Have you ever entered a Fashions on the Field event in another country?
I think it would be so interesting to see how the racing style, competition and overall feeling of the race day differs to Australia. (Plus, it’s a pretty good excuse to explore another part of the world.)
One of the bigger overseas events that is coming up is the Dubai World Cup, which this year will be held on Saturday 31st March.
I’m curious to know what it’s like, so today I’m inviting Ana, Milliner and stylist from Ana Bella Millinery to share her tips and advice for attending the event.
Ana has had a succession of wins over the past few years at the Dubai World Cup, and will be one of the judges at this year’s event, so she’s the perfect person to fill us in.
Ana is an Australian Milliner and owner of Ana Bella Millinery; her studio is based in London. The milliner is well known for her award winning mirror designs internationally.
She has worked with renowned stylist Gok Wan, shown during London Fashion week, London Hat Week, featured in Vogue, Grazia, Hello Magazine and placing in the top ten at the Melbourne Cup Millinery award three years running.
The current Ana Bella Millinery collection is stocked in the UK’s leading online Millinery website “Lovehats.com”, the USA at Shapoh hats, at the “Eternal Headonist” in Australia, as well as taking bespoke orders for events such as the Dubai world cup.
The following is a guest post from Ana:
My love affair with the Dubai World Cup started when a stranger at Magic Millions (Australia) said to me “that outfit would do well in Dubai”…
I had just walked off the stage of the final top ten fashions at Magic Millions wearing my own design spike hat with acrylic gold flower, light green and gold floral print 30’s style fitted dress. This was back in early 2015 when I was working from my millinery studio in Cairns QLD.
I had no idea that racing fashion was even something they did in Dubai, how strange I thought. As a keen traveller it made me very curious.
That evening- I researched Dubai, the fashions, the races, the prizes, and costs to see if it was even possible…. all answers led to “yes!! why not…have an adventure and get immersed in a totally different culture!!”.
A week later, in early January, I booked my flights and accommodation to Dubai. I took two weeks off from work so I could make the most of travelling around Dubai seeing the sights.
I’m a seasoned traveller and have made my own way travelling around the world, but this trip, I was to be accompanied by my now fiancé Anthony.
I organised a few basic things before I went over to Dubai, flights, our hotel and Dubai World Cup tickets.
I found out that the racetrack is pretty much in the desert, outside of the main city, so I made plans for our hotel to be in a more accessible part of town, next to a beach and not too far from the racetrack.
I packed my fashions outfit in my carry on bag, as well as my hat that I had to deconstruct due to the size of it, and put it back to together when I got to Dubai, just in case my bags get lost.
I also booked my flights a few days ahead of the world cup- just in case of flight delays. After all the money I spent on flights, hotels, tickets I didn’t want anything to ruin our adventure and miss the World Cup all together due to flight delays.
On my way to Dubai…
On my first trip to Dubai, we didn’t know anyone, I had no idea what I was doing, where I was going or what to expect. I just knew a few cultural rules of the country, I had to wear modest clothing, not show any public displays of affection in public, even holding my partners hand was off limits.
When you get to Dubai, you realise that some of these rules are not adhered to, but the further out you go, to more local places, these rules are quite strict. Just as a precaution I always note these rules when I’m in Dubai.
The day of the Dubai World Cup was very busy, I had booked a hotel which happened to have a hair salon downstairs in the Lobby- this reduced travel time and potentially getting lost not knowing my way around. I have always done my own makeup and try to book hair salons ahead of time using Facebook messenger to contact salons in Dubai to avoid time differences.
Another tip… one that we found out the hard way – men are not usually allowed into the hair salons in Dubai, my Fiancé was glared at and chaperoned out in a rush from one of the Salons when he accompanied me inside…. oooops! Dubai have separate men and women’s salons and the opposite sex is never allowed to enter. Some hotels with salons attached are more westernised and not as strict.
While in the hair salon attached to