By NICKY CHAMP
Ah, spring. It’s like you can feel a seismic shift the moment September 1 rolls around.
The warmer weather is on its way, the excitement in the air is palpable and your social calendar starts filling up with barbecues and garden parties.
But before we step into our summery sarongs and well-worn Havaianas, let’s have a look back at some of the best trackside glamour of the Melbourne Cup for some fashion inspiration.
Because the race that stops the nation has also had its fair share of celebrity fashion that stopped the nation over the years.
1. 1960s: Jean Shrimpton shocks.
It’s almost comical to think that Jean Shrimpton’s frock caused so much controversy back in 1965, but not only was she wearing a one-piece shift four inches above the knee, she also dared to attend Derby Day with – gasp! – no hat, gloves or stockings.
According to a Guardian interview with Shrimpton at the time, her dressmaker, Colin Rolfe, was given insufficient fabric, but went ahead with designing four outfits anyway. Thus, the miniskirt was born – shocking what was a conservative Australia at the time. Take inspiration from Shrimpton this year with this white embellished shift dress from Aussie designers Manning Cartell. Add a pair of ladylike two-tone low heels and a black oversized clutch.
Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by Dan Murphy’s. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words.
2. 1970s: Pretty in purple.
Skip forward a decade, and the hippy aesthetic is obvious looking at the 1979 Fashions on the Field winner, Pamela Hayes. Iconic London designer Zandra Rhodes was at Flemington to judge the competition this year, and she chose this relaxed lilac silk print dress with a matching straw hat ensemble as the winner. We’d wear this today, if only we could track down the original.
3. 1980s: The People’s Princess.
The Prince and Princess of Wales graced Flemington in 1985, and this picture proves the People’s Princess rarely, if ever, put a foot wrong in the style stakes. Here she is in a stylishly appropriate black and white suit, with matching clutch, hat and heels. Update the look today with a below-the-knee skirt or black and white print dress.
4. 2010s: Sarah Jessica Parker’s iconic silver jacket.
This one divided the local fashionistas in 2011, with some saying the Sex and the City star’s Saunders dress, Antonio Berandi jacket and Manolo Blanik heels ensemble was ‘disappointing.’ But Sarah Jessica Parker was obviously privy to some insider information, knowing that the weather can turn cold at Flemington in November. And there’s nothing stylish about shivering through the event inappropriately dressed in a barely there, skimpy frock.
What will you be wearing this year?
For some more Spring Racing fashion inspiration, have a look at what some celebs have been snapped wearing on race day …
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