Saturday, June 18, 2011

Le Prix de Diane . . . Another Glimpse . . .

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By popular demand, as so many of you seemed to enjoy the day at the horse races in Chantilly last Sunday at the Prix de Diane, I thought I'd get these up for you to peruse over the weekend. Of course la raison d'être for the day out was the horse racing, and all other considerations were forgotten when they came galloping past, hooves thundering, running full out for the finish line. An old piece of music which could go with all this came to mind at some point since the other day : The Race Is On.
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All sorts of picnics were spread out on blankets, with the necessary accoutrements... especially bottles of fine wine and glasses carefully stored to travel safely until required.
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This cheese scraper and jug of something or other looked particularly good to me.
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But as the previous post's photo essay attests, the main attraction which far outshone the equestrian competition was the vast variety of millinery attire adorning the fairer sex in attendance. One could not turn around or take a step in any direction without encountering ever more astonishing, surprising, and enjoyable chapeaux. It happens that in England a major horse event took place at Ascot just day before yesterday, on Thursday, and without even searching I came across two other photo essays on womens' hats at Ascot, which you may enjoy if you've had fun with these. The first was on CNN, and the second on Der Spiegel.
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For some reason she made me think of Kirsten Scott Thomas . . . 
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Among hats for sale at the hat shop (very kindly provided in case anyone came without a hat and decided they couldn't live without one) was this exquisite elephant. I only wish I could have caught a photo of it on top of an elegant lady's coiffure.
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Now I know where the expression : "Pretty please with a cherry on top" came from. And a red head at that. I thought I'd died and gone to heaven, surrounded by angels.
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But she was not concerned about the attention of photographers' cameras, something important was happening on her cell phone.
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And as I'd mentioned earlier, there were quite a number of photographers out there having a field day !
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A most charming damsel in orange . . .
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Some smiles are simply irresistible. I was caught in the act ! (I may have blushed)
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Despite any minor cardiac palpitations I may have been suffering from at various points that afternoon, the horses kept thundering by.
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42 comments:

James said...

Once again you've done an amazing job of capturing this event. These photos would be perfect for a fine magazine or a souvenir program.

I also saw a great reflection in the fourth photo from the top. Hint, hint. :)

Alistair said...

Hat's the way to do it Owen!

Some lovely studies there.

Steve said...

I feel like I've been hobnobbing with the rich and affluent. Thank you.

I may have to go and wash my hands now.

K'line Bloom said...

Le parallèle entre la tête de moine (fromage) et les chapeaux est extrêmement bien vu !;D
Sinon je craque pour la "cherry girl", sa flamboyance et son "look" fruité <3
Bises cher Owen, bon week-end !

mythopolis said...

I think it would be great if the jockeys wore such hats.....

nice photos!!

Springman said...

Such a lot of fun Owen.
I have always been surprised and grateful how much trouble such fair ladies endure to display their beauty just so. What could they see in us, baseball cap wearing brutes that we are, that would recommend us for anything more than repairing the car or sweeping out the chimney? Thank god for the biological imperative or we men would all rest on a forgotten page with the plague, bird flu, and the rest of natures failed ideas.

Her hat is a creation that will never go out of style; it will just look ridiculous year after year.
Fred Allen


My eye is upon you Mr. Owen, Cheers!

Virginia said...

I"m speechless. So many wonderful shots I can't even name them all. I will first say that cheese scraper I've never seen before in my life and I"ve seen it twice this week! HA

Now about the hats. I'm not a fan of those huge ones but that demure black straw with the scarf is right up my alley.

As always, your portraits are très belle dear Owen.
Bon weeken,
xx
V

Stickup Artist said...

You've done it again! My favorites are the texting cherries hat and the blue hat that gave you such a winning smile! I agree with James. You could easily bill yourself as an event photographer, weddings included, with this portfolio, if you were so inclined to do so. My hat's off to you!

Karine A. said...

J'adore la valise pique nique, et la bouteille thermos!
Les chapeaux ne sont pas mal non plus. Celui sur le chef de La dame qui tente de photographier rend la scène surréaliste.
Tu as du talent pour cueillir ces détails anachroniques.

English Rider said...

The elephant is adorable. The red head has the whole package of translucent skin and amazing coloring. She dared to wear red polka-dots and a lilac hat. She nailed it.

Roxana said...

you are right, her smile is irresistible! and Kirsten too, that is one gorgeous, queenly outfit :-) (even if i wouldn't wear it on the Bridge:-)

i am so happy you could be there and have such a relaxing and incredibly funny time! (and envious too, that goes without saying :-)

The Sagittarian said...

I hope there is still some wine and cheese left, sorry I'm late! This post has made me very envious of the lifestyle you have up there (well, this week anyway)..fancy a sawp? You can stay here n shake and hose away liquefaction and I'll head away to the races....

...louciao... said...

I particularly enjoyed the comic relief of the woman photographer in black and yellow with the large boxes strung around her neck. She rather underlines the divine absurdity of the hatting event.

Crosby Kenyon said...

Thanks for providing a look at an environment basically unknown to me.

Jimmy said...

Simply this... magnifique.

ρομπερτ said...

Never been to something alike. Thank you for this glimpse of another world, so it seems to be.

Please have a good new week.

James said...

Thanks for sharing this excelent post at Weekend Reflections!

Funny you should say "in the footsteps of Georgia O'Keefe" becatse I was in the Georgia O'Keefe museum about a minute before I took the shot. :)

Owen said...

Hey James, many thanks, I keep hoping that a magazine will "discover"... but hey, that's a long shot, odds are thousands to one against it...

I did however get in just under the deadline for a Weekend Reflections link, had every intention of doing so when I realized the parasol was reflected in the top of the drinks jug there...

Owen said...

Many thanks Alistair! Back hat you !

Owen said...

Hi Steve, you have, you have, but then again, not only with the rich and affluent, because you were at my side, and I'm about as far as you can get from "rich and affluent"... ah yes, filthy lucre, but then, if we had it, we might look at it differently ? I wonder... now, here's a big bar of soap, you may even need a bath, and not just a wash of the hands...
:-)

Owen said...

Hi K'line, je pense quelqu'un aurait dû faire un chapeau en gratteur de fromage, cela aurait été allechant ! Et oui, Miss Cerise étaient extraordinaire... sa peau était d'une blancheur magique, mais j'imagine qu'elle ne supporte pas bien le soleil... comme la plupart des rousses... peaches and cream, comme disent les anglais...

Owen said...

Myth, I agree, the jockeys definitely need flashier hats ! You'll have to come up with some design suggestions...

Owen said...

Dearest Springman,
I confess to having laughed out loud with merriment on reading your missive here... of course we are good for little else but fixing cars and sweeping chimneys, but then, even chimney sweeps can be transformed into something magical, to wit, Mary Poppins... ah, but yes, we are such brutes in our baseball caps. I felt like an elephant, a rhinoceros, and a hippopotamous all in one as I ambled through this most sophisticated garden of hats, not a one of which appeared ridiculous to me... well, on second thought, perhaps one or two were just a bit...
:-)

Thank you good sir for leaving me smiling... ah, bird flu, the plague, and other failed ideas of nature...

Owen said...

Hi Virginia, I'm glad you had fun here with the cheese scraper and assorted hat designs... this was a real change of photo assignment for me, and I confess to having far more fun than I ever had imagined I would at such an event. Pure, innocent pleasure...

Owen said...

Many many many thanks dear Stickup, I bow deeply in return. Time will tell I suppose, whether any of these photos will ever appear anywhere else than in the pages of this most obscure of blogs...

Owen said...

Ah Karine, mais oui, ce sont les détails anachroniques qui donnent tout le plaisir... Honnetement, je ne sais pas comment elle a pu soulever son appareil photo jusqu'à son oeil, avec tout le poids de son grand sac, les boites picnics, et autres montres et bracelets, sans déranger la moindre plume jaune du chapeau ! Un exploit, n'est-ce pas ?

Owen said...

Dear ER, I can't agree with you more ! La cerise sur le gateau !

Owen said...

Hello Roxana ! It would have been lovely if you could have flown in for this event, I'm sure you would have loved being there and observing in person... maybe someday ? In the meanwhile, I will be posting still more photos from here soon for your pleasure...

Owen said...

Dear Saj, no need to swap, you can just come on over and we can then all enjoy being in a place where the only shaking going on is behind the bar where the cocktails are being whipped up...
:-)

Owen said...

Hi Lynne, I see you and Saj came together, not surprising, not surprising, with all the champers corks popping ! And indeed, indeed, the divine absurdity, as you put it, is perhaps the best way to sum this all up I've seen yet... it was divine, and yet absurd, while being totally enchanting at the same time. It was like stepping into another universe...

Owen said...

Hi Crosby, you are entirely welcome ! My pleasure...

Owen said...

Ho Jimmy ! A hearty hello and thanks for dropping by this blogging backwater where toads and frogs are more prevalent than people... I admit freely to having loved reading your latest story this evening, nearly howling with laughter at the unexpected ending, like an evil balloon bursting, you keeled me over with the glee of it... Well, I already knew you had a sick mind... (sick, in this case, being a high compliment...)

Owen said...

Hi Robert, it was a totally other world, and I hope these horses carried you away for a while to a land of dreams...

Owen said...

James, Synchronicity !

Pastelle said...

J'aime beaucoup ton regard. Sur l'essentiel : les indispensables accessoires ! ;)

Pastelle said...

Je dois quand même dire que j'en ai vu des fantaisies en matière de chapeaux, mais cet éléphant surpasse tout !!!

Owen said...

Salut Pastelle ... et oui, les accessoires, et l'éléphant, le merveilleux éléphant... (dit avec la même ton d'émerveillement que Philippe Noiret avait employé quand il a parlé des éléphants dans le film "Uranus", si tu vois ce que je veux dire... un très beau film si jamais par hasard tu l'aurais pas encore vu...

Peter said...

Fortunately you made a second post!! Some of these photos are really prize winners!! Maybe a third one?

nathalie said...

Dear Owen, a number of these shots are real winners but in the humour section one beats the lot I think: it's the lady with the yellow feathered had and the long lense camera - First prize for sure!

The lady who looked straight at you and made you blush is beautiful. But then there are so many others I'd like to commend!

Pat Tillett said...

If that beauty smiled at me like that, I'd be blushing also...
This photos are truly top notch and fit for publishing!

Mimi said...

The cherries hat is adorable!
I was wondering if you had asked permission before snapping, but apparently not? Anway, it was all in good fun (and in the interests of entertaining us, of course!!)

Lady Mondegreen's Secret Garden said...

I'm giddy with all this millinery and all the trimmings of Race Day, and I too like that one of the accommodating smile. Thanks for directing me to these posts, I'll pass them on to Bryony.