Get Past the Finishing Post in Style at Kangaroo Island

Racegoers can raise the fashion stakes at the Kangaroo Island Cup Carnival by embracing summer trends – but keeping them classy according to last year’s winner Abby Von Duve.

KI Fashions On The Field Racegoers can raise the fashion stakes at the Kangaroo Island Cup Carnival by embracing summer trends – but keeping them classy – and paying close attention to finishing touches such as gloves, belts and a bright slick of lipstick.

This is according to last year’s Kangaroo Island Cup Carnival Fashion at The Races winner Abby Von Duve, who has shared her top style tips ahead of the three-day event, which kicks off on Friday, February 13.

Ms Von Duve, who runs her own styling business Self; Styled based in Mt Gambier, last year impressed judges at the island’s largest annual event with a floral cropped top and skirt made from fabric bought at her mother’s curtain shop.

“I had a straw jockey’s hat at home that I had been hoping to do something with, so I started with that,” Miss Von Duve said.

“I wanted a fun, country look to work with the hat. I love wearing unique things, so I often include vintage pieces or make elements of my outfits myself. My bag and brooch were both vintage pieces. The art-deco style horse brooch has become a bit of a good luck charm and has seen a few race meets now.”

Ms Von Duve, a regular at South Australian races who has continued her winning style this year, said on-trend summer pieces such as cropped tops, culottes and jumpsuits can work trackside, as long as the outfit is kept classy.

“If you are wearing a trend piece, don’t flash too much skin and keep the focus on the shape of your outfit by choosing block colours or subtle prints,” Miss Von Duve said.

“I love how racing fashion brings together such a wide range of trends. A vintage look with a 50s style mid-length skirt or dress is always a winner. A wider-brimmed hat or fascinator will balance the width of the skirt and the look lends itself to floral prints or pastel colours.

“Monochromatic outfits make a big impact. Try headwear, clothing and accessories in different shades of the same colour, like whites, blues or pinks.

“And never underestimate the value of small finishing touches. Think jewellery, brooches, gloves, belts, nail colour or a bright lipstick.”

What else does Miss Von Duve suggest?


Miss Von Duve’s Best Summer and Country Race Meet Tips:

– Try a flowing, mid-length skirt, backless cut-outs, or a classic shift dress and avoid the temptation to go short and strappy.

– Wash your hair the night before and wear it up to keep cool and show off your headpiece.

– Avoid millinery made of heavy winter fabrics such as wool and felt and instead go with options made from straw and sinamay. But don’t be afraid to push the boundaries in a leather, lace or fine metal headpiece.

– A broad-brimmed hat is a stylish, practical option to keep the sun off. If you are new to wearing headwear, try a simple headband or ponytail wrap for something different.

– Look for natural fabrics like cotton or silk and flowing shapes that allow you to feel the breeze.

– Aerosol sunscreen makes it easy to protect your back and shoulders and is less likely to leave white or greasy marks on clothing.

– Country race meets allow you to be more casual. Prints such as florals, gingham and checks add a country feel to an outfit without feeling like you’re in costume.

– Remember you will be on a grassy track all day. Wedges or shoes with a chunky heel will stop you from sinking into the lawn.

– Men can wear chinos and a neat shirt if they’d rather not don a suit.


This year’s Kangaroo Island Cup Fashion at The Races finalist will win a luxury escape at the acclaimed Southern Ocean Lodge and also go into the running to take home this season’s major prize, an Alfa Romeo Mito.

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