Royal Ascot Unveils Revamped (& Sustainably Focused) Style Guide For 2023
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Royal Ascot Unveils Revamped (& Sustainably Focused) Style Guide For 2023

The Lookbook is set to shake things up for racegoers this year

This year, the organisers of Royal Ascot are shaking things up: here’s everything you need to know about the event’s new Style Guide, now renamed the Lookbook.

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Royal Ascot Unveils Revamped Style Guide For 2023

What Is The Lookbook?

For 2023, Royal Ascot has decided to update its annual Style Guide and introduce a new inspirational guide – called the Lookbook – with ideas suitable for the Royal Enclosure, Queen Anne Enclosure and Village Enclosure. The guide is separate from the Official Royal Ascot Dress Code, which remains unchanged, and instead will act as a source of inspiration for racegoers.

This is the first time in over 10 years that the Ascot’s style guide has had a redesign, and also marks a new direction that moves away from enclosure-specific looks in favour of themes that cultivate a personal style. The Lookbook is divided up into six sections – Luxe, Tailoring, Pre-Loved & Rental, Vintage, High Street and Emerging Designer – which have been curated to help racegoers find a wardrobe that matches their style and budget, while introducing alternative (and more sustainable) means of event dressing with second-hand options.

Woman in blue dress wearing white glove and hat

The edits, which were curated by legendary stylist Luke Jefferson Day and captured by world-renowned photographer Damian Foxe, invoke the SS23 season through a celebration of occasionwear, with garments and accessories from the likes of Jaquemus, Charles Jeffery LOVERBOY, S.S Daley and AllSaints as well as secondhand pieces from HURR and Moss Bros. Racegoers are invited to flip through the book and find inspiration from the edits, which cover styles for all closures, and read through the styling notes left by Damian.

Speaking on the new Lookbook, stylist Luke Jefferson Day commented: ‘This season I wanted to encourage unexpected freedom under the guidance of the enclosure dress codes and inspire racegoers to be a little more unconventional and inventive in the way they dress up, and how they source their looks. We’ve championed innovative British designers, whilst also showcasing international brands from further afield. I want to excite people to think outside of the box – whether that be shopping resourcefully on the high street or by being more eco-conscious through hiring a look or finding a rare vintage gem.’

‘As a long-time collaborator of Royal Ascot, it has been a joy to be part of the Lookbook’s evolution as it moves away from a means to communicate the dress code, and instead towards becoming a source of fashion inspiration and a bellwether in the world of occasion dressing,’ said photographer Damian Foxe. ‘For 2023, we have decided to completely move away from creating a Lookbook dictated by enclosure, in favour of one which puts style centre stage. In many ways, I think this reflects what we are seeing as the evolution of style at Royal Ascot and the myriad of looks on show from its racegoers.’

Is The Lookbook More Sustainable Than Previous Guides?

The organisers of this year’s event are looking to encourage a more conscious outlook when it comes to dressing up for the races. In the Royal Ascot Lookbook 2023, there are two new categories addressing this theme. ‘Vintage’ and ‘Pre-Loved & Rental’ specifically look at the ways we can incorporate secondhand gems into our raceday wardrobes. In his notes, Damian recommends browsing through rental platforms like HURR and Selfridges Rental for a borrowed bargain, as well as charity shops and relatives’ wardrobe for great vintage pieces. Royal Ascot also encourages us, where possible, to invest in pieces we will cherish for a lifetime and wear long after the races.

‘This year sees an exciting evolution for what has been known as the Royal Ascot Style Guide for more than a decade,’ said Felicity Barnard, Commercial Director of Ascot Racecourse. ‘For 2023 Ascot is proud to unveil the Royal Ascot Lookbook where, for the first time, we look to inspire people through six new fashion edits that draw from current styling trends. Responsible style remains a key part of Royal Ascot as we continue to find ways to dress, whether that is renting occasionwear or investing in forever pieces.’

What Are The Lookbook Edits?

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Woman in gold and black dress and man in black suit with top hat

The Luxe Edit

The first edit featured in the Lookbook stays true to traditional Ascot attire, with an emphasis on big-name designer brands, lavish fabrics and sophisticated styles. With many of these items coming with quite a hefty price tag, it’s indicated that this is a super luxe edit for those wanting to splash the cash with frivolity.

Damian’s Notes

‘It’s pure unadulterated fashion joy,’ says Damian in his notes. ‘Featuring soft buttery silk gowns by Roksanda, velvet mirrored suiting by Gucci and perfectly matched three-piece tails by Favourbrook, the Luxe Edit showcases a reimagined approach to designer dressing with a nod to the 70s era.

‘Make like Harry Styles with opulent fabrics, draping and embellishment. This edit is for those who have the means to max out on their budget.’

Man and woman in pastel colour suits

The Tailoring Edit

Not a fan of floaty dresses? These sleek suits will be right up your alley. This edit is for those who want to get suited and booted for raceday – and make a statement while they’re at it.

Damian’s Notes

‘Taking pleats and darts to the next level, the immaculate Tailoring Edit is here to make a statement in the Lookbook, showing both the strength of male and female opinions and ways to style them when it comes to tailoring.

‘Daring colour-block suits contrast with contemporary and romantic soft pastel shades and traditional fine tailoring, taking inspiration from designers including Zimmerman, RXQUETTE and Favourbrook.’

Group of people in dresses and suits

Pre-Loved & Rental

The first of the Lookbook’s eco-conscious edits, Pre-Loved & Rental rounds up some real designer gems from some of the UK’s leading rental platforms.

Damian’s Notes

‘With sustainability dressing at the forefront of the fashion agenda, the Pre-Loved and Rental Edit showcases spectacular second-hand and hireable fashion from leaders in the rental space including HURR, Selfridges Rental, Moss Bros and Oliver Brown,’ says Damian.

‘From raiding Grandma’s hat boxes to scouring charity shops for treasures, this edit is for the sartorially adventurous who are after unique fashion finds. And with prices starting from as little as £13 per day for designer rentals, this edit proves that raising the fashion stakes needn’t break the bank.’

Woman sat in blue skirt suit with wide brim hat

The Vintage Edit

The second responsibly focused curation, the Vintage edit is dedicated to 80s fashion: think sleek power suits, rich shades of pink, purple and blue and check blazers.

Damian’s Notes

‘With sleek skirt suits by Thierry Mugler, preppy blazers by Vivienne Westwood and flamboyant fuchsia silhouettes, there’s no doubt the Vintage Edit is all about 80s fashion,’ notes Damian. ‘Wide lapels, suit separates and sculptural silhouettes evoke a sleek and modern take on power dressing for a raceday, along with inherited wardrobes of yesteryear.

‘This edit is for romantics who love the history and story-telling behind an outfit and take pride in discovering unique one-off gems.’

Group of people in dresses and suits

The High Street Edit

Also new for this year is a curation of high street finds, in a bid to open up the possibilities for racegoers who want a wardrobe on a budget. This comes as other racecourses across the UK are scrapping their dress codes in favour of creating an accessible space for everyone.

Damian’s Notes

As Damian says: ‘Depicting a style that transcends “off the peg” suit buying, the High Street Edit sparks intrigue in summer linens, mint tailoring and glamorous dresses that are suitable for all enclosures regardless of the price tag.

‘Showing the fashion doesn’t have to be sultry and serious, our High Street Edit highlights how racegoers can make a statement and inject a bit of fun and personality into their outfits with block colour dressing, fanciful florals and polka dot prints that are simply timeless.’

Woman in floral dress and pink hat

The Emerging Designer Edit

This section of the Lookbook places a spotlight on newer names in the fashion world, forecasted to be the next generation of iconic designers.

Damian’s Notes

‘The Emerging Designer Edit celebrates looks from the most coveted up-and-coming fashion designers. With this edit, Luke pairs a billowing S.S. Daley checked suit with epic dream catch-inspired millinery crafter by Victoria Grant.

‘This contrasted with one of my favourite menswear looks, an aquamarine checked suit from Charles Jeffrey LOVERBOY. These are seriously daring outfits that are sure to make an impact on raceday and go against the typified norm of what people would expect to see at Royal Ascot – proving that one can have fun with their outfit choices while adhering to the dress code.

‘Never included designers Richard Quinn. Charles Jeffrey LOVERBOY and Ahluwalia are heralded in the Emerging Designer Edit.’

Where Can I Find The Lookbook?

You can watch Royal Ascot’s style guide for 2023 below:

When Is Royal Ascot 2023?

This year, Royal Ascot will take place between 20 and 24 June 2023. You can find out more about the event, and see the official schedule, at ascot.com

Images courtesy of Royal Ascot