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Derby Day is the Met Gala of race days - there is just something about a theme that so quickly separates the newcomers from the experienced fashion fiends with an eye for detail. The black and white affair is renowned for its elegance and edge; this is a day to honour tradition with modern influence, while incorporating enough character to win a second glance. 

On May 11, Morphettville will be inundated with achromatic hues in celebration of South Australia’s very own Derby Day, where Fashion At The Races will hold a qualifying event to crown the state’s best dressers. According to FATR Ambassador Lauren Dilena, Derby Day is the ultimate event for fashion lovers.

“I love seeing all women of all ages entering the competition,” Lauren said. “I love seeing a person tell a story in their outfits, and to see how unique and diverse their look is,” she said.

Whether you are enticed by the frivolity of the Derby Day Lawn Party, or you want to immerse yourself in the glamour of the AAMI Atrium, Morphettville offer seven race day packages to suit your style. For an authentic gourmet gathering, the four-course menus at Rymill Wines Luncheon or Restaurant 1873 will provide a sensory experience by the track, while the Triple M Punters Lounge, Private Suites and Bucks and Hens Packages will guarantee a memorable time at the track.

“You won’t want to miss this day,” Lauren said. “Especially seeing the magnificent monochromatic theme head-to-toe across the grounds, plus it's your chance to win big in the FATR competition,” she said. “Morphettville seriously pulls out all the stops with fulfilled activations, delicious food stalls and tunes that get the dance floor starting.”

For our FATR Ambassador, every race day begins the same. “I wake up and make sure I'm prepared with a big brekky full of goodies as I know I'll need a good energy kickstart for the epic day ahead,” Lauren said. “I generally start super early in the morning, so thank gosh I work alongside such a fabulous glam team - I seriously can't function without these girls,” she said.

Lauren’s glam squad includes high school friend Nirvana Manly (@nivman) as her go-to makeup artist and Tara O of @mystylesquadapp. “I love working with Tara to create fun on-trend hair styles,” Lauren said. “They deliver on-demand professional hair, makeup and spray tans to your office, home or hotel.”

While we await the unveiling of Lauren’s hosting ensemble, you can put her tips to work to impress the judging panel. Block colours in either black or white were a major celebrity trend at 2018 Spring Carnival’s Derby Day, and to ace this racewear look, Lauren has one major rule.

“Make sure you feel comfortable in the dominant colour you choose,” Lauren said. “Perhaps go for a silhouette that's simple and let your accessories do the talking.”

One of the best looks of last year’s Derby Day was worn by Jennifer Hawkins - a white plunging a-symmetrical Toni Maticevski belted dress with a matching Melissa Jackson panama hat. Racing royalty Kate Waterhouse opted for all-black in a ruffled Alessandra Rich tuxedo mini dress and Olivia Rogers rocked an all-white fishtail midi dress by Elliatt.

Julie Bishop and Rebecca Judd kept company mixing black and white. The former Foreign Minister donned a modern interpretation of power suiting in a white shirt with a flowing train, paired with black pants and a black straw boater. Judd went ultra-femme in a patterned Toni Maticevski mullet dress with sheer sleeve details.

“I follow Jen Hawkins, Kate Waterhouse and Jodi Gordon religiously, their glam and head-to-toe outfits are always so on point and fashion forward,” Lauren said. “But I absolutely love watching local girl Olivia Rogers kill it with her Melbourne Cup Carnival Ambassador role, I absolutely adored all her looks last year.”

To ace your racewear this season, Lauren’s go-to silhouettes are all about the eighties. “80s statement sleeves and shoulders are everything,” Lauren said. “I'm loving strong, bold silhouettes on both women and men,” she said.

“For example, for the ladies, opt for silky slip dresses to show off your silhouette, but add a statement wide brim felt fedora hat that will enhance your silhouette and you can easily step it up by incorporating strong and bold accessories.”

Of 2019’s latest runway trends, Lauren recommends experimenting with overstated shoulders and embellishments. “The new take on nautical dressing, think classic Chanel; 80s with a touch of contemporary; and my obsession with hair clips is real!”

To add texture to your ensemble, Lauren says to start small with your accessories. “Then, if you're loving the 'more is more' trend, go for gold and instead of taking one item off before you leave the house, add a little somethin' somethin' extra.”

Some of Lauren’s favourite accessory brands can be found right here in SA. Lauren loves local designers Sylvy Earl, Mimi Jane Millinery and Ashlee Lauren Designs for racewear. “I’m obsessing over statement, bold, oversized hair clips and more is more this race season!”

For gentlemen looking to enter our FATR heat, Lauren insists they too should focus on accessories. “I can't stress enough how major ‘more is more’ with our ladies and gents this season,” Lauren said. “For the men, I love a man who draws attention to detail in textured tones and clashing prints, but if that's not your thing, classic suiting never fails.”

To enter FATR on Derby Day, find the registration booth in general admission and pick up your number and paddle. Show us some monochrome magic this May at Morphettville.


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