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Ring in South Australia’s most anticipated long weekend at the 2020 TAB Adelaide Cup on March 9. In its 150th year, Adelaide’s namesake event celebrates the state’s rich racing history in a flurry of hooves, heels and premiere hospitality. Our FATR Ambassador Lauren Dilena will be on track as the Fashions on the Field MC, where the competition grows fashionably fiercer by the year. FATR caught up with Lauren to decode the Adelaide aesthetic and her secrets to autumn style.

After many years attending the Adelaide Cup, Lauren has witnessed the event’s sartorial evolution on-ground and on stage. “The fashion theme for Adelaide Cup is forever changing, which is why it’s such an exciting day at the races and I believe it really sets a tone for the rest of the year for what we see in fashion at the races,” Lauren said.

“Every year, Adelaide entrants are stepping it up, which makes it so enjoyable to watch - whether they’re trending in a twin set floral print or an androgynous bold co-ordinate look, they’re always going to bring something different to the track.”

“Over the years we’re seeing more women and men embrace the fashion themes whilst pushing the fashion barriers,” she said. “It’s one of my favourite events to people watch, as I find it’s always super inspiring – we have so much creative talent here in SA.”

If it’s a sash you are seeking, it’s all about how you use your key pieces. “When you’re competing, there is a level of professionalism added to the overall look,” Lauren said. “Every aspect of the outfit is meticulously curated and carefully placed,” she said. “In contrast, when attending the cup with your friends, the approach is a little more relaxed, whilst still maintaining and overall polished look.”

This year, Lauren has her sights set on headwear. “A great headpiece is the first thing that catches my eye and I do admire how both women and men embrace the headwear attire,” she said. “It wouldn’t be a day at the races without it.”

According to Lauren, Autumn’s most adaptable runway trends include sixties wallpaper prints, eighties masculine suits, hound’s-tooth, oversized capes (think Natalie Portman in Dior at the Oscars) and modern punk/grunge. “Not the typical trend you’ll see but I feel this will be a fresh approach to androgynous style,” Lauren said. “I’d love to see this trend on the race track with funky embellishments and unique silhouettes.”

To build your autumn racewear wardrobe, Lauren recommends buying up on suiting, metallics, capes, chokers, robe and chain belts and classic blues like the Pantone Colour of the Year. Lauren believes it is goodbye for trends like tiny bags, neon and minimalist styling.

When creating a look for a major race day, the stylist begins with a trip to her mother’s office. “Planning my outfits usually begins with rummaging thought my mother’s fabric collection to see what we can create with the fabrics, trimmings and embellishments that we’ve collected over the years,” Lauren said. “Then once we’ve decided on a fabric and style, I’ll chat to my good friend Mimi, from Mimi-Jane Millinery to see what magic we can create together, then lastly but not least, I’ll source and select my shoes and bag to pull the entire look together.”

To keep your outfit as unique as Lauren’s, consider working with local designers for a custom look. “Then you’ll know for sure that no one else will showing up in the same outfit,” she said. Lauren’s accessories icons include Mimi-Jane Millinery, Sylvy Earl, Ashlee Lauren Designs and Adorn Collection, while her coveted clothing brands are Acler, BNKR, House of Campbell, Sally Phillips, Stephanie Chedade, Autark and Lexi Clothing.

Lauren feels it’s our designers that solidify SA’s reputation as a destination for fashion. “At the track you can definitely spot an Acler or BNKR designer outfit, or a Mimi-Jane Millinery headband from the crowd,” she said. “It’s so refreshing to see our entrants and racegoers support our local designers.”

Fashions on the Field registration can be done online or at Morphettville from 10am to 12pm. The competition will run from midday near the Parade Ring. “It’s honestly such a brilliant day out,” Lauren said. “FOTF is always a great way to start the day,” she said. “If you’re not interested in taking a punt, you can just sit back and celebrate the long weekend with your friends.”

For more information about the Fashions on the Field competition and prizing click here

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