LONDON — British fashion designer Daniel Fletcher is bringing his expertise to a new audience: the racegoers at this year’s Royal Ascot.
Fletcher has been named the first creative director in the event’s 313-year history, where he will be curating the annual look book and Millinery Collective for the 2024 season, two campaigns that promote fashion.
More from WWD
“Royal Ascot has such a rich history and is the perfect opportunity to get dressed up (something I have always loved doing), so I can’t wait to start creating looks which inspire racegoers to push their style boundaries and embrace their own creativity,” Fletcher told WWD, adding that he hopes to bring a “contemporary flair” to the races.
The event will take place from June 18 to 22, with tickets starting at 35 British pounds.
“Daniel’s expertise in tailoring and menswear will be pivotal to the 2024 campaign, with a focus on British heritage style with a modern twist. We cannot wait to work closely to create hero moments in the run-up to Royal Ascot in June and beyond,” said Alexandra Bertram, brand and creative lead at Ascot Racecourse.
Queen Anne founded the Royal Ascot races in 1711 and since then they have become a fixture for the British royal family to attend as a unit. The late monarch Queen Elizabeth II was an avid hippophile, while her daughters-in-law, the late Princess Diana and Sarah Ferguson; and Catherine Middleton and Meghan Markle, the wives of Prince William and Prince Harry, have always captured the attention of the press for what they wear.
“Although there are long-standing dress codes to follow, there’s a real sense of creativity where people can experiment with styles they may not wear in their day-to-day lives,” said Fletcher, pointing out that the event didn’t allow jumpsuits until 2017 and navy morning suits were only permitted in the Royal Enclosure in 2021.
The Royal Enclosure requires all women to wear hats and, in most cases, skirts or dresses to the knee, while men must wear top hats and morning suits.
“The lines are more fluid than ever before and I look forward to bringing a contemporary take to some more traditional styles, as well as celebrating the accessibility of great tailoring for everyone and anyone,” he added.
The designer grew up in Chester, near the England-Wales border. The Royal Ascot was considered a pinnacle event for him.
Fletcher said that his favorite looks at the Royal Ascot have been from the ‘80s because of the pencil skirts, nipped-in-at-the-waist jackets and big hats.
“Jerry Hall wore a black and white ensemble in 1982 which I loved, it was very ‘Death Becomes Her’ and so of the time in terms of silhouette,” he said.
Best of WWD