How winning the Best Dressed Competition changed my life

17th May 2022
Goodwood Road & Racing

We catch up with 2011 Best Dressed winner, Dawn Gracie, on how the course of her life changed ever since she won the Goodwood Revival Best Dressed Competition.

Dawn, now a vintage singer and entertainer, will be joining us in the lead up to the Goodwood Revival this year by sharing her top fashion tips and exploring local vintage shops, on the hunt for the perfect Revival outfits and accessories.


So, when did you first come to the Goodwood Revival?

My first visit to the Goodwood Revival was in 2006, a couple of years after moving to Chichester. I remember the day very well because I chose to wear a late 1960s original dress, which was verging towards the bohemian. Upon arrival to the Goodwood Revival, I quickly wished I’d worn one of my 50s dresses as everyone looked stunning in theirs.

I recall having my breath taken away by the different world I had just stepped in to. It felt like I’d time travelled and I loved every second.


Tell us about your Best Dressed Competition experience in 2011

A day I’ll never forget and one that almost didn’t happen because, ironically, I couldn’t decide what to wear! Luckily a beautiful little pink original 1950s floral dress I have had in my collection since 2006 caught my eye and felt just right. It was a rainy day (I know, it rarely rains at Goodwood), however it didn’t dampen our spirits.

We spotted the little green photo booth van and had our photos professionally taken inside. Afterwards, I was handed a little card saying I had been spotted as a style icon and was instructed to return to Richmond Lawn later that afternoon. We returned and I soon found myself on stage being awarded first prize in the Best Dressed Competition. I was overwhelmed and uncharacteristically lost for words as it was a dream come true.

What happened after you won the Best Dressed Competition?

I was floating on a cloud for days. Shortly afterwards, I was being asked to talk and sing at local care homes.

It wasn’t long before an opportunity came my way to do my first public appearance, and then within three months, I decided to give up my day job in media sales and make ‘vintage singer’ my full-time job.

Fast forward to today, I have my own calendar of events throughout the year and a YouTube channel. I continue to tell everyone I meet about my ‘Best Dressed at Goodwood Revival’ story and to this day, my winners sash became my constant companion.


How will you be involved with the Goodwood Revival this summer?

For anyone who hasn’t watched my story, I’ll be sharing my Best Dressed experience and how it really did change the course of my life in so many amazing ways.

Secondly, stay tuned as I share a plethora of fashion and style tips to help visitors get ‘Revival ready’ this summer. These videos will all be available on the new Revival Fashion Facebook Group.

You’ll also be able to join me round Chichester as I take over the official Goodwood Revival Instagram account in search for perfect second-hand Revival outfits and accessories, all available from our wonderful array of local vintage and charity shops.

I'm absolutely brimming with excitement to share that I’ll be a roving fashion reporter on the opening day of the 2022 Revival, Friday 16 September. I’ll be on the lookout for stand out period costumes in amongst the crowds, discovering the history behind the outfits and their love for all things vintage style.  

Have you got any top style tips for anyone attending the Revival?

When people ask about ‘dressing vintage’, I advise that it’s okay to put your own spin on things. We all have a piece of old jewellery or an old cardigan from our grandparents in the back of our wardrobes. It’s always best to start with that item and let your imagination run wild.

Sourcing your outfit and accessories is now easier than ever with local vintage stores popping up on every high street.

Lastly, remember to have fun when sourcing your Revival outfit.  

P.S. I’d also recommend to bring a spare pair of shoes!

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