Monday, June 20, 2011

Prix de Diane . . . Re-Visited . . .

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Since the second post a few days back about the Prix de Diane, over the weekend I was simply inundated with requests to continue this series; it seems that the public out there wants more. Some of the messages were very friendly and humorous, some were flat out blunt orders to show more from the Prix de Diane, or else ! I finally had to unplug the telephone and turn off the portable, it got so bad. So, as I value my health, and cannot deny your apparent growing desire for hats, hats, and more hats, we are going back to the Prix de Diane horse races in Chantilly, France, on Sunday the 12th of June. Given that the last two posts on this topic started with horses, I don't see any reason to change a winning format, so with no further ado, here is a damsel in a dress (in distress ?) on horseback, her view apparently obscured by all that gauzy cloth around her head, she couldn't see where she was going.
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Another young mademoiselle on horseback went riding by . . .
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A horse from another age who couldn't stay away from the festivities came cantering up to have his photo taken.
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With the Chateau de Chantilly in the background, an entire pack of horses came galloping up the home stretch.
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They were going hell bent for glory . . .
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While the horses were racing, some were getting their hair done, no doubt wanting to look their best for the soirées to follow.
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Some were lining up for ice cream . . .
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Others were already enjoying their ice cream. The shade of a wide brimmed hat will protect an ice cream cone from the sun, prolonging the pleasure.
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Some were simply sitting on benches enjoying the day, in all their sartorial finery.
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Some were smoking cigars . . .
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While some were smoking cigarettes . . . (under blue feathers !)
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Some were talking on telephones . . .
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While others studied the racing program, or fanned themselves with it.
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Others were sipping champagne, or was it rosé ? (Her cherry adorned hat shown in the previous post was nowhere to be seen, I couldn't help but wonder if a large hungry bird hadn't swooped down and flown off with it... and a little drink was in order to console herself ?)
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Oh, what a multitude of splendid chapeaux ! And glimpses into each individual universe of the ladies beneath the hats.
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Elton John would have approved.
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There were interviews for television occurring.
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And an endless variety of hat designs.
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Just the slightest turn of a head revealed new perspectives on each hat.
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Even orchids on one hat . . .
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Some kicked off their shoes while just kicking back to enjoy the afternoon on a picnic blanket.
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Some had long flowing curls cascading down over red velvet from beneath their red hat.
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Ah yes, I mustn't forget one of the more visible sponsors, the Longines watch company, who helped make all this possible.
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When the horse racing and hat displaying was finally over for the day, even the automobiles that many of the crowd drove home in spoke of heritage, graceful lines, and horses under the bonnet, err, hood for you Americans out there.
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26 comments:

Patricia said...

Third time's a charm...and charming still!

Suze said...

Magnificent.

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

I am drooling over the hats -- just divine! Merci beaucoup!

Bises,
Genie

...louciao... said...

Splendide! Charmant! Totally out of character, one would think, but three times in a row? One begins to wonder...
:-D
I love the little ice cream trailer. C'est tellement chouette, cette charette! And the look on that petite demoiselle's visage riding the carousel steed reminds me of the line from the song Thank Heaven for Little Girls--"one day those eyes will flash and send you crashing through the ceiling." She reminds me of the woman in the post below this, the one who made you think of Kirsten Scott Thomas.
I hope you'll plug your phone back in soon: I heard that there are several magazine editors trying to reach you.

Steve said...

Everybody looks do damn gorgeous! Plainly I am living in the wrong country. Though given my looks, maybe not.

TechnoBabe said...

The hats are incredible. Reminds me of Del Mar on opening racing day.
Lovely pictures all, and a fun running narrative.

Catherine said...

Another charming sequence - although I have to say that the first is my favourite - it looks like a film still!!

Le Journal de Chrys said...

La photo à la glace est vraiment géniale!!!

Un régal ton reportage.

Marginalia said...

"Chantilly Glaces", I didn't think the French were into punning.

You don't work for Paris Match?

Céline said...

Je ne m'en lasse pas !! As-tu compté combien de chapeau tu as photographié ?

Nadege said...

Lovely!

The Sagittarian said...

What a grand day out, we have Cup Week here in November usually but I haven't been before. I might go this year if we have it, I should make The Stud tisy up the Mach 10 Jag and get all jazzed up in the glad rags and take a bet or two! I'm certainly in the mood for it now.

Nevine said...

Hats, ice cream, and champagne... is there a more marvelous combination of fun? I think not! Another fabulous collection of photos, Owen!

Wishing you a happy summer,
Nevine

Stickup Artist said...

You could put a portfolio together of just these 3 posts of "A Day at the Races" and get a ton of gigs shooting events, parties, weddings, portraits, advertising, promos, head shots, a book, etc., if you felt like it. I'm just saying...

Deborah said...

Loved the Elton John hat and the last lady in red. Very striking! I'm assuming you have a telephoto lens and that your subjects are utterly unaware that they're in your scope. I find it very hard to take pictures of people surreptitiously.

A propos to Chantilly - my old grand piano lives there now, in the house of the Aga Khan's secretary, or at least he used to be. Such a useless piece of information it doesn't even qualify as trivia.

distracted by shiny objects said...

Exactly the faux-vacation I needed!! Thank you:>)

Owen said...

:-)
Glad you all are having fun with these... should I go for four in a row ??? Do I dare (to eat a peach)?
:-)

Peter said...

Suprising to see you to turn into a fashion photographer ... with success - of course! :-)

nathalie said...

Mais oui Owen, ose le quatrième !
Ca fait longtemps que le quarté a remplacé le tiercé, alors n'hésite pas. On en redemande !!!

Tu dis très justement qu'un léger changement d'angle révèle une toute autre perspective sur un chapeau, un visage et une personnalité... et tu le montres brillamment. C'est absolument passionnant.

Elisa said...

Oh how stylist! Fine ♥ We have here in Finland nightless night tomorrow ;) Midsummer it is!

Em said...

Yes you should def go for a fourth row!! those pictures are wonderdful! BRAVO

Stickup Artist said...

4 in a row, go for it! Your portraits are amazing and unique! Thanks for the recommend of "Travels With A Donkey in the Cévennes." Our favorite pair of Pliers gave me a bunch of recommends too so I will hit the library with my book list and hopefully they can get hold of them for me. I'm going thru a lot of changes here and will probably have to announce a blog break for at least a few weeks. Sob. But it will be that much sweeter when I can get back out there. Have a wonderful summer!

...louciao... said...

Go for it!
You ARE a peach.
:-)

Pat Tillett said...

Simply stunning photograps! Love them... I wish I was there...

Mimi said...

A fabulous selection, oh the elegance!

Lydia said...

You are a wizard with that camera...and with these words:
". . . glimpses into each individual universe of the ladies beneath the hats."