ACTOR AND UNABASHED HORSE LOVER TESSA JAMES IS RACE-DAY READY IN RUFFLES AND LACE
Actor Tessa James is riding high in race-day ruffles and lace.
When Tessa James was being treated for Hodgkin lymphoma in 2014, she made a list of things to do when she recovered. One of those things was horseriding in Byron Bay. “Horses are known to be really healing,” she says. “I took my husband [NRL player Nate Myles] and he is actually really afraid of horses. I told him he had to ride with me because I was not well – he loves it now.”
James, who grew up around horses in Melbourne, can remember the first time she went to the races when she was in high school. “It was a huge deal. I wore a beautiful white dress with gold trim,” she recalls. Since then, the 25-year-old has honed her track-side style.
In June this year the actor wore Ellery to Royal Ascot in the UK as a guest of Longines, where she rubbed shoulders with Her Majesty the Queen. How does one plan an outfit suitable for royalty? “I was very prepared because you have to abide by the Ascot
``when i go to the races i Like to push the boundaries of my own style´´
guidelines: dresses have to be just above the knee or longer, no midriffs, no cut-outs and my headpiece had to be a certain size,” says James, whose usual racing dress code is a lot more casual. “I like to think outside the box… When I go to the races, I like to push the boundaries of my own style. I think wearing a suit is really fun.”
While she might play with man-style tailoring as part of her racing attire, she will not, under any circumstances, take her shoes off at the track. “As long as I live, I will not be that person,” she laughs.
Off the track, James has just finished shooting Aussie horror film Harmony, due out next year. She and Myles are currently splitting their time between Sydney – where Myles plays for the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles – and LA. “Having that fluid feeling is really good. It’s such a wonderful thing for both Nate and me to be able to do what we love. That freedom is exciting,” says James.
``i will not be that person who takes her shoes off´´