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Hats off to the ladies at York races
HOMEMADE headwear and customised outfits were firm favourites with the ladies at York Racecourse yesterday, as thousands flocked for the second day of the Ebor festival, the North’s number one race meeting.
Glammed-up girls added their own unique touch to their fabulous frocks, with many choosing to jazz up their outfits with handmade hats and customised jewellery.
Black and white ensembles were also frontrunners with the fashionistas sipping their drinks in the champagne bar, and sky-high heels adorned the feet of many style-conscious women placing bets at the Knavesmire.
Big hats were also a clear winner, and friends Lisa Brown and Julie Heseltine, from Middlesbrough, turned more than a few heads with their larger-than-life headwear.
The pair, who were celebrating Mrs Heseltine’s 45th birthday, said they chose to come to York for the atmosphere and the chance to get dressed up.
Miss Brown, a nurse at The James Cook University Hospital, said: “It’s not far to drive and it’s such a fantastic atmosphere.
“I’m getting married in September and it’s Julie’s birthday so we’re just having a brilliant day celebrating.
“I’ve had my dress for years and I got my hat by accident – I went in to buy a hat for a wedding and came out with this.”
Another lady turning heads was 24-year-old Naomi Smith from York. Her Legally Blonde-inspired creation, complete with papier-mache Chihuahua, was the work of York milliner, Faye Grosvenor.
Ms Grosvenor said: “She wanted something that would stand out and cause a stir, so I came up with this. I wanted to get Bruiser, the dog, in it and also make it very pink and girly.
“It took about two months to make, from the design to painting it, and since it’s made out of papier-mache it only cost about £30 to make.”
Miss Smith, a former Miss York winner, said she was delighted with her creation.
She said: “I absolutely love it.
I’m obsessed with all things Legally Blonde so this is just perfect for me, and it’s turning a lot of heads too.”
At 2pm, with the champagne and Pimms in full flow, the first race got under way.
Even a heavy downpour, which had spectators running for the nearest stand, did nothing to dampen spirits, as outfits were accessorised with umbrellas and ponchos.
However, those not interested in the action on the track could turn their heads to the Fashion on the Field catwalk, hosted by designer Jeff Banks.
The event saw stylish racegoers parade their outfits down the catwalk in front of four judges, including ITV’s fashion guru, Mark Hayes, and Prima magazine editor, Maire Fahey, in the hope of being crowned Ebor festival’s best dressed racegoer.
One of those taking part was Alexandra Subris, from Wetherby. The dressmaker had made her own pink satin creation from scratch, while her friend made her extravagant matching headwear.
She said: “My dress took about a month to complete, from designing to making it. I love York, because you can get really dressed up and go all out.”
Watching from the crowd was Maxine Parry, from Huddersfield. The 44-year-old proved you didn’t have to break the bank to look a million dollars in a striking black, white and orange outfit.
She said: “At £23, my hat was my most expensive part of my outfit. My shoes were a tenner and my dress was £15 and I stuck an orange feather in my hat to brighten it up and add a bit of colour and originality to it as well.
“It’s my first time here and I’m absolutely loving it.”
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