The Canadian Derby, hosted by Northlands over the weekend, attracted an unusually eclectic fan base and had all the elements of its US counterpart from the sheer thrill of betting, to the hockey-game like shrieks from the crowd - and delightfully playful fashion.
It's hard to think about Derby style without thinking about those oversized, decorative hats. Hats have played an important part in horse-racing history, starting with the Royal Ascot in the UK, where full morning dress was a must-do. And there's no need to hold back when it comes to the perfect Derby hat - the more outlandish the better!
The "Derby Girls" showcased electric jewel tones in short, streamlined 'prom-like' dresses, killer heels and, of course, big, bountiful hats accented by florals.
All this effort to present a dazzlin' Derby look was pleasantly unexpected and, at one point, a group of betting gals in the grandstands whispered, "We got these shawls and hats from the Dollar Store!" And they could hold their own next to old money couture!
Also impressive was the effort made by men. Some of them were simply elegant in tuxes and the classic seersucker. Pinstripes, caps, suspenders lightweight Fedoras (on men & women - worn everywhere on the streets of New York), pinstripes and mix and match patterns showed that the men, too, enjoyed getting daper for the Derby.
Don't miss out on the event next year... it's worth checking out even if you're not into gambling. The robust energy is contagious - and you'll find yourself wishing you would have dressed the part.