Fashion takes a front seat on Plate Day

THE threat of rain was not enough to wither the infinite variety of fashions on offer at this year’s Northumberland Plate Day.

THE threat of rain was not enough to wither the infinite variety of fashions on offer at this year’s Northumberland Plate Day.

Black clouds hung over Newcastle Racecourse all day, but fears of a mud bath were allayed as the weather remained dry and temperatures reached 17C.

Floral fascinators proved particularly popular as women toned down the obligatory headgear.

Daring colour combinations, striking dresses and eye-catching accessories were also out in force as female race-goers showed their determination to dress up at the summer race.

Pam Myles, 43, a cognitive therapist from the Wills Building, North Tyneside, enlisted the help of Low Fell florist Lily Starbright to craft her intricate black and pink hat.

She also wore an hour-glass black dress which she carefully coordinated with a home-made pink bow and matching high-heels.

She said: "I went to Ascot and I needed a hat that would last, so I got the florists to create this for me, and I made the bow myself to tie the whole thing together.

"It’s a great chance to dress up. The weather might be a bit of problem, but everyone looks great today."

There may have been a strict dress code implemented at Royal Ascot, but women at the final of last week’s three-day event showed they could match those attending the royal race.

Sensible shoes were ditched for elegant heels as race-goers defiantly clutched their hats against a brisk wind.

Alexandra Oley, a magazine editor, from Cleadon in South Tyneside, wore a 1920s pink flapper dress bought from a Gosforth boutique. She wore matching shoes and an understated fascinator.

The 24-year-old said: "It’s been a hard week deciding what to wear. This is a dress from a small shop in Gosforth which is meant to be from the 1920s.

"We were worried about the rain but we still didn’t want to bring umbrellas, we were just planning on having a few drinks."

Meanwhile Tonya Allison, a 22-year-old manager of a property company from Stakeford, Northumberland, donned a black and white dress which she wore with a black shrug.

She said: "Some of the outfits people are wearing here are really nice. This is my first year, but there are some really nice hats."

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