By Jahna Peloquin
It’s somewhat ironic that the annual Polo Classic is one of Minnesota’s most stylish events of the year. After all, it’s a sporting event involving a muddy field, horses, and jockeys, and one that is rooted in British tradition--hardly the makings of a Minnesota tradition. But after years of hearing from friends about how the event is a must on the style-inclined’s social calendar, I decided to see for myself what the fuss was all about.
The 25th annual event, held this past Sunday at the Twin Cities Polo Club Field in Maple Plain, was a smorgasbord of classic cars--rare editions of Aston Martin, Bentley, Maserati, Mercedes, Rolls Royce, Jaguar, Porsche, Ferrari, you name it--well-dressed dandies and ladies wearing wide-brimmed hats and wedges (all the better to hoof about in the green field’s soft soil), and bottomless champagne, provided you attend with one of the tents sponsored by various law firms and collegiate organizations.
Seated under one of many sponsored white tents to view the match (complete with fanciful food spreads and buckets of champagne), I ran into many local luminaries of the Twin Cities style world: fashion designer Emma Berg, wearing a hand-made woven hat with bright feathers by fellow local designer Max Lohrbach paired with a navy silk drop-waist pleated dress; agency producer Kristoffer Knutson in the ubiquitous seersucker pants; jewelry designer Stephanie Lake in a vintage ivory lattice floor-length dress and her own jewelry designs, with her husband Cory and new baby Odette; hair stylist and salon owner Jon Oulman, clad in an ivory linen suit; interior stylist and Omforme shop owner Carter Averbeck; interior stylist Richard Anderson; and Chan Poling of the iconic Minneapolis new wave band the Suburbs. This particularly stylish tent was hosted by John Faricy of Faricy Law Firm--in a classic summer suit and browline-style eyeglasses--whose firm sponsors the event every year.
Menswear styles of the day varied from Southern seersucker gentleman to British dandy to East Coast prep. White or coral pants were a must, donned with sockless loafers, classic cognac leather oxfords or boat shoes, with many sporting bright patterns in neckwear and shirting. Ladies opted for knee-length dresses in lightweight silks and cottons--a must for the day’s late-80s-degree weather--and, of course, the standard wide-brimmed hat and wedge shoe.
If you missed it this year, keep it on your radar for next summer: proceeds go to benefit the University of Minnesota Leatherdale Equine Center, which provides horse care, research, and veterinarian education.