Fashionistas were out in force at Royal Ascot, one of the world’s greatest horse racing events featuring the legendary runners Black Caviar and Frankel. English eccentricity, meanwhile, continued to rule the days amongst Ascot racegoers who exerted their fashion individuality with style. Hats this year though were bigger and bolder.

photo credit: Times Union Day

People didn’t seem to take note of the Royal Ascot style guide which ordained white, white and perhaps some ivory as the colours to wear. The vast majority eschewed the advice opting for bright colours with fluorescent pinks amongst the front runners with stunning orange and yellows chasing close behind. Shoes were high and glam although there were fewer skyscrapers than last year. In the Royal Enclosure, as ever the atmosphere was like an upscale garden party, one felt that people had dressed smarter and contrary to the dress code one could spot many fascinators although a lot were much bigger than some small hats women were wearing. Fashion Fabulous London co-author, Tracy Rose brought another piece of her fabulous creativity on the first day with her “Abstract 2012” in black, white, fuchsia and turquoise satin.

English Garden Maze hat, made from silk crepe and organza created by Tracy Rose

Watching the Royal family arrive in carriages is always hugely popular but throughout the week the fashion standout was Sophie, Duchess of Wessex with her elegant ivory and silver grey outfits – firm favourites with crowds. She’s certainly sharking her way up in the fashion stakes. Kate lookalikes were in evidence with some takes on the lace dress that she wore for the Diamond Jubilee celebrations which called into question whether they were acceptable with the new dress code. Is Ascot more restricted than going to a church service at Westminster Abbey?

Millinery from the High Street stores such as Debenhams was as popular as ever, especially with the budget-conscious. The only drawback being of course was finding so many others wearing the same thing!

photo credit: Marie Claire

Created especially for this Ladies Day, the Tracy Rose Olympic 2012 Hat uniquely celebrated simultaneously the Diamond Jubilee, Royal Ascot and the Olympic Games. The crown was a Grecian column with the top of the London Olympic Stadium on it. The Grecian column represented when the Olympic Games started whilst the dress was also classical Grecian in style. The brim depicted the Union Jack flag that innovatively wraps itself around the crown.  The response from other racegoers at Royal Ascot was overwhelming.

More dapper elegance could be seen in menswear with  men favouring pocket handkerchiefs and snazzier cufflinks than in previous years. With some great weather in the first two days, luxury branded sunglasses such as Armani, Gucci and Fendi were the accessories of choice.

For the most fashionable places to shop in London, see our latest book Fashion Fabulous London 2012 that reviews in detail the Top 200 fashion shops and looks at 132 venues to eat and drink in London. The book is available at Waterstones, Harrods, Selfridges, Joseph, Daunt, Foyles, Stanfords, Oliver Bonas, Dolly Dare, Present-London, Amazon and all major bookshops priced £12.99.,ROSE-T-R-XSIGN00824