Written by Nadia
For many who make the Melbourne Cup pilgrimage each November either to the tracks or to their local pub, style is just as important as the big race itself.
Ever since the introduction of Fashions on the Field in the 60s, Melbourne Cup has evolved into an unparalleled annual fashion spectacle.
In 1962, the Victoria Racing Club added the fashion contest to the program for the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival for the first time. It was a bid to lure female racegoers to the hitherto male-dominated event. The event saw a spike in ticket scales almost immediately – leading the British supermodel Jean Shrimpton to be appointed by the textile company DuPont to travel to Melbourne to be a judge of the 1965 fashion competition.
Shrimpton received an astronomical £2000 fee for her two-week visit; even more than the £1500 sum paid to The Beatles for their 1964 Australian tour. The contract foreshadowed the affixed relationship fashion would share with one of Australia’s biggest sporting events of the year.
Melbourne Cup Style #1: Derby Day Style
Widely regarded as the most prestigious race day in Spring, Derby Day has historically marked class and sophistication both in the cards as well as fashion. The day’s monochromatic theme means most classic styles will be a safe bet, as a Black and white colour palette has the power to add elegance and class to any outfit. Explore experimental cuts and shapes in tailor fit jumpsuit or keep it chic with a jacket dress.
Melbourne Cup Style #2: Melbourne Cup Day Style
Melbourne Cup Day is when your creativity should shine. Make sure to bring your most fashion forward, experimental self to day through your elaborate headpiece, ornate dress or both! We suggest a minimal, Japanese-inspired fashion forward look with a statement headpiece or an elaborate lace and frill fantasy with brands such as Sheike or C/MEO Collective.
Melbourne Cup Style #3: Oaks Day Style
Best known as “Ladies Day”, this day celebrates femininity of the ladies attending. If Derby day outfits are classic in the modern and chic way, Oaks Day outfits are classic in the elegant, 50s – 60s way. Live your Julie Andrews and Grace Kelly fantasy with A-line dresses, embellished fabrics and rounder, softer shapes.
Melbourne Cup Style #4: Stakes Day Style
The last day means everyone has had their fashion fun and is ready to just enjoy their day. Historically, Stakes Day saw its attendees dress casually – the gents in their beige summer suits and the ladies in their cotton summer dresses. In the 2018 Races, dress in whatever makes you feel comfortable and at ease. Then, sit back and enjoy the ride.