I've never really been involved with our local Winter (or Spring) Racing Carnival, but it's a huge event in our city. Alas I've been too busy being a Baseball Mum, a Basketball Mum, a Wheelchair Boccia Mum, and a Dance Mum. Where does one fit in time to be fashionably attired for the Races amongst all that lot?
The Fashionistas go ga-ga trying to outdo one another for staggering prize pools and public worship at these events though, and it's all enormous fun and frivolity.
My friend Flora Fascinata, Milliner, Cook Extraordinaire and all round gorgeous person, recently invited my Diva child, she of the red hair, and never ending limbs, to model some of her frippery for the Hoi Polloi ahead of the aforementioned Racing calendar.
Well, not being one to turn down an opportunity to have a captive audience, the Diva said yes, and so did I, seeing it as a second only opportunity, to wear my own Flora assisted Fleur, fashioned some two years ago at a Flora Fascinata make-your-own-fleur workshop.
Now much as I love my baby pink Fleur headpiece, wearing it to the local shops is not an option. People point and stare, and whilst I'm all for fabulosity in all forms, that's probably not my modus operandi. I prefer something a little more low key. Basic black with red toenails. That kind of thing.
So attired appropriately, both of us in black, and with my Flora Fascinata-MimiFrimi headpiece attached securely, off we went.
The high tea was to-die-for....
The fashion, outstanding...
The lady above has amassed $200,000 worth of prizes for her Fashions on the Field efforts...whaaat?
This lady with her very Carmen Miranda style ensemble won me. LOVE the turban!
And this dear man just about outdid the ladies with his red jacket, gold fleur pin, and burgundy Homburg Hat.
Of course, the highlight was seeing my lovely daughter, looking her most glamorous yet. I think she's made for hats. Don't you?
And the obligatory selfie with Proud Mama. Patiently tolerated.
Now I admit that I was somewhat nervous about this event. It was something new for me. I fretted about a dress, and ordered one online, which then failed to arrive in time. I fretted about my naturally grey, naturally curly hair. I fretted about my weight, my legs, my shoes, my bag, my makeup, what I'd say if someone asked me the usual 'so what do you do?' kinda question. Which incidentally, they didn't.
I lost sleep over it.
And guess what?
Whilst the Fashionistas were out in force, at least half of the crowd were lovely normal folk like me. Most did not even have a Flora-assisted-Fleur to wear. Most were there for the High Tea and a looky-see. Just like me.
In the end my Little Black Dress and Italian heels looked just glam enough. My makeup was fine, my curls were admired, grey or not, nobody thought I was fat except me, sheer stockings covered any perceived faults with my 57 year old legs, I found my silver bag underneath my car seat, and I laughed at the idea that I'd lost sleep over having such a fun afternoon. Very fashionable folk spoke nicely to me, even wanted to sit near me. They looked incredible and untouchable, but you know...they weren't. They were just lovely people, who adore dressing up, and hanging out with other folk who adore dressing up. Me? I loved seeing people who had gone beyond 'making an effort', and who had embraced being daring, and glamorous, and divinely chic. More of that please.
Don't miss out on life because you think you're not good enough, pretty enough, thin enough, funny enough, fashionable, or accomplished enough. Don't miss out on a fun day because you think you don't have the right thing to wear, or say, or because someone might *shock horror* SPEAK to you. Grasp every opportunity to have a new experience, and run with it. Life is so very short. I know that as someone who at 57 years of age, feels the pressure of making the most of every day, every year, every moment.
Dress up, be crazy, be glamorous, wear the heels even if they make your feet hurt. I sat down in mine for two hours, so it didn't matter in the end. Go to the High Tea, talk to strangers, smile mysteriously and pretend you don't speak English if that's beyond you....lol.
And my daughter?
My daughter was impeccable. She looked like something out of a Film Noir. She made me so very proud. If you haven't seen the photos yet, then you just weren't paying attention, because I swear I shared them EVERYWHERE...lol!
I cannot believe that I almost didn't go. I almost surrendered my ticket to someone who wanted to be there for very different reasons to mine. In fact, I offered, but was thankfully, rejected. I wouldn't have missed it for the world. I can't wait for the next one. And yes, I'll be at the Winter Racing Carnival. Perhaps with a fetching new Flora designed bit of Frippery on my grey curls.
Do it. Don't wait. Life is short.