|This is one of my favorite images from this year's Kentucky Oaks. I met Brenda during the Longines Kentucky Oaks Fashion Contest and we bonded immediately over a shared love for vintage looks. Her Gatsy-inspired ensemble was just perfect.|
|Waiting with four of my fellow Top Ten finalists while the judges deliberated. I loved all of these looks, as well as each woman's commitment to her own personal "pink out" style.|
That first year, I didn't even know what the Kentucky Oaks was, beyond the fact that it was a filly race the day before the Derby and you had to buy tickets to both races as a package deal. I didn't even have a different hat for each day (gasp!) As it turns out, having now attended the both the Oaks and the Derby several times, I can say without eqivocation that Oaks Day is my favorite. Maybe it's because there is so much anticipation at the beginning of a full and fabulous weekend; maybe it's because everyone and everything feels fresh and new on Oaks Day; maybe it's because it's a bit less crowded (though not much); maybe it's because it has never rained on Oaks Day when I've been there (I've been soaked on Derby Day a few times); or maybe, just maybe, it's because everything is a color-coordinated sea of pinks in every hue (even "blush" and "bashful" for those Steel Magnolias fans out there).
|With Monte Durham from Say Yes to the Dress Atlanta on the pink carpet at the Longines Kentucky Oaks Fashion Show.|
While Derby Day attire runs the gamut from couture to crazy and every shade of the rainbow is on glorious display, there is something undeniably special about the Kentucky Oaks "Pink Out." The Pink Out is the visual personification of a seven year partnership between Churchill Downs and Bright Pink, the only national non-profit organization that focuses on the prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in young women. The bunting around the track is pink; the drinks are pink; the celebrity "red carpet" is pink; the escort horses wear pink; the flowers are pink; and, of course, pink hats are de rigueur.
|Monte said yes to my dress!|
Swiss watchmaker Longines, the official Sponsor of the Kentucky Oaks, is also a big supporter of the Pink Out, hosting the Longines Kentucky Oaks Fashion Contest, which takes place on the pink carpet and each year includes a bevy of celebrity judges and a personal style extravaganza for the crowd of more than 100,000 attendees to enjoy between races. This year's judges included Monte Durham from TLC's "Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta," World Cup Alpine Skier Mikaela Shiffrin, and E! News Correspondent Alicia Quarles.
|Press interviews on the pink carpet following the Longines Kentucky Oaks Fashion Contest|
|The Longines Conquest Classic in 18K pink gold and stainless is set with 30 Top Wesselton VVS diamonds encircling the case and an additional 12 diamonds marking the hours. All the details of this timeless timepiece can be found here.|
|Chicago based milliner Loreta Corsetti incorporated a memento I saved from last year's Kentucky Oaks into this year's hat to coordinate with my dress.|
|Vintage beads hand sewn onto the brocade base add dimension and sparkle to the hat , which looks deceptively simple from afar but begs to be admired up close. If you're a fan of unique hats, be sure to check out my friend, the Style Crone, too.|
|Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!|