The more things change, the more they stay the same – particularly when it comes to fashion.
Nowhere is this accentuated more than at Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby, an event that is celebrated as much for the fashions donned by guests as for the world-class thoroughbreds that race around the track.
Yes, style has evolved over the decades, often reflecting societal transformations, cultural shifts, what’s occurring on the international arts scene, the economy and, quite frankly, our whims.
This is why Churchill Downs makes such a spectacular presenting sponsor for The Voice-Tribune’s Best Dressed of Louisville 2011, an event that features some of the most fabulous, fearless fashions – all in one place.
“The beauty is even though fashion has evolved (at the racetrack), it’s still high-end fashion, people looking their best and taking risks,” said Casey Cook, vice president of brand development and licensing for Churchill Downs Inc. “Some people may not see the direct implications of why we would be sponsoring Best Dressed. It’s simple: Fashion is a very important element of coming out to the racetrack.”
Whether dressing for Downs After Dark, the Kentucky Derby or Kentucky Oaks, or picking the perfect outfit to wear on a random afternoon to Churchill Downs, the involvement of fashion allows guests to experiment with different styles they might not choose, said Cook.
“Louisvillians love to get dressed up … and they never disappoint. It’s a great platform for style here. I think guests feel safe unleashing their fashion ideas; it allows people to be creative.”
That being said, and despite the occasional head-turning hat or garish get-up, “it’s not about being a caricature or putting on a costume,” Cook said. “It’s about trying new things.”
That, again, is why Churchill Downs is a perfect partner for The Voice-Tribune’s Best Dressed.
“For the runway show, you push the limits of fashion. You bring the New York, the Milan styles of fashion – and Louisvillians come to expect that and it translates into their wardrobes as well,” Cook said. “It’s a good parallel. (Best Dressed) … almost encourages you to explore new fashion trends. (Guests) have so much respect for the event that they reciprocate that with their wardrobe for the night and I think that’s a lot of fun. That’s what’s special about the night.”
About the Author (Author Profile)
Angie Fenton is Managing Editor of The Voice-Tribune, a Blue Equity company. She is also an entertainment correspondent for WHAS11′s new morning show, “Great Day Live!”, which debuted August 22 on Louisville’s ABC affiliate. Additionally, Angie is an entertainment correspondent for the Saturday Morning Show with Ron ‘n’ Mel Fisher on 84WHAS (840 AM) and has served in the same capacity for Churchill Downs, the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks; Breeders’ Cup; and Circuit of the Americas during the Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix in November 2012. Angie also serves as an emcee, host, voiceover professional and on-camera commercial talent.
Angie has a bachelor’s and master’s in English from Central Michigan University and began her career as an adjunct professor at her alma mater. She is the youngest of five — four of whom were adopted, including Angie, and none of whom are biologically related. She is also a Michigan native who moved to Kentucky in June 2002. Angie is owned by two dogs — Herbie and Yoda — and feels lucky to have loved and been loved by many more, including Pooch, Jessie, Onyx, Jack and Big Bud, who took his last breath on Christmas Day 2012.