The annual Monte-Carlo radio grand-prix horse racing has taken place at the central Moscow hippodrome. It might not be exactly the Royal Ascot with its long history and robust traditions, but Monte-Carlo horse racing has already become a traditional meeting place for the whole Russian beau-monde since its launching in 2004.
Actors, musicians, socialites, entrepreneurs and politicians gathered at the same place and at the same time. Although the stakes were high, the tone of the occasion was very relaxing. It was more like a rendezvous for old friends than a sporting event.
Horse racing is famous for its precise, strict dress-code, practiced for centuries: suits are required for men, morning coats and dresses for women. But the highlight of every horse race is a hat. Headpieces are de riguer and they usually range from the bizarre to the beautiful. Moscow’s socialites used all their imaginations in creating bespoke headpieces. Some of them managed to look almost as elegant as new Duchess of Cambridge herself!
However, this event was not just a showcase for fashion, but also a chance for the attendants to exchange business cards and promote their projects.
Many high flyers stress that Russia is now catching up with the rest of the world in its high class culture trying to restore the traditions broken during the Bolshevik revolution and create new ones. And as long as occasions of such scale gathers the fashionable crowd, there is hope the traditions will grow.