New dress code a hit at Ascot's Ladies' Day

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

 

A drop of rain could not affect sartorial standards at Royal Ascot today - and even a dog was appropriately dressed for Ladies' Day.

Umbrellas went up as the clouds burst over the Berkshire racecourse but racegoers' vibrant outfits provided the splash of colour needed to brighten up the grey day.

The new dress code meant more thought had to go into outfits this Ladies' Day, always a highlight of the social season.

Headpieces, hats or fascinators must be worn in the grandstand area - with hats mandatory in the royal enclosure.

Bare shoulders are also a no-no, midriffs must be covered and dresses and skirts have to be of a "modest" length.

Men must also wear a shirt and tie in the grandstand.

A team of dress code assistants are on hand to give out fascinators, pashmina-style shawls and ties to those not quite coming up to scratch.

Guide dog Zoey, a four-year-old black Labrador, had been kitted out in a purple, yellow and green hat by owners David and Judith Adams from Warwickshire, to make sure she passed muster.

They were also wearing the colours of Kauto Star, owned by their friend Clive Smith, as ribbons on their outfits.

Mr Adams, who borrowed the hat from a friend who wore it at Windsor racecourse on Monday, said: "We'd been reading about the fashion police and these rules and regulations, and thought: 'Oh my goodness, we'd better comply'.

"Because she's wearing the harness, both her crown and shoulders are covered."

But one racegoer had her bubble burst when she was told her red, white and blue balloon creation was classed as a "novelty hat" - and therefore not acceptable.

A dress code assistant approached Natalie Haverstock, a balloon artist who works under the name Miss Ballooniverse, and took her to one side after she put the balloon hat on inside the grounds.

She was also wearing a miniature blue bowler hat headpiece as stipulated by officials, but was told she had to take the balloons off.

Ms Haverstock, who also wore a Union Jack dress and shoes, told the woman: "I'm wearing a hat."

But the dress code assistant, who had been patrolling the grounds looking for those flaunting the fashion regulations, told her firmly: "It's definitely a novelty hat."

Ms Haverstock, from Canary Wharf, London, was ushered off the premises by a security guard when she tried to pose for photographs just outside the gates.

She said: "I thought I could bend the rules, but no such luck.

"This is the fourth year I've worn one of my creations to Ladies' Day - and the first time I've been told to take it off.

"I knew there were new rules in place, but I'm a balloon artist and this is my creativity, and I'm being told it's not welcome.

"Usually the staff take pictures of me themselves.

"I think they've taken it too far."

Asked what she would do with her balloon hat, she replied: "I've got to check it into the cloakroom - but it's quite robust so it should be all right."

A group of five friends wearing hats on the theme of Britishness were luckier however and got past the so-called fashion police, who were distinctly dressed in purple suits, with no problems.

The dress code assistant who had spoken to Ms Haverstock said they were not classed as novelty hats.

She added: "They're quite clearly eccentric and we support British eccentricity."

Milliner Jayne Elwell, from Sedgwick, who created the teapot, stamp, fried breakfast, afternoon tea and crown-shaped hats, said: "This is such a big year for Britain so we wanted to go for a patriotic theme.

"We decided to reflect different aspects of Britain as a celebration of our culture.

"I do like the new dress rules.

"Last year I really noticed a difference in standards.

"People weren't dressed respectfully.

"It's nice to dress up for Royal Ascot."

Celebrities were out in force, including veteran entertainer Sir Bruce Forsyth, former Olympic champion Steve Redgrave, fashion designer Ozwald Boateng and Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes.

Fellowes said: "It's rather typical Ladies' Day weather.

"But I like the fact everyone dresses up, right through the whole race track."

Mezzo soprano Katherine Jenkins braved the rain showers to pose for photographers in a sleeveless, floral metallic dress by Richard Nicholl and a grey hat by Philip Treacy.

The Welsh singer, who was presenting one of the prizes today, said: "I think it's such a lovely occasion to dress up and go for the glamour.

"I love seeing everyone's dresses.

"This is my first time here and I love seeing what everyone is wearing."

Asked by a fan if she was going to sing, she replied: "No - it's a day off with my mum and my sister."

Other hats on display included one in the shape of a giant love heart bearing the words "fine filly", worn by 30-year-old Blanche Richards from east London, and eight headpieces in the shape of musical notes that had been designed by Adrienne Henry from Reading, Berkshire, and worn by her friends and family.

A particularly artistic creation was worn by Carla Creegan from Liverpool. The hat, at three feet tall and three feet wide, was based on a print by artist Louise Dear and made by milliner Hayley Marsden, also from Liverpool, after being commissioned by Castle Galleries.

Ms Dear, from Totnes, Devon, said: "My paintings are all very feminine and a celebration of life - and it's great to see one of them bought to life as a hat."

PA

News
A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
science
News
Richard Dawkins dedicated his book 'The Greatest Show on Earth' to Josh Timonen
newsThat's Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Extras
indybest
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Travel
Dinosaurs Unleashed at the Eden Project
travel
Arts and Entertainment
music
Sport
football
Life and Style
This month marks the 20th anniversary of the first online sale
techDespite a host of other online auction sites and fierce competition from Amazon, eBay is still the most popular e-commerce site in the UK
News
i100
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Quantitative Analyst (Financial Services, Graduate, SQL, VBA)

£45000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Quantitative Analyst (Financial Services, ...

Application Support Engineer (C++, .NET, VB, Perl, Bash, SQL)

Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Application Support Engineer (C++, .NET, VB, Per...

C# .NET Software Developer (Client-Side, SQL, VB6, WinForms)

Negotiable: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Software Developer (Client-Side, SQL, VB...

C# Developer (Genetic Algorithms, .NET 4.5, TDD, SQL, AI)

£40000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home