As the 2017 Spring Racing Carnival kicks off, us ladies are in need of some sage advice. So who better to ask than a race-day aficionado and style icon? We sat down with the amazing Rachael Finch to talk top designers, putting together the perfect race-day ensemble, and what's in-style this season.
The Spring Racing Carnival kicks off this weekend with Derby Day, what are you looking forward to the most this season?
I think just watching everyone walking around the marquee. Everyone’s really stepping it up, people are putting a lot of effort into their outfits and it’s just an explosion of colours and brands. One thing in particular I’m looking forward to seeing in the Myer tent is the conveyer belt of cocktails and canapés!
How do you put together the perfect outfit?
I think it’s all about balance. The millinery is a crucial element, it’s almost like you start with the millinery as opposed to the dress and just keep it as simple as possible. Picking the millinery as a starting point is always great, and then trying to coordinate all the pieces to that theme.
Speaking of millinery, what's your favourite style?
I love a big, wide-brimmed hat. I’ve actually got a couple this week! I wanted three, possibly four, but that’s a bit of an overload. Nerida Winter has always been a big one for me, she does a really good quality hat. Then I got to Victoria Novak if I want a crown.
How about the outfit, who are your go-to designers?
Alex Perry, you can’t go past him in terms of getting a really food fit that sits on a woman’s body really well. Toni Maticevski is another great one.
What's one trend that is really in style for 2017?
Ruffles or frills. I really think we’re going to see a lot of ruffles, and a lot of beautiful asymmetric cuts and shapes.
What's one trend that is really out of style for 2017?
We’re still seeing a lot of bell sleeves, a lot of flared pants, you know that really 60's and 70's inspired trend. I don’t think we’ll be seeing too much neon this year - we went through that phase of a lot of bright neon colours and I think that’s definitely not in this year. Colours will be more about the cobalt blue, hot pink and canary yellow.
What's your favourite outfit you've ever worn to the races?
I actually think what I’m wearing on Derby Day is my favourite ever. It’s a two-piece suit combo, and then I’ve got a Victoria Novak headpiece. It’s really comfortable, all of the back of the suit is actually missing so all my back is out, but it’s completely covered from the front. It’s really cool.
Let's talk beauty, how do you prepare your skin the night before?
As much sleep as possible! It's a really important part, because the skin performs best when you’ve had a lot of sleep. I don’t use a stripping cleanser, I just use a nice milk-based one so that my skin stays hydrated. I also use quite a thick moisturiser and I always use a primer under my foundation the next day.
When it comes to race-day beauty, do you prefer a natural or dramatic look?
Definitely more natural! I try use as little foundation as possible and just let the skin do all the talking. I try to just add some highlight on the cheek, minimal contouring and really light eyeshadow, just curl the lash and add a bit of mascara. Then just a really natural lip, I use a balm throughout the day.
The mascara I use is called the Colour Theory Define Mascara ($8; westfield.com.au), I like Jane Iredale for a pressed powder ($72; janeiredale.com.au), and I use the YSL Touche Éclat Radiant Touch as concealer ($68; mecca.com.au).
What essentials do you carry in your bag on race-day?
My phone, lip balm, dried fruit and nut mix for a snack and my notes for work.