Every year, on the second Tuesday of November, patrons flock to Flemington dressed in glamorous and colourful attire, flaunting their designer wear. The Melbourne Cup, otherwise known as “The race that stops the nation,” held its 155th race this year.
Entering along a path adorned with flowering arches, everyone felt electric. Most questions focused on two topics: who would be crowned the Melbourne Cup winner, and who would be nominated for the Fashions on the Field award.
This year’s event soon proved to be especially noteworthy. In a historical unfolding on the track, Michelle Payne became the first woman ever to win the Melbourne Cup. The day also played host to a brand-new 18-carat-gold trophy worth $150,000.
Fashions on the Field contest laid down the catwalk for ladies with outstanding racing looks. Some steered towards more classic styles, while others were daring with contemporary millenary. Yellow and black was a popular colour combination, and the look to remember was a Jonathan Howard copper handcrafted fascinator worn by Kate Waterhouse.
The runway winner was Emily Hunter. With a fairytale of her own, she outshone other designer looks with a dress designed and made by none other than her mum, Angela. Emily wore an embossed dress, with pops of yellow and pink in a lace-and-leather Lisa Schaefer fascinator, paired with bright yellow heels.
The Birdcage is the Melbourne Cup Carnival’s most exclusive area with celebrities such as Alex Perry (Australian designer), Ashley Hart (model and sister to Victoria’s Secret model Jessica Hart), Jennifer Hawkins (model) and Lleyton Hewitt (tennis legend) casually roaming around. The Emirates, G.H.Mumm, Lexus, Lavazza and Myer marquees were top priority for anyone who found themselves on the A-list. G.H.Mumm sourced David Guetta as their DJ. He also happened to be shooting a video within their marquee.
Neighbouring the Birdcage, a paddock was set up. Horses paraded here, giving everyone a chance to get up close to the competitors before they headed onto the track. The audience watched on, as the horses were groomed and prepared for the major event.
There are only two major race days left on this year’s calendar. First up is Oaks Day, or “Ladies day,” where women are queens and elegance is key. Second is Stakes Day where families are encouraged to enjoy the festivities with picnics on the lawn.
As fascinators return to their boxes and dresses get stored away, people reminisce over a day well-spent, drinking champagne and eating canapés at one of the world’s greatest horse races.
FAJO’s Best Dressed photo gallery
Fashions on the Field contest