Friday 15 December 2017

Ladies let fashion go to their heads

Dean Gray

IT WAS Ladies' Day at Royal Ascot and the emphasis was on outlandish hats. And female racegoers did not disappoint this year.

One fashion student wore a creative headpiece inspired by William and Kate's impending baby. Gabriele Dirvanauskas's hat featured nappies and gold-coloured rattles, bottles and soothers topped off with a small crown.

The 23-year-old said: "I was working on this three hours a night for a week. I'm very excited by the royal baby and I hope it's a girl."

There was also the rare sight of a guide dog wearing a tiny Mexican hat decorated with colourful ribbons.

Zoey, a five-year-old Labrador-retriever cross, was guiding her blind owner, David Adams, who was with his wife, Judith.

Mr Adams (68) joked: "It says in the rules that ladies have to wear a hat so we made sure she had one, but she doesn't wear it when she's working."


Victoria Pendleton, Britain's Olympic gold medallist in track cycling, described her delight at wearing feminine clothes as she enjoyed the atmosphere.

"I love dressing up and wearing a dress. It's a whole new world for me to wear heels and a frock," she said.

The sportswoman brought a glittering career in bike racing to a close at London 2012 by retiring after winning a keirin gold and sprint silver.

She wore a red hat featuring a rose by Irish milliner Philip Treacy and a poppy print dress by Paul Smith.

Entertainer Bruce Forsyth, who is a regular at Royal Ascot with his wife, Wilnelia, said: "We come every year, it's one of the few days we get to go out together.

"But it's a great day out – you can dress up and enjoy yourself."

Other famous faces at the racecourse were doyenne of baking Mary Berry and singer Pixie Lott.

The queen was joined in the royal box by the princess royal and her husband, vice-admiral Tim Laurence, and princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.


Irish Independent

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