Best Dressed at Casino Gold Cup race day is Adelaide Zietsch from Coffs Harbour.
Best Dressed at Casino Gold Cup race day is Adelaide Zietsch from Coffs Harbour. Susanna Freymark

The rise and rise of race day fashions

WHILE there are dress codes for fashions at the races (read no jeans), the head wear and outfits women wear seem too have grown more glamorous with each racing season.

Fascinators are taller, hats are flourished with even more flowers and to win the big prize of Fashion on the Field requires a coordinated look from shoes, earrings, outfit and headpiece.

Adelaide Zietsch from Coffs Harbour pulled off the big fashion win at Casino Gold Cup Race Day with a black and gold brocade pants outfit she made herself. Matching black earring and shiny black shoes gave her a look reminiscent of The Great Gatsby.

Adelaide had to do a quick fashion change when the hat she chose to wear would have been blown across the racetrack in the fierce cold winds on race day. In the car park paddock, she rummaged around and found a tighter, smaller black hat. She added the gold trimming from the original hat and viola - she had her winning look.

Not all of us have those kind of fashion emergency skills, so Fiona Gunther, who won best millinery at the cup, had her headpiece made by Casino's Shanette Farrell.

For two years Shanette has been running a millinery business and like many others, loves to dress p for race day.

"It makes you feel good to dress up,” she said.

"In the years of raising children there was not much opportunity to get dressed up.”

She starts months in advance of race day to prepare headpieces. Her headpiece took eight hours to make.

Fashion judges Sheree Thrift and Barbara Panpe from Tenterfield said the best dressed went to a "total top to bottom look.”

"We look at the work involved and the materials used,” they said of judging millinery.

"These days we don't get the chance to dress up unless we're going to a wedding,” Barbara said of the rise in young men and women coming to country races and wearing their finest fashions.

Find out more about millinery by Shanette on Instagram @lotusandlace. Headpiece prices range from $75-$270.