The English summer is punctuated with social occasions ostensibly centered around sport- Wimbledon, Henley and, of course Royal Ascot to name but a few. Today, I was very happy to be invited to join Harrods on the second day of this year's Ascot event. As an avid people watcher and fashion enthusiast (obviously) an event like Ascot is a treat to attend. If any of you have been watching and enjoying Grayson Perry's brilliant series 'In the Best Possible Taste' then you'd have loved the opportunity I had today to see how everyone from a Jordanian Princess to a Spearmint Rhino loving lad approaches a day at Royal Ascot. As one woman I overheard on my way home stated, "It's not really about the horses is it? I spent all day looking at the fashion".
Despite plenty of publicity surrounding Royal Ascot's new fashion police and strict dress code policy, it seems to me that there's still plenty of room for guests to express their version of occasion dressing. There were horsey upper class ladies in the paddock discussing the muscle tone in number 7's right leg who looked like they'd had their housekeeper run up their outfit from the old curtains. There were terribly chic older women in loose dress coats and just-dramatic-enough hats. There was also every kind of interpretation of 'fashion' from rebel girls in studded biker boots and vintage fedoras to TOWIE disciples in mega short body con and a layer or ten of fake tan. Interestingly, the further down the stand you went, the more 'trashion' it got. The Queen has been attending Royal Ascot her whole life and it's safe to say she has been witness to big changes in the attire of those who attend. If she's half the people watcher I am- she's probably not, as she's famously much more interested in animals than people- then the 2012 version is all the more interesting for the microcosm it shows of how we dress now.
So a huge thanks to Harrods for a delightful day out and for providing a conventional catwalk show of some great British designers to go alongside the all-day parade of what British women wear now.
What I wore today... Including a lovely hat from Mich Dulce- a Filipino milliner who makes hats with a bit of humour but not so much that you can't be taken seriously at an event like Royal Ascot, and in my opinion much chicer than a few feathers glued to a hairband.
A bit of a pap shot I'm afraid, but I think this must be Marie Mercie, who is well known for cat hats. This is the first time I've seen a summer style and I like very, very much.
Lace was definitely the biggest trend of the day. This navy lace was EVERYWHERE. It's from Next and is based on the Erdem style Duchess Kate wore in Canada last year.
From Prada guipure coats to this... That's the span of Royal Ascot fashion.
The horses were invariably handsome and groomed to perfection
The Fashion Show...
|Ginormous Westwood shoes|
|Stephen Webster mini trilby|
|More Stephen Webster|
And something for the boys...