Over the moon was an understatement when I got asked by hat designer Janice Charles, vintage stylist Rosie Dunn and photographer William James to spend a day at Ladies Day at Aintree Liverpool, dressed and styled by both creative ladies. Hair stylist and makeup artist (MUA) Laura Thompson were kind enough to jump on board too, to get me beautified and ready. I’ve only having had the opportunity once before so I didn’t have to think twice to say “Yes!”
Aintree Ladies Day gives women a chance to dress up and show off their unique dress styles the day before The Grand National.
Ladies of all ages turn up looking immaculately dressed in different styles, colours and fashion to celebrate their own unique, individual dress sense, often worn with an eye catching hat or a more traditional fascinator. All the ladies are invited to compete for best dressed whilst watching the races on the iconic Aintree race track.
The week before the races the five of us got together in a cosy pub to discuss all the possibilities of colours and styles.
Janice Charles designer of House of Charles already had a headpiece in mind she had created with lucky me in mind!
It was an incredible, carefully designed peacock hat dress. Definitely safe to describe as a hat piece that would be noticed! The five of us quickly agreed that the peacock headdress would be the one! Rosie Dunn of Valery’s Vintage had the job of finding the perfect vintage dress to compliment the hat dress. Of course Rosie didn’t disappoint. She picked a long elegant aqua green pleaded halter neck vintage beauty.
Laura Thompson has been my MUA before and I just knew I was in safe hands with her.
On the morning of Aintree Ladies Day Laura used a heavy smokey eye with green/blue eye shadow underneath my eyes to compliment the colours of the outfit alongside an amazing contouring job to finish off with a natural lipstick colour. My hair was pin curled the night before and extensions were used for extra length and volume to create bouncy loose curls.
I’m not going to lie, I was slightly nervous when I woke up and almost wished we would have chosen a more traditional fascinator. But then again, it’s all about having fun, celebrating women’s unique dress sense and standing out. Janice Charles joined me and photographer William James for the day of fun. Janice herself was styled by Rosie Dunn and looked incredible in a black 70’s Palazzo classy vintage jumpsuit and wore one of her own designed hats. A gorgeous white floppy piece with beautiful, colourful flowers on one side.
As soon as we arrived at Aintree race ground my nerves disappeared. The sun was shining, the atmosphere was electric, the ladies looking all so pretty and the guys didn’t look too bad either.
We met and chatted to so many beautifully dressed women, who clearly had put lots of thought and effort into their outfits. I thoroughly enjoyed the fact that lots of women weren’t afraid to tell other females they looked fabulous. You see, this is what strong independent females do. They aren’t afraid to support and raise other women. Hence my pit stop to the loo took about half an hour longer than intended. The lovely girls I met queuing up chatting away, taking selfies and helping each other with topping up make-up before heading out into the crowd again. But then again, I don’t think I am the only female stating, “You always have the best girly chats in public toilets with new found friends.”
Unfortunately certain photographers feel the need to point their lenses and snap the ladies that have had a little bit too much fun. Images of women tripping over or worse, making simply fun of the outfit of choice or certain body parts being exposed accidentally, (and sometime maybe not but who is bothered anyway) are a sad yearly occurrence.
All I can wholeheartedly say is that all the ladies rocked their individual choice of fashion style that day. I salute the ones who felt comfortable enough to just have a total ball!! Just remember for some that feel the need to point the finger and judge these ladies it might have taken courage to leave the house feeling confident and totally happy in their own skin. For some it might be a rare occasion saved up for and looked forward to for months. For others it might have been an occasions to forget about their daily struggles and party, have a drink and be merry!
Be kind always!