by JASMINE GARNSWORTHY

It’s the race that stops the nation, but if you’re more about the dresses and hats than the horses, we’ve got you covered. This isn’t just an excuse for celebrity style stalking and champagne (although, yes it’s good for that – Mischa Barton, Ashley Madekwe, Fifi Box and Sophie Monk are all at Flemington today), it’s just about the only day you can bust out an over the top hat and no one bats an eyelid.

Flick through this gallery for the best Melbourne Cup 2012 fashion, plus some highlights from last year’s Spring Racing Carnival:

Fashions on the Field

Keep checking back between champagnes – we will be updating our gallery throughout the day.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Fashions on the Field in Flemington, during which Melbourne Cup has developed a reputation for dramatic fashion – it’s considered the day to go all out with outrageous and exotic ensembles – hats essential for women and a yellow rose in the lapel for gents.

We’ve also got this post from MM favourite Monty Dimond about preparing herself to go to the races…

monty races 2 380x513 GALLERY: Melbourne Cup Fashions on the Field

Monty on her way to the races

This week I managed to wrangle an invite to a couple of the La did da marquees at The Melbourne Cup Carnival. I was insanely excited to be a fly on the wall watching the rich and famous in their natural habitat. 

This is how the day unfolded.

8am: Rise from slumber and bolt to the bathroom to see how my fake tan turned looks.  Will I be attending the races as Snooki or  Eva Mendez? Oops!  Snooki it is. I promptly start scrubbing my fluoro orange bod in the shower. After my ankles, knees and elbows are red raw I hop out. (Why do I never learn to go easy on these particular body parts with the tan? Rookie mistake)

8.30: Devour weeties and fruit. Mum always told me to have a hearty breakfast before a big day.

9am: Bolt out the door to my friends place to get my false Drag Queen-esque lashes applied. After 64 attempts and the odd poke in the eye, I looked as though two big ass butterflies have landed on my eyelids. Success.

9.30am: Get my hair did at the hairdressers. This was a seriously risky move as I had never been to this particular place before. I decided at the eleventh hour I should get my locks curled by a professional, this was the only place that had a vacant spot.  When I realised I was the youngest customer in the salon by about 30 years I knew it was going to end in tears, but desperation pushed me forward. After a whole can of hairspray was emptied on my head (literally) and my hair curled so tight I resembled JT in his N’Sync days, I head home.

10.30am: Cry, then fix hair.

11:00am: Apply make up and slide into my frock. This dress just covers my derrière so bending over will to be extremely challenging for the remainder of the day.

11:30am: Head to the track with my baby daddy.

12pm: Arrive at the track and proceed past ladies already hobbling in their monstrous heels, pat myself on my back that I opted to wear wedges.

12.15pm: Enter the fancy pants marquees. Walk in feeling like a fraud because my face aint one that belongs to a celebrity and my bank balance resembles a Dollarmite account.

12.30pm: Start to look for food.  Quickly realise nothing on offer was larger than the average human thumb. Figure out I could shove one h’orderve in my mouth while reaching with both mitts for another.

monty races 3 380x276 GALLERY: Melbourne Cup Fashions on the Field

Monty with Zoe Foster, Mia and Dave Thornton

1pm: See Mia Freedman, lean in for the kiss hello and have my eye taken out by her fascinator. My eye starts to weep like I had conjunctivitis. Another rookie mistake by me.  Air kissing was invented for days like this.

1.30pm: Spot Jennifer Hawkins in the corner being all tall and fabulous. Notice her scratching her nose (Yes, apparently models also get itchy noses)

2pm: See Ronan Keating placing a bet on the next race. Am pleasantly surprised to hear that his accent is legit. He is a bonafied Leprechaun. I am tempted to pick him up and pop him in my pocket.

3pm: Spy Matt Preston gobbling down a prawn and feel like I have front row seats to an exclusive Materchef episode.

4.30pm: Notice Kris Smith is within arms reach so I lean over to inhale his scent. Weird? Yes. Would I do it again? Yes.

4.45pm: See my first horse for the day.

5pm: Realise the day is coming to an abrupt end. Grab a friend to go on a hunt for Karl Stafanovic. (I’m a massive Karl Fan/Stalker from way back). To my disappointment I realise Karl had most probably left the track or is hiding behind a pot plant to avoid my inappropriate touching.

5.30pm: Head back to my Baby Daddy and inform him on my unsuccessful Karl hunt. He rolls his eyes and continues to sip on his extremely feminine cocktail.

6pm: Call it a day. Headed to the taxi rank and wait for 45 minutes in a line. Witness three girls and one dude vomit, two strangers tongue pash and copious amounts of smudged mascara.

8pm: Walk in the front door, flop on my couch and acknowledged the day was a success because I still have my shoes on.

Katie “Monty” Dimond is a broadcaster and media personality. She has appeared on Channel Ten, Channel Nine, and Nova FM. She is currently busy being a full time Mum to her one year old son and will feature in a new ABC comedy series with Merrick Watts coming soon.

What are you wearing and doing to celebrate Melbourne cup today?

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