Bright colors, bold pastels dominate

Kentucky Derby race fans have always made bold wardrobe choices, but this year, the style was truly dialed up a notch. In other words, the fashion and fanfare at the track in 2022 seemed to surpass the maximum level.

“We’re just so glad to be back at Churchill Downs,” Chris Grady from Prospect, Kentucky, said. “Everyone looks incredible. There is a feeling that we’re all extra excited to be here this year.” 

To celebrate the day at the races, Grady chose a vibrant coral suit with a white collared dress shirt accented with silver roses. He coordinated his outfit with his wife, Dana, who chose a textured romper in shades of coral, cream and pink and topped it off with a matching fascinator from Pink Julep.

Jessi Gross was fashionably dressed on the paddock during Thurby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. on May 5, 2022.

“When I look at the fans at the track I can tell their outfits are something they really thought about,” said fashion designer and former Louisville resident Gunnar Deatherage. A contestant on “Project Runway” Season 10 and “Project Runway Allstar” Season 4, Deatherage was overjoyed with the creativity and panache on display at this year’s races.   

“I find that people are really experimental this time of year.  It’s the one time of the year when people allow themselves to really take a chance,” he said.  

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Amber Mahoney wore a colorful hat during Thurby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. on May 5, 2022.

Louisvillian David Sampson added a rhinestone and gold swan lapel pin and blue pocket square to his teal and peach plaid suit. Angela Coots, who is from Southern Indiana, entered the gates at Churchill Downs in a bold orange full-length flowy dress with a vivid purple brimmed hat encircled with magenta, sunflower yellow, and cobalt blue flowers.

Also boosting his color choices for the day, her husband, Scott, came decked out in a brilliant blue suit with a checkered blue and yellow shirt.