The 75th year of Opening Day at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club went off on July 18 in a flurry of horses and hats for a record crowd of 47,339. To celebrate the 75th anniversary, a new face was used for the ad campaign featuring model, actress and world top jockey Chantal Sutherland. Sutherland did not disappoint her fans and started the day with a victory on filly California Girl.
Hats are always neck-and-neck in popularity with horses on Opening Day, with equal numbers of women wearing large brim hats and those donning smaller fascinators. Carol Bader from the Del Mar Hat Company said her customers wanted the larger headpieces or the smaller saucer style this year. Some highlights were Jenny Craig wearing a chapeau from Fleur de Paris in New Orleans, Valerie Cooper in Philip Treacy, and Denise Hug and Linda Swortwood in hats from Portugal. Lena Evans, Evva Fenison, Alexis DelChiaro and Leslie Lopez from KUSI, as well as Raha Sheik from FOX 5 were all wearing Designer Millinery hats.
Emma Zuckerman looked luscious in a yellow Chanel dress and hat by Ilda DiVico and Lee Goldberg was smart in a Zang Toi suit and chapeau by Philip Treacy. Bo Derek looked radiant sporting a fedora, which many men and women opted to wear this year.
The One & Only Truly Fabulous Hat Contest attracted more people to this 18th year edition, sponsored by Studio Savvy. A new category of Best Fascinator was added, which Stefanie Gates took. The other winners were Meg Cavis for Funniest/Most Outrageous; Lori Shelton for Best Racing theme; and Emilee Wilson for Best Flowers. The Bing Crosby Grand Prize and winner of the Most Glamorous category went to Daniella Lopez, who received a check for $300, two American Airlines tickets and a $1,750 pearl necklace from the Diamond Boutique of Del Mar. The races continue Wednesday through Sunday until Sept. 5. For more information, visit delmarracing.com.
Hats and headdresses at the Mingei
The Mingei Museum is presenting an incredible exhibit on Hats & Headdresses from its permanent collection, with selections made up from donations and purchases over the past 34 years. A variety of cultures and countries from around the world will be exhibited, with hats that have been used for myriad reasons — protection, ornamentation and even to ward off evil spirits. Hats and headdresses can portray status, ethnicity or they can be a fashion statement reflecting the wearer’s personality.
One standout headdress is from the Akha people of Thailand. Originally from Tibet, they wear these extraordinary headdresses to distinguish age, marital status or social group.
Another striking cap comes from India, and is made with turquoise, agate, coral and brass.
Many headdresses from South America were made with macaw, parrot and toucan feathers and were worn only by men.
In conjunction with the exhibit, there was a lecture on Aug. 1 about the history of hats, as well as a fascinator workshop on Aug. 25. The exhibit will run through Sept. 9. For more information, visit www.mingei.org.
La Jolla Fashion Film Festival rolls out the red carpet in the Village
The world’s largest gathering of fashion filmmakers met at the Museum of Contemporary Art from July 26-28 for one of the fashion industry’s most exciting events. Filmmakers, producers, directors, models and fashion designers came together for this revolutionary event, the La Jolla Fashion Film Festival. The three-day festival included receptions, screenings of 61 fashions films and four seminars with leaders in branding entertainment, like Peter Isacksen and two of Hollywood’s insiders, Sydney Levine and Peter Belsito. Each night was topped off with an afterparty at Barfly.
Lorelei Shellist, international couture model and author of “Runway Runaway,” was the master of ceremonies, adding glamour by changing from one stunning gown to another. The first evening, she wore a design by Deanna First of Kent State University, followed by a sizzling Dolce & Gabbana creation. The following night she donned gowns from Mazi of La Jolla and design student Joy Kobbo from Virginia Marti in Cleveland. The last night, Shellist dazzled in a gorgeous purple dress by Mike Kuluva of Tipsy Topsy Los Angeles and finished the festival in a knockout black gown by Tahari.
One of the stand-out films on the first night was “Costume World,” directed by Bruce Weber, which gave us an inside look at the largest collection of theatrical costumes in the country. Costume World owner Kimberly Wick displayed a gown worn by Julie Andrews in the original Broadway production of “My Fair Lady.”
Damien Krisl, meanwhile, directed an extraordinary underwater fantasy film and Inez & Vinoodh directed the “Secret Garden,” showcasing the Dior Collection.
On day two, the viewers were able to see the only documentary directed by Moritz Lohmann. Shasha Milan gave a short social campaign to stop sexual abuse against models, while Peter Richweisz and Shub Qureshi showed their film “The Alchemy of Fashion,” produced for a fashion editorial in Desert Fish Magazine. The evening ended with two incredible shorts, one on Louis Vuitton and the other showcasing Cartier, both directed by Bruno Aveillan.
The final night showed a “Tale of the Fairy,” directed by legendary designer Karl Lagerfeld, a humorous film with models in the gym directed by Chris Vongsawat and a film edited with still images by Stephen Dirkes. Christian Ammann created a film promoting Irish designers, and Carlo Dalla Chiesa created a tantalizing film showing the relationship between the model and the camera. Dominque Palombo showed a feel-good fashion film with dance stylings by John Degois. Filmed on the streets of Paris, it’s message was “Don’t stop reaching for your purpose.” The evening ended with the amazing film “The Legend of Lady White Snake,” directed by Indrani Pal-Chaudhuri. A tale from the Chinese Opera about obsession and metamorphosis, it left the crowd spellbound.
RED Digital Cinema was a major sponsor this year, awarding a $40,000 RED Epic digital camera to Pal-Chaudhuri for Best Picture. Pal-Chaudhuri also won for Best Director, Best Fashion and Best Special Effects. Additional winners were Luca Finotti for Best Music, Charlie Wan for Best Hair & Makeup, Jason Matzner for Best Cinematography and Dalla Chiesa for Best Creative Concept. To stay tuned for next year’s festival, visit www.ljfff.com.
• Hats & Headdresses, Sept. 9. See hats from cultures and countries around the world at the Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park. For information, call (619) 239-0003.
• The Globe Guilders & Neiman Marcus present Celebrating Couture 2012, Aug 7. The show features Monique Lhuillier’s Fall 2012 Collection at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront. For tickets, call Carol Hanson at (619) 229-2090.
• Summer Bridal Bazaar, Aug. 12. Features three fashion shows presented throughout the day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the San Diego Convention Center. Call (760) 334-5500.
• Haute with Heart, Aug. 18. The 35th annual fashion show and luncheon to benefit St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center programs takes place at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For info, visit stmsc.org.
• TRASH the Gala, Aug. 18. The gala will highlight Eco Couture fashion from 6 p.m. to midnight at the New Children’s Museum, 200 West Island Ave. For information, visit www.thinkplaycreate.org/gala