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What to Wear to the Races- Dresses for Royal Ascot 2011


Ever wondered what the dresses for Royal Ascot in ages past looked like? For the first time ever, a modern slant has been put on the Royal Ascot dresses of old in a creative project to mark the event’s tercentenary.  A past-inspired flurry of inspiration for any of us wondering what to wear to the races this year.

Royal Ascot Dresses 2011 – What to Wear to the Races Captures the Past in the Present

In a collaborative effort to commemorate the 300th Anniversary of Royal Ascot, the darling of British fashion, Dame Vivienne Westwood, along with maestro-miliner Stephen Jones and acclaimed photographer Simon Procter, have produced this provocative, eye-catching image as part of the Royal Ascot 2011 campaign.  In it, dresses for Royal Ascot from some of the definitive historical eras in British fashion have been reproduced, to mark the changing tides in races fashion, clearly reflected in these distinctly different dresses for Royal Ascot.  Moreover these Royal Ascot dresses are each in themselves a centenary benchmark for the coming age of what is considered one of Britain’s most prized institutions.

In front of an 1818 image of Royal Ascot, dresses featured hail from Dame Westwood’s Gold Label collection.  The Royal Ascot dresses pictured seek to combine looks from previous centuries.

The traditional Royal Ascot Dress Code – Royal Ascot Dresses 2011

The woman on the left of the image emanates Audrey Hepburn in the black and white Royal Ascot dress she wore for the famous ‘My Fair Lady’ race scene.   The black and white colour scheme also harkens back to the race year of 1910, dubbed ‘Black Ascot’  as this was the colour people at the time were sporting in the form of hats to mourn the death of King Edward VII.

The ombre silk dress (centre) portrays traditional women’s attire typical of Royal Ascot dresses from the Victorian era, crafted out of a select taffeta. Meanwhile, the crimson colour of the suit on the right updates the demure ’50s era two piece, giving it a certain modern appeal.

What to Wear to the Races (on your head!) – Royal Ascot Hats to go with Royal Ascot Dresses

Each of the women’s hats has been designed with a view to complimenting their dresses for Royal Ascot.  On the left, the Edwardian fascinator mirrors the designs showcased in ‘My Fair Lady,’ while the bonnet is reminiscent of first century Royal Ascot dress. The top hat topped with laquered straw, is the perfect antidote to the demure suit, again putting a more modern spin on the traditional suit.


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Posted April 11th, 2011 in Event Reports. Tagged: , .
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