Board the ‘people’s catwalk’ as fashion races into spring

As the city's largest, only fully enclosed and air-conditioned shopping centre, Stockland Gladstone has a range of covetable spring racing items to suit every budget. (left) Stockland Gladstone stylist Cassandra Fisher, Stockland Gladstone centre manager Amanda Brookes, Stockland Gladstone marketing manager Terri Hewerdine, Tani Emery, who works at Strandbags within the Gladstone Stockland centre.
As the city's largest, only fully enclosed and air-conditioned shopping centre, Stockland Gladstone has a range of covetable spring racing items to suit every budget. (left) Stockland Gladstone stylist Cassandra Fisher, Stockland Gladstone centre manager Amanda Brookes, Stockland Gladstone marketing manager Terri Hewerdine, Tani Emery, who works at Strandbags within the Gladstone Stockland centre. Brenda Strong

FASHION at spring races is a nod to dressing at its most effervescent - a people's catwalk, where the colours on display create as much discussion as the spectacle on the track.

Stockland Gladstone is today celebrating style, participating in a fashion show at the 2013 Gladstone Caufield Cup ladies' and gents' day from 1.30pm, which will be followed by a fashion in the field event.

To inspire readers for their sartorial choices, The Observer photographed a few looks suited to various budgets and available from Stockland Gladstone. These are perfect for the races. We also chatted to the centre's stylist to give residents hot tips with regard to what's on-trend.

Stockland Gladstone marketing manager Terri Hewerdine wears: 
Rockmans Floral print dress $79.95 
Fascinator from US Hair Care $14.95 
Spend-less Shoes
Stockland Gladstone marketing manager Terri Hewerdine wears: Rockmans Floral print dress $79.95 Fascinator from US Hair Care $14.95 Spend-less Shoes "Thorn" price reduced to $9.95 Brenda Strong

Stockland Gladstone marketing manager Terri Hewerdine said there were plenty of high-quality outfit options available to suit various sizes and ages at the retail precinct's specialty shops and major retailers.

"It's pretty diverse," Ms Hewerdine said.

"You'd be surprised by the places you get key items at such a reasonable price.

"If you do come in, you'll find something fantastic.

"By buying locally, you're creating demand which, in turn, means more range."

For those ladies hoping to take out the fashion in the field title today, the woman they need to impress is Stockland Gladstone's stylist and Miss Havana Nights owner Cassandra Fisher, who will judge the event.

Blue seems to be the new black and soft pink seems to be the new white.

Ms Fisher said spring/summer 2014 racing fashion was all about vintage-inspired looks, tapestry and lace.

"Also, classic meets vintage pairing is something you'll see a lot of," she said.

"If it's solid colours, it's two shades darker than the true pastel colour for summer with a punch."

Ms Fisher said spring fashion had always been pastels and flirty, soft florals and summer brought colourful, bold colour blocking and true summer prints.

But things have changed slightly, with Ms Fisher noting that nudes had been thrown into spring and neons have been worked into summer as key looks.

Stockland Gladstone stylist Cassandra Fisher wears: Best and Less Edited dress, $35 Fascinator from US Hair Care, $24.95 Spend-less Shoes, Prim blue, $49.95
Stockland Gladstone stylist Cassandra Fisher wears: Best and Less Edited dress, $35 Fascinator from US Hair Care, $24.95 Spend-less Shoes, Prim blue, $49.95 Brenda Strong

On-trend colours are periwinkle blue, lavender, coral, mint and nude, with collections nodding to femininity.

"Blue seems to be the new black and soft pink seems to be the new white," she said.

She suggested women embrace colour: "Black, white and nude are always in style and classically chic.

"Step out of your style comfort zone and rock a bold necklace and bangle."

STOCKLAND STYLIST'S TREND ALERT

HEAD PIECES are the new fascinators and feathers are being replaced by flowers.

RACE DATES

  • Gladstone Caulfield Cup Ladies' and Gents' Day: Today
  • Cox Plate Day: October 26
  • Melbourne Cup Day: November 5
  • Rosella Park School Charity Day: November 30
Tani Emery, who works at Strandbags within the Gladstone Stockland centre, wears: 
Noni B Floral soft satin dress from the Liz Jordan Designer Collection $219.95 
Fascinator from US Hair Care $19.95 
Spend-less Shoes
Tani Emery, who works at Strandbags within the Gladstone Stockland centre, wears: Noni B Floral soft satin dress from the Liz Jordan Designer Collection $219.95 Fascinator from US Hair Care $19.95 Spend-less Shoes "Thorn" price reduced to $9.95 Brenda Strong

NONI B has a collection of stylish dresses perfect for a race day soiree or special get together.

Gladstone store manager Toni Hobbs said elegant styles were proving popular this year.

Ms Hobbs said classic black-and-white was always a popular choice but it was also good to add a splash of colour.

"It's a terrific idea to buy a dress that is versatile and can be worn to other occasions," she said.

Ms Hobbs said there were a few fashion rules that ladies should keep in mind when dressing for racing functions.

"Keep it elegant," she said.

"Hemlines shouldn't be too short and necklines too low.  You shouldn't look like you're ready to head to a nightclub."

The Liz Jordan Designer Collection by NONI B, which is available from sizes 8 to 18 in most styles, includes elegant '50s-style dresses with cinched-in waists and full skirts, beautiful red shift dresses with delicate lace overlays and stylish peplum dresses.