enclosure at Royal Ascot. This means spaghetti straps, halter-necks, ANYTHING with a strap smaller than an inch. Personally, I also recommend that your décolletage should be some several inches above your ‘raspberry ripples’! Definitely, more is more!
Avoid mini-skirts. You can wear something above the knee (ish) but be reasonable – say an inch or two. If you can do a ‘Basic Instinct – Sharon Stone’ thing in your dress, it’s definitely the wrong thing to wear on the day. Also, you don’t have to wear knickers, but at least make sure your dress won’t blow up in the breeze to alert the rest of the public!
Always wear a hat. At Royal Ascot, it’s mandatory. Even if it’s just a ‘substantial’ fascinator, which, personally, I think can look fabulous. Do us a favour, though. Spare a thought for the person behind you who actually wants to see the race. There’s attention-getting and then there is just plain annoying!
Sometimes substance over style is more elegant. Obviously this is an opportunity to wear an amazing hat. But to wear an Alice-band with a single feather is going to have you thrown out of Royal Ascot. Such a waste!! Avoid ‘fascinators’ that are less than substantial.
Consider trouser suits. As long as they are of matching colours and fabrics. Much as we like them, separates won’t do on the day.
Wear morning dress for Royal Ascot, if you’re a guy. In fact, you must. Easy, but if you don’t own the suit, make sure to book well in advance.
This summer, it’s pastels and florals all the way. If operating on a budget, it couldn’t hurt to have a look at your local charity shop to see if a particularly enchanting vintage piece can be found…this will ensure you stand out from the crowd.
Beware of over-sized heels. Much as you want to wear very elegant, high-heeled shoes, please bear in mind that you will be walking on grass, gravel and sundry other surfaces that aren’t designed with your heels in mind. Also, falling off a high heel is a hell of a lot more painful!
Be prepared for rain. Rain is a fact of life in England. Bring a brolly and a coat if the forecast says you should (and probably even if it says you needn‘t bother). Nothing is more depressing than to see your ‘significant’ fascinator drooping in the precipitation.
Never forget footwear. Footwear is one of the first things that people notice. I’ve lost count of the number of times I have seen killer suits worn with shoes that are scruffy and have worn down heels and soles. PLEASE make sure your shoes are up to it on the day.