Joanne Black and Lolita - Royal Ascot 2010

Where: Ascot Racecourse
The hats:
Thursday: Black Angie B hat with a ribbon under the neck
Friday: Funky cream Anthony Peto hat

Joanne Black Style:
Thursday: White Spring/Summer 2010 Sharon Wauchob dress, with a black crochet bolero style jacket, YSL belt, Alaia ankle boots, Alexander McQueen bag, red Prada sunglasses and Stephen Webster jewellery
Friday: Camel Bottega Veneta dress, with a vintage mink shawl, Sergio Rossi ankle boots and a Ferragamo bag

There’s one thing I love more than backing Ascot’s Gold Cup winner Rite of Passage (a 20-1 chance) and enjoying the celebrations, and that’s dedicating a whole two days of my year to that often forgotten aspect of fashion: hats!


Joanne Black @ Ascot 2010

Strolling round the Royal Enclosure, I felt like I was attending a festival of fashion rather than a horse racing event. The royal racegoers were out in force – Princess Beatrice looking beautiful in a gold Grecian-inspired dress, navy bolero jacket and a navy hat and the Queen stepping out in a lovely lavender outfit and matching hat on Ladies’ Day (much to the frustration of those who thought she’d be in yellow).

Anyway, back to hats! I was spoiled for choice when it came to looking for great styles over the two days. When I wasn’t staring at Jackie St Clair’s striking red anemone-shaped hat, I was enjoying Wilnelia Merced’s wonderful orange and brown hat with beautiful long feathers, which she accessorised with an orange and gold high-waisted pencil skirt, nude cami and see-through top. Danish designer Isabell Kristensen wore a beautiful DD Valentine large-rimmed black hat with pink flowers, which looked great with a white dress from her own couture collection. And Joan Collins looked absolutely wonderful with a Philip Treacy hat and turquoise jacket with puffed sleeves.

Beyond the obvious excitement of the headwear – and the remarkable win with Rite of Passage – I was delighted to be snapped by a photographer compiling a book about 300 years of Ascot. Who knows, my face might be in all good bookshops this time next year!