From Thursday 17 October to Sunday 20 October Highpoint customers were able to  book an exclusive free one-­on-­one styling session at the shopping centre’s Spring Racing Colour Hub, where Melbourne’s best stylists were on hand to provide the latest expert tips and advice.

The Spring Racing Colour Hub had four dedicated stations manned by styling experts in fashion, hair, make-­‐up and millinery, who worked with each customer to tailor the perfect racing look for their individual needs. Whether it be matching a dress to the right fascinator, wearing accessories to make an outfit pop or getting advice on your complete Spring Racing outfit, the Highpoint Spring Racing Colour Hub experts were on hand to help you nail your look.

Here’s what Couturing experienced first hand on their Colour Hub journey.



The Spring Racing Colour Hub style journey started with freelance stylist Franco Schifilliti, who brought his experience in high-­fashion styling to provide colour assessments, advising on the best colours to enhance and compliment our Spring Racing look.

For Derby Day, Franco suggested experimenting with mixed prints in the traditional black and white palette of the day. The key is balance, such as geometric prints being countered with block colours.

“With Cup day,” says Franco “what’s important is that we see people embracing colour a lot more. So there’s some really beautiful colours around”.

He suggests trying out some jewel tone shades, from orange to blue to citrus.


“The oranges are very very strong, whether we go to the coral which is that sort of warmer shade of orange, right through to tangerine and even right through to like a burnt orange” says Franco.

“The blues this season tend to lean more to the aqua and turquoise, so we’re seeing more of those aquatic type colours which are really beautiful. They look really lovely in prints especially when mixed with white.”

“With any citrus colours like yellow and lime, you need to have a base of olive in your skin or dark skin. If you’re blonde and very pale you should avoid citrus colours, because they do nothing for you. These colours (citrus) need warmth, they need olive based or dark skin, and then they come to life.”

“With the greens, we’ve got beautiful emerald, right through to a brighter green, through to pistachio which is a much softer type of colour. A lace dress in pistachio would look gorgeous. On that note, another important thing this season is the return of lace. There once was a time when lace was what you’d wear if you were the mother of the bride, but now they’ve reinvented lace, and it’s much younger in its feel.”


For the girly girls out there, Franco also has good news – “Another strong colour of the season is the pink – whether we go from pale pink through to mid-tone to really bright fuchsia pink.”

When it comes to Oaks Day, Franco emphasises the focus on the print – “The strongest print tends to be the floral, and it varies from this beautiful frothy, soft , dreamlike pastel print flowers right through to really strong, vibrant bold prints.”

“Sometimes they mix floral with a digital print – digital and geometric are very strong this season, especially when they mix the two together the result is really good.”

“Also too this season, I like to show customers a little bit about the jacket. Often women say to me ‘Oh it’s going to be cold at the races, what do I wear?”. Well you’re certainly not going to wear a jacket that looks like you’re going to the office, what you need is a much more abbreviated, smaller jacket. You can get a lot of these cropped style jackets in whites and blacks, even colour, and it’s a great little jacket to put over a dress.”

“Lastly, you can’t go wrong with a chain bag. A small bag on a chain always looks very a la Chanel.”

On Stakes Day, Franco advises race goers to aim for more neutral colours – “There’s the beautiful look of white and the lace, there’s a lot of white on white, so you can see here you can do the whole white shoes, white dress, white bag. Another look that looks great with white is silver – this metallic look gives a more younger, fresher appeal.”


“Even plain colours like navy can be done, with a bit of contrast colours to liven it up. See here the white dress with the pink detail.”

“When it comes to men’s fashion the theme this season – if you look at shops like Calibre and Aquila – they’re doing a lot of blue on blue. And it’s gone beyond navy, it’s almost a smoky blue to inky blue. They take these colours and layer them with different prints and shades. This season too is the pocket handkerchief for men.”

So now that we’ve got each day’s dresscode covered, are there any other pointers we should take on board? Here are Franco’s general fashion tips for this season:

  • Flatforms are a good choice for height and comfort
  • Be experimental, rather than a traditional dress maybe choose a pair of sophisticated tailored shorts
  • Always tilt the hat forward so it sits above your right eye
  • Cool shades go with cool metallics, this is especially true of white teamed with silver (avoid gold!)
  • Not everything has to be fitted, it’s nice to have a loose relaxed style. The 60s shift dress for instance, is big this season
  • If you’re on a budget there’s no need to spend so much on hats – a combination of accent/contrast flowers can work just as well to pin in the hair
  • Don’t match, rather coordinate – it’s a tone on tone within the same colour family. “So many women struggle with that when it comes to the races” says Franco “I always say ‘let the Queen do matching’ you know? She does it really well, she’s got people that go out and make her pieces for her. But you know when it comes to the average customer try and coordinate and not match shade for shade. It gives the look a bit of a modern edge too.”



Next up on the style journey, we chatted with make-­up artist Trish Sousa, whose experience spans editorial shoots, runways and TV, taught us about all things make-­up from foundation tone matching to lipstick colour popping.

“I don’t like the word ‘trend’ when it comes to makeup,” says Trish “but I guess there are certain ‘looks’ that are big this season.”

“Brows are definitely back – fuller, natural looking brows are a popular choice. There is also amassive focus on actual quality of skin, which is really important. Rather than plastering heaps of make-up on which creates a mask like effect – not to mention the amount of effort involved in maintaining that look throughout the day – people are now aiming to have well-cared for skin that they’ve looked after with good and appropriate products.”

“In terms of a look for the races, a statement feature is always nice. For example, if you choose lips then go for the bold look and make it the center of your look. Keep your other features prim and proper and not over the top – well kept eyebrows, soft lashes, clear skin with a bit of sculpting.”

“It’s the whole ‘effortless’ look – ironically it takes a long time to achieve – but creates a more appealing look.”

So what are Trish’s pointers on nailing the effortless look? Here’s her list:

  • For the eyes, focus on the orb of your eye – “it’s the most noticeable bit and makes your eye pop without over excessiveness”
  • Avoid shimmer under the browline
  • Mix matte textures with shimmer textures – stick to having shimmer on your orb and avoid browbone, whilst using matte everywhere else
  • Cream highlighters are recommended if you really want shine under the browbone
  • Fingers are always good to smudge with, and softens the overall look
  • Brows brows brows! They can be difference between an instant face lift and droopy eyes. The thinner the brows, the older the eyes look. Trish recommends using the Tom Ford brow pencil
  • Enhance the centre of the bottom and top lip with a bit of gloss – this makes your lips look fuller and beestung. Avoid glossing the whole mouth, as you’ll end up with ‘trout lips’
  • Use cream blush rather than powder for a more dewy, natural look



After our make-up sesh, we then moved on to hair stylist Xeneb Allen to find the best colours and cuts that suit our complexion, along with tips on the latest and freshest Spring Racing styles.

Xeneb’s number one tip? “Have hair up for the races, avoid having it down. Unless you have a really structured, one of a kind hair-cut such as a structured, asymmetric bob then it’s fine, but otherwise I’d probably go with the hair up”

“This season we’re doing a lot of braids, beehives, ponytails, 60s kind of dos, and lots of volume. Stay away from the ‘curled and loosely down’ look which has become a bit monotonous”

The emphasis is on hats so keep the hair up and simple to avoid being over-excessive. ‘This looks so much more glamorous and chic’ says Xeneb.

Here are Xeneb’s hair tips and few general hacks to prevent any race day disasters:

  • Having an updo is always a good choice when the weather goes awry (the typical wind and rain Melbourne is notorious for!)
  • Hair disaster prevention 101: take hairspray, bobby pins and hair bands with you on the day
  • In general, it will help to bring along safety pins, flat shoes, and jacket (again, be ready for a weather change!), Party Feet tape, and bandaids
  • No. 1 tip – PREPARATION. Don’t wait til the last minute. Have a hair trial. Have a make-up trial. Show your stylists the dress, hat and shoes you intend to wear to avoid any major mismatches



Our journey ended with milliner Penelope D’Alton, who shed light on the hottest trends in head-­wear this racing season.

A fully qualified milliner, Penelope does all one off bespoke pieces, handmade. At the moment she is not taking any requests, however her current collection was on display at the hub, and customers were welcome to see, try on and find one that matched their outfit.
From hand-dyed silk to intricate stitching, it was easy to see Penelope’s hats were made with the utmost care and love for her work.

So what were Penelope’s tips on hats for Spring racing?

  • Pillbox hats and button hats are in this season
  • Make sure when buying a hat that it comes with a secure band that is lightweight and sits well on the head
  • Face shape, height, build and personality are factors when it comes to what hat suits who
  • For example shorter people don’t suit wide brims, while taller people do. Someone who is self conscious of a big bust might want something dramatic on their head to avert the gaze

The best way to find the perfect hat for you is to book a consultation with an experienced milliner such as Penelope, who can provide variations for you to try and give feedback on what suits your facial structure, height and build

Images courtesy of Mango PR

About The Author

Thara Vidyaratne

Thara is a journalist and blogger who loves Earl Grey tea and speaking in broken French. BLOG: www.mossandstonelove.com INSTA: @tharavids

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