Equestrian Fashion at Royal Horse Show in Horse Palace

Equestrian Fashion at the 2017 Royal Winter Fair

Royal fashion is still on display and very much in vogue among competitors at the annual Royal Winter Fair – Horse Show in Toronto. On Friday November 3rd 2017 Street Chic went inside the Horse Palace on the Exhibition Grounds to get a glimpse of the people inside North America’s foremost indoor equestrian event.

The Horse Palace is a modern stables complex built around an indoor riding ring, and this sand bottom arena is one of four competition venues at the show.  The two-story building is cut into rows of stalls and accommodates about three hundred and fifty horses. Various riding stable businesses set up shop to buy and sell hay, riding gear and the same horses for sale in Horse Canada magazine. All through the building visitors can spot celebrities including our nation’s past and present Olympians, and other top caliber riders and their celebrity horses. The Royal Horse Show offers these professionals the highest level competition in Equestrian sport – specifically Show Jumping, Indoor Eventing and Dressage.

Below is Dee Scott from Forest Hill Farm wearing her riding attire. Her outfit may look uniform to the untrained eye, but equestrians are particularly stylish people and seek brand labels and the latest fashions just like other athletes.

Forest Hill Farm - Dee Scott

This young rider is wearing Tucci Boots, Struck Breeches and an R.J. Classic riding jacket.

Equestrian Fashion at Horse Palace

Boots are necessary on slippery floors inside the Horse Palace

Struck Apparel are leaders in the search for more comfortable riding clothing.  This rider told us that these were her favourite riding pants because of the fit.  The company sponsors many equestrian riders and competitions to help research better products and they were among the many exhibitors with goods on display and for sale in the Exhibitor hall opposite the Ricoh Coliseum..

R.J Classic Jacket Softshell Collection combines traditional styling with athletically inspired fabrics to create the ideal show coat for riders of all levels. The machine washable lightweight softshell fabric is soft and stretchy. The garment has a mesh body lining for additional comfort. This style features three front buttons, double vented back, and two front pockets and retails for approx $75 CAD.

Dee was wearing her Tucci Boots and they aren’t cheap – even used riding boots can cost over $1000Tucchi Boots - leather riding boots at The Royal

 

This rider’s Sam Shield helmet would cost approximately $150 retail.  The Shadowmatte Pro is made of a fancy poly-carbonate composition with a reinforced chin strap. The entire outfit would retail for between $1800 and $2400 with the boots being the most expensive ingredient.

The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair takes place every November in the City of Toronto.

Horses exercising at Horse Palace

Even though this venue was the scene of an intense competition, some of the riders on the teams were dressed for more recreational riding. Traditional tweed jackets look great when hacking, and pair up perfectly with a classic pair of jodhpurs. Men and women wear coloured ties to finish off their outfits.

Some of the more prominent equestrian fashion retailers at the show included Cavalier Equestrian, Greenhawk, and Pleasant Ridge.  All of these stores are essentially the Canadian wholesale distributor of English and Western equestrian equipment, most of which is made in other countries and the best stuff is usually handcrafted in Europe.

Carly Corbett - Whistle Jacket

Below is Linda with her daughter Kerry Lin Mercer wearing her Tredstep Symphony Style Show Competition Jacket – Navy which cost $210.61 CDN when purchased new on their website. She also has Tredstep Solo Pro Riding Socks, which are CAD 16.19 and Tredstep Dressage Pro Competition Gloves – in black which are CAD 58.92 new.

rider coats and boots at The Horse Show

 

The red poppy broach is not compulsory, but omnipresent all the same. The red poppy has been used to commemorate fallen soldiers (among the Allies) since World War I, and although its not part of the official dress code  (it would lose all meaning if it was obligatory), the poppy is seen on EVERY competitors’ riding attire because horse culture is inextricably intertwined with martial rituals, AND because it looks terrific on navy coloured wool riding coats.

fashionable lady at The Horse Show
The horse owners come dressed for success and wear designer clothes at all times – even when getting their horses’ shoes changed for competitions, at the farriers shop on site.

horse owner is very fashionable - horse as fashion accessory

Equestrian is a lifestyle as much as a sport.  The riding arena is filled with fashion items from Arista Equestrian, F.O.A.L Equestrian, Greenhawk Vancouver Island, and Victoria Saddlery.

Here is a story published in Toronto Guardian which explores the sunshine and good vibrations inside the Horse Palace during the annual Horse Show.

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Raymi the Minx with Sabrina Melendez at On the Other Hand jewellery

Raymi at On the Other Hand Jewellery in Leslieville

Street Chic was there on Weds Oct 25th 2017 when Raymi Lauren met Karen MacRae and Sabrina A Melendez inside On the Other Hand Jewellery at 1015 Queen St E. in Toronto.  It was epic afternoon as the OTOH jewellery designers spent their lunch hour laughing and playing dress-up with their jewellery. Together all three got in the act of Show and Tell with their own creations and pieces from other artists for sale on consignment in the store. The impromptu dress-up party was conceived with the intention of giving away pieces that Raymi the super blogger can wear in photos and at parties forevermore.

Yes it was a gift show, but not really, as Raymi the Minx was signed up to promote the store and that’s worth something. Raymi is a name brand blogger in Toronto with thousands of Instagram followers and a huge active audience that both loves and hates her blog antics. Raymi’s portal and online persona has opened many doors but closed a few too in her personal life.  When she decides to write about a business it does help the website get found by more people; the site performs a little better on the web because of her witty prose and her legacy somehow ennobles the pictures and expands the presence of the business.

Raymi with fashion jewellery book at OTOH in Leslieville

Just like each piece of high fashion jewellery in the store, Raymi’s blog posts also last forever.  Her photos and contextual anecdotes are stored in many places online and her personal brand has many channels inc Instagram Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube of course, but also Pinterest, Tumblr and Ello.

Laughter erupts! Put three charismatic ladies in a room full of jewellery and just watch the fun happen. This author and photographer should have rolled video.

party at OTOH in Leslieville

When they did get serious about matching Raymi’s different looks with various OTOH luxurious accessories it was intense; despite being a small shop, there’s too much to look at and learn about in an hour long lunchtime visit.  And there was a lesson taught about matching clothes with colourful bling.

bling inside On the Other Hand jewellery in leslieville Toronto

Jewellery has a purpose, and it goes to work every hour its worn in public

What is jewellery and what ‘work’ does it do?  Karen and Sabrina believe that jewellery goes to work on your behalf the moment you walk outside the door of your home. Every minute you spend outside you’re making a statement about who you are and it should be a fashion statement. Owning and wearing a good wardrobe and being able to coordinate clothing is the key to success for many cutthroat professions. It doesn’t matter who you are, or what you do (think lawyer, business executive, college teacher), looking sharp will improve how others perceive you and TRUST you with more responsibility.

While most good jewelry does not require coordination, if you really want to dress to impress, you must be pickier with your gemstone jewelry. OTOH offers an array of beautiful jewelry with vibrant colors.

Rubies, sapphires, emeralds, citrines and amethyst gemstones have a distinguished flavor and appeal that can be easily added to everyday fashion clothing styles. For best results, the red to gold jewellery always looks best when worn next to cool colors such as blue jeans and powder blue, light green or light purple blouses, or white T shirts.

Gold jewelry and onyx work beautifully with with black or white dresses.  Show me a lady that doesn’t own a black dress, and most Canadian women today have white dresses in storage for special occasions in the summertime too.  These are classic looks that never go out of style and their timeless appeal can always be accentuated with the right jewellery.

Gemstones can be seasonal?  This is an interesting idea as they are of course minerals and as such they know no seasons, but all the same colorful gemstones can mirror the seasons. Light green emerald earrings, necklaces, bracelets and rings  can set off a spring dress, while darker emeralds represent a more mature summer season. Rubies, topaz, amber and even garnet look great with fall coloured clothes and lastly cold blue sapphires and icy diamonds in silver settings can really celebrate winter.

Sabrina A Melendez gave Raymi a silver ring inlaid with Bocote (wood)

Some of the most recent works of art to be created at OTOH in Leslieville are Sabrina’s silver rings with Bocote wood inserts. Bocote is a hard, dark wood from South America that’s often used for making knife handles and musical instruments.  Sabrina uses it to make jewellery and has written an informative OTOH blog post about using unconventional materials like wood to make jewellery and that includes ‘breaking the mold’ by using semi-precious Bocote.

Sabrina is a Swiss trained metal worker who has somehow perfected the art of cutting the very hard and brittle Bocote wood into perfect circles to fit inside silver rings which are then seamlessly folded in such a way as to hold the attractive black wooden insert into place.

Raymi Toronto wears her Bocote wood and silver ring made by Sabrina Melendez at On the Other hand jewellery.

Raymi wears her Bocote wood and silver ring made by Sabrina Melendez at On the Other hand jewellery.

It is quite a remarkable ring, and neither Raymi nor this author could figure out exactly how Sabrina gets the Bocote wood into the ring’s interior. It remains a Sabrina Melendez trade secret.

And then at the end of her lunch hour adventure, life got even better for Raymi as Sabrina doubled down and gave the blogger a special silver tube necklace on a thick Japanese cord and clasp.
raymi gets a necklace from Sabrina Melendez
Raymi with Sabrina Melendez at on the Other Hand jewellery
There are a lot of places in Toronto that offer custom jewellery, businesses like the Devil’s Workshop, Anice Jewellery, Courage My Love, Strada Jewellery, Made You Look Jewellery, Fair Trade and Zarla all have unique qualities, but On the Other Hand Jewellery is the whole package when it comes to designing and making custom jewellery to suit your personal brand.

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