The Best (and Worst) of British: Royal Ascot Fashion 2012

Posted by: on Jun 22, 2012 | No Comments

It’s that time of year again: where the bravest of fashionistas defy the ominous grey clouds and exhibit their quintessential British stiff-upper lip alongside their pioneering style and attention-stealing hats! Over-shadowing the races itself, Ladies day brought the daring and the disasterous to our attention with some covetable ensembles, and some fashion flops that didn’t quite hit the Lady Gaga pinnacle of cool-crazy.

Trusting the Royal family to always keep their attire regal and classic, Her Majesty paved the way in two elegant ensembles: on day one she accompanied a Stewart Parvin powder-blue dress and coat with a hat by Rachel Trevor-Morgan, and the following day in a baby pink outfit of the same sor, which included a nod to the catwalk with peplum-hemmed cuffs!

Princess Eugenie followed suit in a teal button-down peplum pencil dress with black sleeves, which seemed a little off-key with the busy pattern of her monochrome clutch. It seemed that Sophie, Countess of Wessex nailed trend with tradition perfectly, looking demure in a pastel grey-blue top and pleated over-the-knee skirt cinched in at the waist with a matching belt. With elegant nude patent court shoes and just enough flair in the wisp feathers of her matching hat, the Countess makes for an on-trend member of the Royal family.

Britishness was a predictable theme in the ladies’ choice of hats, and with patriotism prevalent at such a traditional event, it was expected that the hats and outfits of many would be decorated and garnished with details referring to the Queen’s Jubilee, The Olympics—and even England at the Euros!

Some quietly infused the colours of the Union Jack into their outfits, and others seemingly went all-out: namely Jackie St Claire, who’s oversized Union jack bow made me cringe at the fancy dress-ness of it, and Anneka Svenka should be locked away for her choice of outfit. Not for its patriotic theme, but because it was made-up of birdcages—Lady Gaga, your straight jacket is needed elsewhere…

Other celebrities were sinning in a less forgiveable fashion as they were genuinely trying to play it safe and go the trend-setting way, and still got it wrong. Tut-tut. Steps songstress Lisa Scott-Lee’s hat seemed to obstruct her vision more than catch the eye of others, and though I liked the modest nude palette of her outfit, her dress was slightly ill-fitting and baggy on her too.

Amanda Holden could have been mistaken for Little Bo-Peep from her hat which unfortunately overshadowed her cute pinafore dress with floral bell skirt. Another offender was the eye-watering outfit worn by Tracey Rose: looking like a mismatch of a sweet-shop and a Power Ranger, Tracey’s outfit wasn’t very appropriate to be in the company of HRH.

Without forgetting the guys, there were many donning some suave suits and commendable efforts from those wearing top hats! Michael Owen and Jenson Button (yes, girls) looked smart in their top hat and suit combos, and Frank Lampard looked sickeningly cute with a very elegantly dressed Christine Bleakley; wearing a cream dress with a purple-accented waistband and petrol-grey hat. Unfortunately—and there’s always one—Nick Knowles decided to up the stakes and flirt with his wardrobe choices. With a pink tie, pinstripe trousers, black dinner jacket, yellow waistcoat and wedding-worthy pink rose in his button hole, Knowles looked like he’d fallen into his wardrobe that morning. Yes, the effort is there, and all the elements of a smart outfit are too, but the medley of mismatching things is unforgiveable. Sorry, Nick.

My favourites of the weekend were those who didn’t stray to far from their own style, but kept faithful to the formal frivolity of the Ascot. Danielle Lineker looked the picture of a timeless Ladies Day race goer, in a black and white dress by Roland Mouret, completing her Chanel-inspired look with a quilted clutch from the designer brand.
The Only Way Is Essex’s own Lydia Bright looked glowing in red with a darker shade fascinator, and Caroline Sieber also kept it classic but on-trend in a breathtakingly chic white Chanel dress and enviably cool holographic tipped-point courts. Wow!
But, to me, the always low-key, fashion icon and US Glamour’s Fashion Editor-at-Large Louise Row (above right) stole the show for fashion worshippers everywhere in a Vanessa G oriental-print dress, gold Arruba shoes from Dune and an oversized snakeskin clutch. The contrasting yellow fascinator scored style points with us here at—but which was your favourite?

The one thing that’s posing a dilemma for us is the hard choice of fascinator or hat!