Sustainable fashion on show at Aintree’s Ladies Day

Well-dressed racegoers flocked to the Liverpool racecourse for the second day of the Randox Grand National Festival, which is known for its fashion.

As well as the annual style award, this year a prize was on offer for the most sustainably dressed.

The award was given to Sally Ann Morgan, who wore wide-legged trousers and a blouse handmade by her mother, with a pink hat.

Skye Brocklebank, 20, and fiance Michael Shellis, 22, wore 1920s-inspired outfits with a theme of peacock feathers.

Skye Brocklebank and Michael Shellis pose for photos at Aintree Ladies Day (David Davies for The Jockey Club/PA)

Ms Brocklebank, from Runcorn, said: “A lot of the stuff we’ve either made ourselves or thrifted, so a lot of it is sustainable.

“There’s so many clothes going to landfill. It doesn’t make sense to buy new any more.”

She accessorised a blue and green floor-length dress with a handmade bag, made with a Christmas tree decoration, a fan, feather-covered parasol and fascinator.

Former Style Award winner Faith Amond, 71, from Carlow, Ireland, wearing an all-white outfit with a headpiece, said wearing classic clothes could be key to sustainable fashion.

She said: “If you have something that’s on trend it will only last for that season but with these (clothes) they are timeless and what I call the old reliables.

“We go racing a lot so I like to be able to wear my clothes a lot and just change them up a bit.”

Stephanie Todd, 36, from Moreton, Wirral, made her own headpiece, with pearls and peacock feathers, and wore clothes and accessories from online second-hand marketplace Vinted and charity shops.

She said: “I just like putting things together and seeing different things. I got the skirt first and had a bit of a shop around to see what else I could find.

“I think you find the best bargains in charity shops, you find some amazing things and you can just pop them together and make yourself an outfit.”

Randox Grand National 2024 – Ladies Day – Aintree Racecourse
Racegoers Viv Jenner (left) and Rachel Oates at Aintree (Peter Byrne/PA)

Milliners Viv Jenner, 50, and Rachel Oates, 52, both wore extravagant handmade headpieces which had taken about 30 hours of work to create.

Ms Jenner, from Ascot, Berkshire, said: “I hire my hats out and that is sustainable because people are not buying a hat and wearing it once to put in a box and never come out again.

Ms Oates, from Andover, Hampshire, added: “I think you can wear an outfit again and again if you change the hat.”

Celebrities including Olympian Sam Quek were among those spotted cheering on the horses.

The TV presenter said: “I love the Grand National, don’t get me wrong, but Ladies Day is one for the girls and this is what we’re doing today, me and my five best mates.”

Boxer Natasha Jonas, a judge in the Style Awards, said: “The event and the occasion of Aintree is something we claim as our own – it’s a Scouse thing. We are very welcoming as a city and we like to have fun.”

The racing meet will culminate in the Grand National steeplechase on Saturday, with security in place after last year’s race was delayed when protesters from the Animal Rising group got onto the track.

Superintendent Matthew Moscrop, of Merseyside Police, said: “There are a number of plans in place to deal with any incidents that may arise and to prevent any significant or ongoing disruption to spectators and local residents and businesses.”

Animal Rising has said it does not plan to protest at this weekend’s event.

Following the death of horse Giovinco in the first race on Friday, Ben Newman, a spokesman for the animal rights group, said: “Giovinco is the latest victim of an industry refusing to take accountability for the suffering endured in its name. He is the 42nd death on British racetracks so far this year.”

This year changes have been made to the race, including a reduced field of runners, an earlier start time, a reduction in a fence height by two inches and a standing start to the race.

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