Style Melbourne

Q&A with the 2010 Face of Caulfield

I Youthful Fashionista heats at Caulfield's Underwood Stakes Day 2010 - Chadstone Fashion Stakes like that the Face of Caulfield has always been what the glossies like to refer to as a “real” person; they are a naturally stylish race-goer. This year that lady is Helen Coghill who has just commenced her duties as the Face by judging the first heats of the Fashion Stakes and generally being her fabulous self trackside. The willowy blonde was kind enough to answer a few quick questions about what being the face of Caulfield entails and about Spring Racing Carnival style.

1. I know it would be hard to pick, but what is the one thing you are most looking forward to during your role as the Face of Caulfield?

It certainly is hard to choose, considering there’s a buffet of fabulous things coming up! However, it would be hard to beat riding in the back of a BMW convertible to deliver the coveted Cup on BMW Caulfield Cup Day, that’s a moment I’m really looking forward to.

2. What is the most important quality you think a potential Face of Caulfield must possess?

Confidence. The Face of Caulfield is a very public role, and I think confidence in yourself and in the amazing team of professionals allows you to leap into each new role with a smile. Of course, representing classy Caulfield requires attention also to the style trifecta: poise, grace and elegance.

3. Have you been let in on secret tips this year? How do you pick a winning horse?

Ahh…juicy trade secrets! I must preface my tips by saying my punting skills are just getting warmed up. I like to eliminate a little of the guesswork from the flutter by having a look at how they have placed in the lead up to their main race. I also tend to be swayed when it comes to trainer, opting to go with historically good performers.

I’ll be keeping my eye on Anacheeva, trained by Peter Moody and Rick Hore-Lacy’s Toorak Toff in The Age Caulfield Guineas on Satuday 9th October. For the Schwepps Thousand Guineas on Wednesday 13th October I’m putting my faith solely on the Stuart Webb trained Yosei and on BMW Caulfield Cup Day on October 16th my money will be on Bart Cumming’s Daraiana and Gai Waterhouse’s Once Were Wild.

4.Perhaps more importantly, how do you pick a winning outfit? Please describe your personal Spring Racing style.

When choosing an outfit, I keep one word in mind: classy. For me that means a dress that skims just above or below my knees, a demure neckline and as a big fan of embellishments, I opt for intricate beading instead of sequins. I love a bright, botanical print and am also playing with the pretty pastels this year as well.

I love a pair of heels for race days even if it means tipping over the 6 foot tall mark; that is, comfortable heels to see the last horse past the post. And as someone who often wears hats outside of the spring racing carnival, I remind myself not to be self-conscious on race days; big, flamboyant pieces take their rightful center stage at the races!

5. And finally are there any particular trends/styles/colours etc that you would love to see other ladies wearing track side this year?

Absolutely: Women it’s time to embrace your God given curves! The wheel has once again spun around and there’s a lot to love about the 1950’s and early 1960’s. Think beautiful full skirts, cinched waists and bustiers where less skin on show is definitely more. Some may consider this the ‘Mad Men’ epidemic flowing into the pens of designers but whatever the cause, it’s a glorious time to channel the likes of Marilyn Monroe and Sofia Loren, or take inspiration from the Fall/Winter 2010 collection of Louis Vuitton. However, it is important to remember to add a modern twist to avoid looking like a caricature of a bygone era. Add a little of the new millennium with statement jewelery-big cuffs, bold necklaces and statement provoking cocktail rings.

Also, the pastel/nude colour palette is a very welcome, feminine invite to this years spring racing season, but it has one falter-it can look really bland. To take it from paltry to pretty make sure shoes are up to the minute modern and accessories, particularly headwear, have a bold presence.


PS So thrilled to announce that I’ll be judging the Fashion Stakes on Caulfield Cup Day alongside Helen! Already mildly freaking out about what on earth to wear. Spring racing fashion suggestions welcome in the comments below…

Image: Ashley McLaren

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