By Tiffany White

Each year starting in January, our editorial team spends hours brainstorming how we can creatively showcase the excitement of Derby. We’ve had ideas covering every mood from classic to wild. Many of them didn’t materialize, but here are a few that did. Do you remember these?


Make it Thunder (above)
Photographer: James Moses
We used sparklers as a prop for this fun photo shoot and tried to get and keep the sparklers lit at the right time to capture the shot. We had two people crouched behind the models holding and waving the sparklers. It became so smokey that we set off the fire alarm in James Moses’s photo studio.

Look Good for Derby, No Matter the Weather
Photographer: Eva Wojtkowska

We wanted to show readers how to craft an outfit for the unpredictable May weather. For this rainy day shot, we sprayed our model in the face with water multiple times. We were glad she stayed long enough for us to get this great look.

An Iconic Derby
Photographer: James Moses

This time we created Derby outfits based off the style of celebrities and cartoons — We started with the question “If So-and-So went to the Derby, what would they wear?” Editor Anita Oldham and I saw this dress in the display window of the now-closed treasure trove of Queen of Rags. We turned the model into Jane Jetson.

Arrive in Style
Photographer: James Moses

Our talented illustrator Silvia Cabib drew the background for each photo. One of the shots was taken outside in 30-degree weather with spitting sleet. We had to keep the summery-dressed models wrapped up in blankets between camera clicks.

Museum of Hats
Photographer: Melissa Donald

Making these images look like this wasn’t easy. Photographer Melissa Donald created the marble appearance of the hat models to resemble stone busts and designer Kathy Bolger designed the marble museum walls and niches, lighting, and “chiseled” text. The design and photoshop process took lots of time, but we loved the outcome.

Do you have a favorite Today’s Woman Derby shoot? Or have you modeled in one of our Derby shoots? We’d love to hear from you!