Dubai’s Divas come out for the Derby: Horse race World Cup 2014 brings out the stallions of fashion

Published March 31st, 2014 - 15:07 GMT

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Dubai World Cup 2014
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Image 1 of 11: It was simplicity that won Liza and her Indonesian model Fitri Rees the best hat for the evening. The red twirly creation, adorned with one simple long strand of feather, was enough to beat its other hat-competitors on the evening.

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Image 1 of 11: German native and avid horse lover Susan Sauer has made annual pilgrimages to England’s Ascot and the Dubai event nine years running. She dressed in a flowing, cream-colored frock, but it was her fuchsia pink hat with intimidating striped feathers that grabbed attention. She said. “Of course, every year, new hat!”

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Image 1 of 11: German Katharina Dietrich, a self-professed UAE-lover, has been to the races six years running, always embedding UAE flag colors into her self-made outfits. “I have too much respect for Arabic people,” she said. This year she was covered in horses, from her hat and handbag to a large equestrian portrait on the front of her dress.

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Image 1 of 11: Dubai-based teacher Natalie Sacks went all out for her third year at the races. Her oversized black-and-turquoise headpiece looked like the Meydan racecourse - running horses included! Said Sacks, “I made it myself from foam, cardboard and wire.” Surely a safe bet for a win?

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Image 1 of 11: Corona Tutoiu channeled Audrey Hepburn in a classic red dress and shimmering black hat, but her purse placed the Melbourne woman as an odds-on favorite! She bought the black horse-shaped bag in Hong Kong especially for the event, saying,“I had to bring [the bag] to Dubai because it’s the year of the horse!”

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Image 1 of 11: Peacocks inspired Lucy Mila, whose hat (created by Nigerian milliner King Lee) featured 100 peacock feathers sprouting from a bright blue base. Mila assured people that no peacocks were hurt in the process; they lose feathers naturally. “I got inspiration from Zabeel Park where a lot of birds walk around,” she said.

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Image 1 of 11: Kim Narrandes also showed some bird love with a tiny yellow canary atop her shoulder and its twin on her felt hat. Her blue netted headpiece-along with a matching handbag-sported the Expo 2020 logo in what she hoped would help display her love for Dubai.

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Image 1 of 11: Art historian Karolina Konicizna won the Most Creative Hat competition with a carefully-structured, spherical floral hat. “It’s perfectly comfortable, and it represents Dubai,” she said of the pink-and-white piece. Straight from the horse’s mouth!

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Image 1 of 11: Marlon Weir won Best Dressed Man in a classic black tailcoat, grey vest and black slacks made to his instruction by the Royal Fashion Men’s Tailor in Bur Dubai. He paired the suit with a black top hat and a cane from Souq Madinat, saying his inspiration was from the horses themselves.

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Image 1 of 11: Dubai-based events manager Sarah Jayne Heart won the tight race for Best Dressed Lady, driving off in a Jaguar convertible after her first time attending the event! “I’m absolutely ecstatic,” she said. Her lovely beige and white Moloh dress was topped by a feathered hat - custom-made by a friend at 2am the night before!

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Image 1 of 11: Best Dressed Couple went to Michael Morcos and Natalia Shustova. He rocked white slacks and black sport coat, lavender shirt and red ascot. She was a dead ringer for a red rose, in a slender red shift and enormous bloom on her head.

As “the world’s richest horse race,” with the four-legged winner of the Dubai World Cup trotting off with a million bucks, watched stallions jockey for position on the track, it was not the only thing that brought the other fine stallions (of a different breed!) to the annual Dubai World Cup!

Once the fabulous hats and smiles were on, racing-enthusiasts were ready for an exciting day of betting on their lucky horses, and for striking a post left, right and centre for the fashion-hungry press on-site.

Towering hats of dangerous proportions, flowing frocks in every color in the crayon box, and heels of record- (and leg-) breaking proportions were off and running. Of course, horse-inspired fashion is uncommon on runways, but it’s perfectly at place at the 2014 Dubai World Cup.

This year’s hats were exceptional, extravagant and more creative than ever, giving even the Royal Ascot fashionistas a run for their money. The winning horse may have walked away with $10 million, but each one of those ladies looked like a million bucks!

Heavy money was riding on the clotheshorses who jockeyed for position in the Style Stakes - an annual event that puts fashion-lovers through their paces, competing for outrageously fabulous prizes. Alas, only in Dubai!

The Style Stakes, sponsored by Jaguar, invites clotheshorses to vie for prize money as stunningly over-the-top as their outfits. Best Dressed Lady was given a year-long loan of a new Jaguar F-TYPE Convertible while Best Dressed Man and Best Dressed Couple received a mountain of bling from luxe sponsors. Other categories were Best Hat, Most Creative Hat, and Longines Most Elegant Lady who strutted off with a prize of a 42-diamond Longines Conquest Classic timepiece.

First time judge Jessica Kahawaty, the face of Yahoo! Maktoob and second runner-up in 2012’s Miss World, said elegance was the odds-on favorite, but outfits inspired by horses and flowers and fruits also made it down to the wire.

We invite you to take a look at this year’s top fashion (or not so)-istas attempt to outdo their fierce-feathered, flowered, and frocked competitors at this year’s annual affair!

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