Thursday, 20 June 2013

Dress code at Ascot 2013

Fashion is just as important as the spectacle of horse racing at Ascot. It is a tradition to pick the colour of the monarch's hat on Ladies Day. Today bets on the hue of the Queen's hat and the Queen's horse was favourite for the Gold Cup.
Here the Queen enjoys the close finish when her horse wins.

Much to the delight of many was the news that the Queen's horse Estimate won the Gold Cup ridden  by Ryan Moore. This is the first time a reining monarch has won the Gold Cup.
Some one who wasn't happy was designer Tracey Rose who wasn't allowed into the Royal enclosure as her dress was too short.
Her £3000 hat and the dress worn to match were stopped by the fashion police.
Here we have a much better example of the dress code at Ascot.

Ladies fashion etiquette for the Royal enclosure is as follows;

Dresses and skirts should be of a modest length, defined as falling just above the knee or longer
Straps should be one inch wide or greater
Jackets and pashminas may be worn
Trouser suits are welcome. They should be full length and of matching material and colour.
Hats should be worn. A headpiece which has a base of four inches or more in diameter is acceptable. No fascinators.
Midriffs should be covered
Strapless, off the shoulder, halterneck and spaghetti straps are not permitted.
It is a requirement to wear black or grey morning dress, which must include a waistcoat and tie (no cravats) and a black or grey top hat and black shoes.
Grandstand – women
A hat, headpiece or fascinator should be worn at all times.
Strapless or sheer strap dresses and tops are not permitted.
Trousers must be full length and worn with a top that adheres to the guidelines above (ie strapless or sheer strap tops are not permitted).
Midriffs must be covered.
Shorts are not permitted.
Gentlemen are required to wear a suit with a shirt and tie.
In addition to the dress code advice, no fancy dress, novelty and branded or promotional clothing is allowed within the racecourse during Royal Ascot.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Hope and aspiration.

A day to remember for Northern Ireland. The US Preseident brings his wife and daughters to see Northern Ireland.
 It may be cold and raining but there is a warm welcome for the family, as they get off Airforce 1.
While in Belfast's Waterfront Hall there was a crowd of young people. " You might be some of the very most important people that we speak to today" said Michele Obama.
The students where deeply touched and I hope they will be part of a better future.
 Hannah Nelson introduced the Obama's to the audience in the Waterfront with an excellent speech  inspiring young people on  "How to you make peace last?" Making me feel there is a hope and a future for the young people here.
 The first lady spoke from the heart without any notes in a relaxed and informative way with conviction and motivation. She then introduced her husband who also engaged with the audience. Again no notes just seem ably heart felt words of hope and inspiration. "Hope is contagious"
"What's the crac? But went on to encourage all the young people to face the future united together. With the promise that the United States would always be there to help.
"This small island it's Best Days are still to come, hope for the future is bright.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

June 2013

June 2013 marks the anniversary of the Queen's coronation. A notion of the dress has been recreated and put on display  at a cost of £50,000 pounds. They said it was impossible to recreate the exact dress today! I thought I would share with you some pictures of the actual embroidery on the dress.

Norman Hartnell  drew several designs for the Queen. It is said that she had a clear idea of what she wanted. She wanted white satin with coloured embroidery. The design chosen incorporated all the floral symbols of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. In this picture you can see the pale pink rose for England, the yellow mimosa wattle flowers for Australia, the silver and green ferns for new Zealand, the golden wheat for Pakistan and the Canadian maple leaf.
 It also had pale green leeks for Wales, green and silver shamrocks for Ireland, pale purple and amethyst thistles for Scotland, pink and silver proteas for South Africa and mother of pearl lotus flowers representing India and Ceylon.

All over there was a sparkle from the plethora of crystals, pearls and sequins so that the dress shimmered and glistened in a magical manner as the Queen moved. There was an extra shamrock sewn in for luck on the left side of the skirt.
This is the sketch that Norman Hartnell gave the Queen of the dress.
The drawing, in watercolour and bodycolour over pencil, shows the detail the full-skirted gown with the tiers of rich embroidery. They say the sketch was probably drawn by Ian Thomas, Hartnell's assistant, who went on to become a successful couturier in his own right.
It is said to have taken 8 months to produce. A team of 3 dress makers and 6 embroideresses.
It must of been heavy with the amount of fabric and beading.
The Queen is said to have commented the first time she tried it on that the embellished creation was "Glorious"
This was the busiest time for Hartnell, he did the Queen Mother's outfit and the principal royal ladies also many of the peeresses.
Don't forget he did the Queen's wedding dress and many of her outfits for years.
He brilliantly contributed to British fashion.