Bold and Sophisticated: Women’s Fashion at the 2019 Deighton Cup

The 2019 Deighton Cup event returned for its 11th year on July 20 and it was one for the books. The annual horse races celebrated with cocktails, oysters, macarons, cigars, and the well-dressed socialites placing their bets. As one of the few occasions where Vancouverites can showcase their fashion creativity in full swing, everyone eagerly showed off their style.

Without a cloud in the sky, the bold and bright suits, dresses, fascinators, and top hats shined at Hastings Racecourse. Flowing gowns, midi length dresses, and visually striking hand-made hats and fascinators complemented the reds, pinks, yellows, blues, whites, and champagne colour palette. Women in pairs gave a slight nod to their partner’s looks with matching colours or flowers—while some women wore one colour from head to toe, coordinated with their friends or matched with one of the Audis parked in front of the VIP booths. 

The best dressed were given cash prizes in the Style Stakes Awards, for the man and woman who “push the fashion envelope in dressing to impress.” The Belle du Jour and Gallant Sartorialist winners this year were picked by Liz Bell, who has walked the runways of Dior, Fendi, Karl Lagerfeld, and more. 

Judged on creativity and style, the womenswear cash prize was awarded to Victoria Fawkes, whose hand-made hat represented the racehorse track—complete with grass, riders, and fences. Fawkes’ 1950s style pink dress was complimented with pearls, white gloves, and a small stylish handbag.

Bold looks didn’t just stem from the Style Stakes candidates. Most notably, a woman dressed up like a hot air balloon with eight to ten large helium balloons over her head. The ropes keeping them in place were held by four women trailing behind her. 

Since Vancouver is known for its laid-back West Coast style, it was exciting to see the women dressed up similarly to British and Australian horse race attendees. “This is a great event because people want to get dressed up,” explains a Deighton Cup regular—her outfit worthy enough for a royal wedding. “We can go out anytime with our friends but can’t get dressed up like this unless someone is getting married.” 

Asides the men who sported pineapple, flamingo and dollar bill patterned suits, the annual fashion social event not only proved Vancouverites can dress up, but they know how to have a great time doing so. 

Check out our men’s coverage here-

Dapper and Gallant: Men’s Fashion at the Deighton Cup

Photos contributed.


Dapper and Gallant: Men's Fashion at the 2019 Deighton Cup

The 11th annual Deighton Cup returned to Hastings Racecourse in Vancouver this on Saturday, July the 20th, and for one day of the year, it wasn’t faux pas to be overdressed on the West Coast.

Building off last year’s event of 7,000 attendees, this edition seemed even more popular, with the track concourse nearly full to capacity, and a variety of vendors offering cigars, oysters and cocktails to enjoy in the hot summer sun. 

Two of the day’s best-dressed won cash prizes in front of a panel of judges in the “Style Stakes” Awards for being crowned Gallant Sartorialist and Belle de Jour respectively amongst fierce competition. Between the glasses of champagne and panama hats, there was even horse racing.

The Deighton Cup is an especially notable day for menswear in Vancouver, a city where walking down the street wearing a full suit often makes you look out of place, save for a stretch of several blocks between Granville Central Station and Coal Harbour. Case in point, as several members of the Micro Macro team waited for a cab after the event, a woman approached to ask why everyone was so dressed up, wondering if there was a themed wedding happening in the neighbourhood. 

This seems to be the prevailing assumption in town, that you should only be dressed up for a notable life event or company Christmas party. There is a sharp drop off after this, where people often revert to athleisure, meaning anything you can wear to cycle lazily around Stanley Park on a Sunday on a tandem bike and even lead a lunch meeting if you work in tech. Of course, this is a functional style choice that makes sense for the city we live in. However, it is always interesting to see how people dress up when given the chance.

Going in with this bias, it was a surprise to see such a strong menswear showing at the event. As it grows in popularity, more men are eager to plan ahead for an outfit suited for the races. This growth is assisted by the growth of made-to-measure tailoring, both online and in-store, that have made it affordable and easy for anyone to have a custom suit made, and to make outside-the-box choices when it comes to style.

A pleasant surprise at the event was the use of summer suiting fabrics, with many breezy and dapper linen and cotton pieces taking center stage. Investing in a summer suit for Vancouver can be somewhat counterintuitive, as the temperature this summer has rarely hovered near thirty degrees Celsius. However, pieces that would’nt have looked in a place at a Tuscan vineyard wedding were seen frequently.

A finalist in the Gallant Sartorialist award, Martin Barclay showed off one of the more unique suits at the event, a wide striped blue and maroon ensemble with a cane and gold lapel chain in the shape of a lion’s head. The gold chain and other pieces are expected to be part of Barclay’s own men’s accessories line Tyrock Barclay, which is currently in development.

Another honourable mention goes to Kelvin Lopes, who showed off a three piece suit from Surmesur Custom Menswear in a chocolate brown, with extra wide peak lapels and a shawl-collar vest, accented by white tassled loafers. This look is versatile across seasons, and showed excellent use of often-overlooked customizations that can make any suit stand out.

When asked about whether the event was helping to make Vancouver into a stronger menswear city, Lopes was optimistic. 

Pictured: Kelvin Lopes (third from left) with friends.

Pictured: Kelvin Lopes (third from left) with friends.

“I definitely think the Deighton Cup can help Vancouver improve its fashion sense,” he said. “It’s a great event where people get to actually put some effort into dressing well in a city where Lululemon is king.“

As this edition of what is arguably Vancouver’s top menswear event comes to a close, its influence on suiting culture can’t be understated. An event like this is about getting people out of their comfort zone and trying to out-dress their friends and the strangers around them. Even though Vancouver may never be a city known for suits, at least one day a year, we can feel like it has that potential.

Check out our women’s coverage here-

Bold and Sophisticated: Women’s Fashion at the Deighton Cup

Photos contributed.