International field rejects Sydney’s big money for shot at Melbourne Cup
Royal Randwick is hosting the richest turf race in the world this weekend — The Everest — and for many dressing the part involves weeks of planning.
Rivalry between Melbourne and Sydney has a long history but when it comes to the spring racing season, the Melbournites have an edge both on the track and fashion field.
Sydney milliner Neil Grigg says he has clients who pare back their look to match the mood in Sydney.
Neil Grigg with Gai Waterhouse FB
“It’s not has extravagant as Melbourne Cup, not as over the top,” he said.
“Melbourne has been going for much much longer, whereas Sydney doesn’t quite get the numbers … Sydney is still developing.”
Mr Grigg has been a milliner for close to 40 years, and says the lead-up to the spring season is a “mad time”.
“You don’t need to go as extravagant — but plenty of people do.”
He works on about five to six headpieces at a time, with each taking up to six hours to create.
What’s on trend?
Mr Grigg uses traditional fabrics such as silk and sheer crinoline for his headpieces, but has added some new materials for this season too.
“We’re starting to work with metals in the tiaras and crowns,” he said.
“We’re using leather in spring as well as autumn.
“I also use a fabulous material of silk and straw combination, so it just shines and glows.”
Mr Grigg’s hat of choice is the “very chic” pillbox.
“Beautiful pillboxes give you a lovely shape,” he said.
“Other than that, [try] a fascinator, which can be all feathers and flowers and frou-frou.
“Your face is framed by the hair, but you still get a hint of colour with a little shape around the head.”
Neil Grigg’s top fashion tips
Match the hat to the dress
“Say you have a blue dress,” he said.
“You might go with a nude shoe and a bag. You might put silver with the blue in your hat, so it gives you a lift, which you can pick up with jewellery.
“Don’t throw 27 colours into it. Alternatively, have a pink hat with a bit of a blue edge on it.”
Dip the hat
If you want to make it a bit more chic or add some style, give the hat a little dip on one side.
Pay attention to the way the hat dips though — whether it’s over the left or right eye — as it depends on whether the milliner is left or right-handed. The high point of the hat should sit in the centre.
For the men
If you are entering Fashions on the Field, you need a hat.
Doing it yourself?
Start with a solid base like a hat or fascinator and build up.
Think you can’t afford it?
Mr Grigg said hats start from about $ 30, and affordable pieces can be found at major department stores or craft stores.
“You might not have the most outrageous thing, but find something you feel fabulous in.”