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Nadia Fairfax on taking fashion risks at the races

Macgraw dress $1,995.00  Hepburn & Co hair clips $6.95 (pack of 2) Macgraw dress, Hepburn & Co hair clips.


If you’re stuck on what to wear to the races this season, you’re probably not alone. When it comes to refining your carnival style, most of us are plagued with the same questions. Do you go fiercely feminine, or make your look more modern? Are there trends that you should know about, or is it more important to stick to tradition?

To help you perfect your Spring Carnival style, we spoke to our Face of Racing Nadia Fairfax about how she stays comfortably chic on race day.

Macgraw dress $1,995.00  Hepburn & Co hair clips $6.95 (pack of 2) Macgraw dress, Hepburn & Co hair clips.


JONES: How would you describe your spring racing style?

NADIA FAIRFAX: I love to change up my style from each race day to the next, but ultimately my look is always relatively classic, with the rule that it must be eye-catching. There’s nothing worse than looking boring at the races! Fashion is fun, so wearing a bold colour, exaggerated shapes or alluring texture is a must!

J: What designers and labels do you love to wear during spring racing season?

NF: Oh gosh, the options are endless. It’s hard to go wrong with designers like Dion Lee, Zimmermann and Bec and Bridge.  Although I’m really enjoying the likes of By Johnny, Romance was Born, Aje and Macgraw right now.

J: Do you have a favourite milliner/accessories designer?

NF: I have a deep love for earrings! Oscar De La Renta always do great earrings that are perfect for racing. 

We’re lucky in Australia, our dressing guidelines for headwear are quite relaxed, so you don’t always need to wear a hat, and there are so many alternative options. A great headscarf tied in a cool way works wonders, I also love a tiara-like headband!

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J: What style advice would you give to someone going to the races for the first time?

NF: Don’t be underdressed! It’s not too often you get the chance to be ultra-glam. Don’t hold back, go for it! Take a look at the track’s website for the dress code, follow the rules and stick to the theme if there is one for the day you’ll be attending, e.g. black and white for Derby Day. There’s nothing worse than seeing a gorgeous girl who’s not dressed in appropriate race wear.

J: Where do you look to for inspiration when choosing your race day outfits?

NF: I’m having a real Giovanna Battaglia moment. Her use of colour is fab! But what inspires me is her playful spirit, she looks like she is always having fun! This spring, I’ll definitely be stalking her instagram.

J: What will you be wearing to the races this year?    

NF: Adventurous accessories!


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J: What do you love most about the fashion at the races?

NF: Truthfully I love seeing men in suits! HA! This year I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to some world-class race events - Royal Ascott in London and The Preakness stakes day in Washington D.C. The truth is, us Australians are by far the best dressed! I get rather excited when I see what my fellow fashion-gals turn up in.  Each year the stakes get higher and the choices are more and more outlandish. I really love seeing people take risks, although in saying that I’ve also seen some total disasters!

J: Any tips for keeping your hair and makeup flawless all day long?

NF: It’s all about primer; I’m currently using Laura Mercier - Radiance.  And, of course, making little retouches throughout the day. For this reason, I always keep a crème blush with me so I can look rosy and fresh, as well as a great make up brush, so I can ensure powder doesn’t fall into my fine lines.


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J: What 3 beauty essentials do you always keep in your race day clutch?

NF: Primer, crème blush and my makeup brush, plus Lanolips 10 – this essential doubles as a highlighter for cheek bones. I also keep a small comb in my clutch, especially when my hair is down! I love freshly brushed hair. Oh, and a foundation stick is also a must! 

Photography by Hannah Roche 


N A D I A ‘ S  R A C E  D A Y  E S S E N T I A L S


Going to the Spring Carnival?