Hats off to the ladies at Royal Ascot

The Northern Echo: PALETTE HEADWEAR: Constance Peach poses for photographers at Royal Ascot PALETTE HEADWEAR: Constance Peach poses for photographers at Royal Ascot

Standing tall in a sleek black dress, with red lipstick and stylish bobbed hair, Tiffany Rowe looked every inch the society girl.

Add her hat into the equation, however, and it is clear the 40-year-old jeweller does not take herself too serious.

For resting on Ms Rowe’s blow-dried head is a four-inch horse perched on a mound of turf. It is utterly ridiculous but, on Ladies Day at Royal Ascot, Ms Rowe not only fits in; she is applauded for her creativity and daring fashion choices.

For centuries, high fashion, old-school glamour and eccentric attire have been celebrated in equal measure at the famous sporting event.

Today (Thursday, June 19) was no different, with the excitement of the racing overshadowed by the bold and beautiful outfits worn by racegoers.

Commenting on her outlandish head gear, Ms Rowe said: “It is just silly. It is not very useful but I love it.

“I found the horse in a flea market and painted it black with nail varnish. The grass was made from artificial turf architects use to make scale models.”

It is estimated around 36,000 hats passed through the gates of the Berkshire racecourse, making the task of standing out difficult.

Constance Peach’s outfit, however, could not be missed. It was quite literally a masterpiece, featuring a splatter print dress that would make Jackson Pollock proud and a paint palette hat.

Other quirky offerings included a hat that resembled a giant jug of Pimms, a monochrome globe fascinator adorned with pearls and a 2ft floral creation, worn by Paula Iachetti Gibson, 56, from Milan.

Speaking from beneath a pile of colourful blooms, Ms Gibson said: “I make my own hats and every year I try to make a bigger hat – this year it grew by itself. Hopefully it won’t rain or it will be growing some more.”

Of course, not everyone makes such dramatic choices, with the majority of racegoers opting for a more demure look.

Her Majesty the Queen was a prime example.

Her horse, Estimate, may only managed second place in the Gold Cup but the 88-year-old’s turquoise ensemble certainly made her a winner in the style stakes.

Dressed in a Stewart Parvin coat and dress and a Rachel Trevor-Morgan hat, the Queen looked effortlessly elegant as she arrived in the Royal Procession, with her husband, The Duke of Edinburgh, grandson, Prince Harry, daughter, Princess Anne and granddaughters, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.

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