Camilla Franks' Racing Carnival Style Tips

Gone are the days of court shoes and conservative skirt suits during spring racing carnival. Cup fashion is even more elegant this year with the advent of some internationally inspired trends.

Emma Charlotte Bangay speaks exclusively to Australian designer Camilla Franks about what you need in your spring racing carnival fashion capsule, to get you through each race with ease.

For Australian designer - and one of Beyonce's favourites, Camilla, spring racing carnival style is all about individual accents. “It is the celebratory and theatrical aspect which draws me to racing,” she explains. “It just feels like a big, fun celebration!"

Here Camilla shares her exclusive style tips for the Spring Racing Carnival with LifeStyleYOU.

1. Dress codes:

  • Derby Day:

Traditionally black and white

  • Cup Day:

Lots of colour. Oodles of experimentation.

  • Ladies Day (Oaks)

The name says it all. Ladylike elegance.

  • Stakes Day:

It’s a family affair. Think fun, casual and free.

2. Play up, to a point:

Aside from the horses during spring racing carnival, fashion comes into full focus, notes Camilla. “It is steering away from tradition, and bold colours and prints prevail!” Innovation is key here, she advises, so choosing a unique shoe or millinery option as a unique twist on the dress code is a smart choice. That way, you can adhere to race day dress guidelines, with an element of fun with your shoes, hat or clutch bag.

3. Enjoy opulence:
No other event says ‘luxury’ like the races, so even if you dress for comfort 364 days a year, this is one event you can afford to step outside your comfort zone. “I feel as though you can take chances with racing fashion nowadays, all the while respecting its integrity,” says Camilla. So don’t be afraid to go full tilt on femininity with a tight, knee-length number or even be a bit braver with a wide-rimmed hat.

Difficult to navigate? Yes, but sure to get you in the mood and carried away with this fun and fabulous fashion moment! As Camilla puts it, her race day edit is all about the girl who likes to make a statement now and then. “She relishes in the opulence of her outfit. She is, in essence, as unique as a unicorn.”

4. Play with prints and pops of colour:

Prints and pops of colour are key – just not on Derby Day. However, if the traditional black and white code is not your thing, amp it up with neon heels or a hat. For all other days, prints such as checks, spots, stripes, florals, paisleys and tie-dye are all huge trends you can play around with. Choose your adventure and go with a print that speaks to you and reflects your personality, suggests Camilla. “I travel often, and I travel far and wide. I get off the beaten path, and it is not unusual for me to take 20,000 photos on an inspiration trip,” she says. Therefore, each of her designs is ultimately infused with a story. “The destination and the adventure,” she explains. “It is about the story of the print, vibrant colour, placement details and quality craftsmanship.” By adhering to this philosophy, your race day outfit will always be a memorable one.

5. Heighten your shoe appeal (sans heels):

An excellent alternative for the heel is the lace up ballet flat. Seen on all the international runways, it is extremely elegant and feminine and can go the distance for a day on your feet. Just stick to a flattering, fine shape, rather than a heavy shoe, to off-set any full-skirt dress or culotte pant.

6. Nail the detail:

The off the shoulder trend was popular in New York and London Fashion Weeks – not to mention the Emmy’s Red Carpet. For day events track side, it is just as versatile, notes Camilla. “It feels fun and free, and the silhouette goes beautifully with the wide leg trouser or a bodycon skirt,” she says.

7. Fascinate with floral and feature earrings:

Don’t want to wear a fascinator this year? Then opt for a more relaxed approach with a floral band or even a vintage brooch. Head jewels are still popular, but if you want to be ahead of the fashion pack, go with strong statement-making earrings that are set to be a huge trend this season. Your lobes have been warned!

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