Fashionista and former Miss South Africa Jo-Anne Strauss gives us the lowdown on what to wear at the first major social event for 2012: L'Ormarins Queen's Plate.
Q: L'Ormarins Queen's Plate: the first real event on the social calendar for 2012. What are the fashions you think will make the most impression at the races?
A: I think that to kick start 2012, most fashionistas will be dressing to impress. I hope that people will embrace wearing hats and the theme with absolute gusto. The Queen’s Plate is one of the most elegant days and I hope to see men in linen suits and ladies in gorgeous white lace perhaps. It’s easy to bring in colour with an exquisite hat.
Q: Hair, hats and fascinators are also a big thing at the races. Are there any rules around what to wear atop the old noggin?
A: I think that one can buy generic fascinators at many accessory stores, but how about a bespoke hat made by a milliner, especially for the day? I’ve found Jacqueline Kolbe – she is fantastic and has dressed elegant heads all over the world. And she’s South African.
Q: It gets a little tricky tottering around on the track with sky-high heels. Are flat shoes acceptable? What do you suggest?
A: Wedges are the way! I wore a pair last year – nude tone to lengthen the leg and very comfortable.
Q: The event is taking place in the first week of January in Cape Town, so naturally, it's going to be hot and potentially a little windy. Given the potential weather, what type of clothing is best to steer clear of?
A: Wide skirts look fabulous – but yes, soms is dit ‘n mannetjies wind wat waai. Careful when wearing wide skirts and perhaps make sure that your hair is not too done up if the wind is out. Or bring on the hair gel and do a sleek tied back style to complement your hat.
Q: Another challenge is getting your outfit to stay in place all day. How can we reinvent your look for the party later on?
A: A fab pair of earrings with some sparkle and a red lip are easy to add on and fit comfortably into your little clutch for the day. And a little pashmina too – just in case it’s a bit cooler at night.
Q: What about make-up? How can we make it last the whole way through the afternoon and into the evening?
A: I love blot sheets. They take away the shine without taking off the make-up and blot powder works well too. Not too heavy on the make-up and glitter and fake-lashes –it’s LQP, not MCQP!
Q: What are your best and worst things about the fashion at the races?
A: Some people try too hard and some don’t try at all. Make an effort!