Balaklava is nestled in the Mid North region of SA and is a short drive 1 hour north of Adelaide. Cup day attracts a crowd of close to 10,000 guests annually, with people coming from city and surrounding country region to enjoy the atmosphere of one of the state’s premier events.
fashion at the races

Image by Mark Brake via The Advertiser

Although the Balaklava Cup is the first official race of the SA spring calendar, as in previous years the weather on Wednesday 31st August was closer to a blustery winter’s day. When we arrived the clouds parted long enough for us to get to the Marquee without getting our millinery wet, but the sun didn’t stay around for long. Thank goodness the heavy rain stayed away long enough to get the first Fashion at the Races event for 2016 under way.

fashion at the races

Image by Meaghan Coles Photography via The Races SA

As is the norm with country race meets, we saw it all at the when it came to fashion, both on and off the stage. We love to see originality and people going for comfort but this is a timely opportunity to remind people that the stage is not the place for jeans, cheeks hanging out of way too short shorts and super tight night club dresses. Fun is the name of the game but if you choose to enter you should be aware of the guidelines and dress standards. That being said we did see quite a few people who really made an effort to uphold the elegance, deportment and tradition of the day.

fashion at the races

Images by Mark Brake via The Advertiser

While on stage we met a young dapper man that had come a long way to get in the spirit of the Balaklava cup. All the way from Ecuador Francisco turned many ladies heads, then had them swooning over his foreign accent!

Francisco was our gentleman pick of the day and he also took out Best Dressed Male. Dressed to impress in Navy slacks tailored to fit by his Ecuadorian tailor, a crisp white LaCoste shirt and navy and cream Zara check jacket, his sartorial charm was effortless from head to toe. We loved the detail in the jacket’s buttons, with a different button thrown in for originality.

Also catching our eye was Emily, from Clare, in her bright and bold home-made comic strip skirt, embellished top and matching headband. We discussed with her that this outfit could have gone horribly wrong, but we all agreed that with the simple top choice the skirt really did all the talking. This is a great example of trying new things and never being afraid to be a little different. Putting your personal touch into an outfit is what it’s all about whether it’s for a race day or every day.

Always on the look out for new ideas we spotted last year’s Balaklava Cup winner Elle Griffiths wearing a clever ensemble. Again she looked fantastic in a Shona Joy dress, which actually started the morning off being strapless. Elle’s mother in law, who is very handy with a sewing machine, helped her turn the dress into an outfit fit for the fashions stage. Together they added some fabric to the top of the dress to appear as if it had an inbuilt plunging neckline.

Elle also showcased a striking Claire Hahn headpiece. The entire outfit was pulled together with her grandmother’s vintage gloves, Kate hill bag and Myer shoes. This was actually Elle’s second choice of outfit for the day, but it just goes to show that a few last minute changes can sometimes pay off.

Crowns are definitely a simple and great way to add a touch of bling, colour and texture to your outfit and are still a very popular choice for many casual racegoers. Picture below are Caroline, Annie and Cristina looking fabulous wearing their embellished headbands.
Known for her stand out big brimmed hats, Oksana has been a regular Fashion at the Races entrant and was thrilled to finally be announced as the Best Dressed winner. Her whole outfit was inspired by the copper wire she is surrounded by at work every day. Originally Oksana wanted to crochet a hat from copper wire, but then decided to make it out of a plastic copper wire handbag by Anteprima and added embellishment with the sharp lines of the navy blue wired leather. Oksana had two of the handbags, so she used the other one on the day with its original purpose in mind.
Oksana is not only studying millinery, she also has some very good skills when it comes to making her own outfits. She found the fabric at DK Fabrics, but knew she had to keep the design simple as the fabric is very bright and shiny, she added the cut out over the shoulder to add a little edginess to the simple style. When we asked her about her choice for the fur she said ‘I remembered the Racewear Carousel post about fur at the beginning of winter and it’s never warm at the Balaklava Cup so I thought I’d make a metallic blue fur stole for the contrast and warmth of my outfit’. It’s great to hear that our blogs are helpful and people are enjoying them! Oksana finished her outfit with Marni earrings, Sheer vintage navy gloves, Navy sheer stockings and shoes from Novo.

Image by Meaghan Coles Photography via The Races SA

What we wore…

Despite the soggy conditions the mild weather was comfortable enough to leave the jackets in the car. We placed in the top 10 with Mel taking home the Best Millinery award.

Cat’s outfit
Dress – Self Portrait
Shoes – Kardashian Kollection
Bag – Kate Spade
Millinery – Adorn Collection



Image by Meaghan Coles Photography via The Races SA

Mel’s outfit
Skirt – Asos
Over skirt – Hand made
Top/Dress – Asos  (see “Mini dress with a midi skirt” post)
Shoes – Tony Bianco
Bag – M2M
Millinery – Adorn Collection

Feature Image By Mark Brake via The Advertiser

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