Racing fashion

“Ce n’est pas une course, c’est un monument” – “It’s not a race, it’s a monument”.


A slogan of the Prix de l’Arc de triomphe first used on a promotional poster in 2003, describes the event as “Ce n’est pas une course, c’est un monument” – “It’s not a race, it’s a monument”.

The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is a Group 1 flat horse race in France run at Longchamp over a distance of 2,400 metres taking place on Saturday the 4th and 5th of October.

Popularly referred to as the “Arc”, it is Europe’s most prestigious horse race. With the purse at €5 million this year the Arc is the world’s richest turf race.

In terms of fashion, Britain’s Royal Ascot is often compared to it’s rival across the channel.  While many British ladies hike up the hems, shear off the sleeves and kick off their heels, their French counterparts take a more elegant approach to a day at the races.

“French dressing is less spectacular than Ascot, it’s less extroverted,” Arc spokesman Julien Pescatore said.

“The French style is very classic. It’s about elegance, beauty and glamor.”

While Parisian race-goers adhere to a more classic dress style, their personalities are expressed in their creative hats that push style boundaries.

“The hat is an essential element of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, it started in the 1920s as a way to convey some eccentricity, to do some showing-off. “

Each year the grandstands fill with the “crème de la crème” of European society, with Monaco’s Princess Charlotte Casiraghi, the daughter of Princess Caroline one of the event’s most glamorous guests.

If you’re attending the Arc embrace the offbeat and whimsical. Be a little nutty. Be inspired to find your inner kook.

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