The mint julep is the signature drink at the Kentucky Derby, but Champagne brand G.H. Mumm is trying to get racing fans to spiff up their attire.
Designers Erin Robertson, winner of “Project Runway’s” 15th season, and Davidson Petit-Frere have been doling out emboldening style tips via social media and the company’s site. The latter knows how to make a statement, having designed the pale pink tuxedo that Jay Z wore at this year’s GLAAD Awards. The actor Michael B. Jordan and Golden State Warriors’ Steph Curry are also fans of his designs.
For what is known as “the most exciting two minutes in sports,” Petit-Frère suggested pairing a crisp white T-shirt with a bold, solid-colored suit in royal blue, red or fuchsia. He and Robertson will be at what will be the race’s 145th running, thanks to Mumm.
As a rookie to the Kentucky Derby, Robertson started by imagining how she would dress for the event — “just trying to stand out, rather than fit in.” For the actual run-for-the-roses, she may wear flip-flops since rain is in the forecast. Platform Balenciaga crocs are another option paired wit a shiny dress. All in all, she wants guests to reclaim the Southern belle look. And with 165,000 expected at Churchill Downs on Saturday, any trends could travel.
She was all-in when Mumm inquired about helping consumers dare to be different. “Literally everything I have cared to do in life is to do something different,” she said. As alternatives, she suggests statement earrings, head pieces, “going crazy with barrettes” and replacing standard frocks with a shiny sequin suit. To better navigate Churchill Downs, sneakers are her footwear of choice with dresses.
The Boston-based Robertson is more of a freewheeling designer preferring not to adhere typical fashion weeks. She is working on 3-D-printed fur technology at the MIT Media Lab, exploring the future of fabrics and fashion. Earlier this month, a few of her designs were on display during the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum’s annual spring celebration, which is known as the Nasturtium Party. The wearable art designers were inspired by the cascades of flowering nasturtim vines cascading flowers that are hung in the museum’s courtyard annually. That ritual was a favorite photo-op for New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham, Robertson noted. After summering in Provincetown, she will return to a new design studio in Boston this fall.
Kentucky Derby bettors might not want to heed Robertson’s pick to win Saturday’s derby. “I just want to make up a name like Chicken Noodle. I don’t know any of the horses.”
Don’t tell trainer Bob Baffert that. “Game Winner,” one of three thoroughbreds he has running Saturday, had the best odds as of Friday afternoon. Last year Baffert improved his own track record with “Justify” becoming the trainer’s second Triple Crown winner.