Oakbank Racecourse was the epicentre of glamour of the Adelaide Hills over the long weekend as the Oakbank Easter Carnival drew the state’s most fashionable racegoers to the region. Easter Saturday carried the largest ever Fashion At The Races cash prize, rendering this qualifying heat one of the most competitive we have seen to date. Our FATR Ambassador Lauren Dilena gave us a hosts-eye-view of the Oakbank track styles worthy of ovation.
Lauren prepared for her Oakbank arrival with a morning with her glam squad. “Whilst traveling out to the regionals, I prep my script and also share my prep/morning on IG stories to my followers,” Lauren said. “This race day I was lucky enough to spend the afternoon relaxing in beautiful Oakbank with my family and friends, enjoying some well-deserved champers after hosting the FATR competition.”
This particularly sunny autumn day provided the perfect atmosphere for racegoers looking to revel in the lush grounds of the racing club. “Oakbank always has a brilliant turn out and this year did not disappoint, you could tell everyone was celebrating and enjoying the Easter weekend with their loved ones,” Lauren said. “I loved seeing the Adelaide Hills region come alive, there was something so special about it and I love that there’s something for everyone at Oakbank.”
But of course, Lauren’s favourite aspect of Oakbank was the FATR qualifying heat. Our winner Fenella Barker took home the top prize of $2000 and the title of Best Dressed Woman, while veteran racing fashionistas Kimberley Rose and Mel Barnes won Best Millinery and Best Footwear.
“One competition entrant, who actually ended up being our winner for the day really made me do a double-take,” Lauren said. “She was wearing a stunning embroidered mesh dress, paired back with yellow accessories and a stunning fascinator with netting over her face.”
According to Lauren, prints proved most popular at Oakbank’s Easter Saturday. “The majority of the women styled themselves yesterday in bold rich autumn tones, which was a crowd favourite,” Lauren said.
“I look for an entrant that is true to season tones and trends, I think it’s important for our competition entrants to keep up their looks with this in mind,” she said. “There was also a hit of floral and lady-like styles, but the classic autumn floral patterns were a massive win with our judging panel.”
In accessories, Lauren noticed gloves, top hats and pointed stilettos were trending on the field. “I think these accessories are super chic yet so sophisticated,” Lauren said. “Our male competition winner looked great, I admired the use of colours and elements from head to toe,” Lauren said. “However, I do think some of our male entrants could’ve stepped it up with more attention to detail and sticking to this seasons trends.”
Lauren’s hosting ensemble was as outstanding as we anticipated, showing off a printed two-tone plaid wrap dress created by herself and her mother, Sue Dilena. “I’m very lucky to share the same passion with my mum, she’s ridiculously talented and she‘s always looking to design outside the square to create unique one-off pieces,” Lauren said.
“I teamed this dress back with Country Road heels and white handled straw bag,” she said. “I wore mix-matched gold pearl earrings, both by Lovisa accessories.”
Lauren’s look incorporated a major hair change for the stylist star. “I always work with Tara O’s company @mystylesquadapp,” Lauren said. “This race day, I worked with the brilliant and lovely @hair.bycarmen who did an amazing job creating a modern curl up-do.”
To complete her look, Lauren’s curly ‘do was crowned with a white oversized bow clip by local designer Sylvy Earl. “I’m very privileged as I get to work with some of the best local talent in this industry,” Lauren said.
“I also love working with my wonderful high-school friend @nivman for makeup styles,” she said. “I also have the privilege to get pampered by the lovely ladies at @polishedbeautyadelaide prior to a race day too, they do the best Manis and Pedis in the biz!”
See the most outstanding looks from the Oakbank Easter Racing carnival below…