Melbourne Spring Racing Festival 2016 Cup Day
What a grand spectacle! The sun was shining, the roses were in full bloom, the frocks were a feast for the eyes and fillies were faster than lightning. That was the Emirates Melbourne Cup Day 2016. It was a riot of colour, tangerine, cobalt blue, emerald green, sunflower yellow, vivid red and coral. Floral prints vied with the spectacular roses of Flemington Race Course for attention. Frocks were slim ‘6os shift dresses, lace sheaths or tiny off shoulder numbers. Ruffles made their presence felt. Shoulder barred or spaghetti strap maxi dresses in sorbet colours reinforced the summer theme. Headwear ranged from bold fascinators to floral wreaths. Turbans, hair jewelry and tiaras were cheek by jowl with fedoras and wide brimmed sun hats. Clutch bags with side slings were popular because of their obvious convenience. When it came to silhouettes for clutch bags, boxy minaudieres and envelope clutch bags won hands down. Punters put scarves to good use. Animal print scarves were draped over bare backs to prevent sunburn. Solid scarves were wrapped around the waist like a sarong when the micro minis rode too high for comfort and pashminas were twisted around sun hats and left free like tassels. A few anomalies like Hawaiian shirts and jeans snuck in quietly. At least one man was spotted committing the ultimate blasphemy, turning up dressed in a pair of board shorts.
Melbourne Spring Racing Festival 2016 Crown Oaks Day
Melbourne Cup Day was followed by Crown Oaks Day. If you were at the Oaks Day luncheon at the Crown Palladium and rubbed shoulders with film, television and sports celebrities, you were prepped up for the most feminine event of the Melbourne Spring Racing Festival.
The morning punters were out early, dressed in soft pastel colours, demure floral and muted graphic print dresses. Silhouettes were mostly slim and figure hugging. Lace sheath dresses and layered skirts were aplenty. The overall mood was ladylike and elegant. However, the odd peek a boo top appeared now and then. The cutaways on these tops were discreet nonetheless, with no show of the belly button. Some ladies were accompanied by gentlemen in morning suits offset with colourful pocket squares and bow ties. Others were obviously in the company of their bffs and clearly having a blast. Headgear was sculpted and hair jewelry was inspired by the coral reef. Myer Fashion on the Field had 60’s dresses in coral and ivory competing with shift dresses in vivid floral prints or solid colours like fire engine red and buttercup yellow.
Melbourne Spring Racing Festival 2016 Emirates Stakes Day
The final event of the spring racing festival was Emirates Stakes Day. Stakes day was about family and fun. It was about relaxing the rules and stepping outside the norm. Stakes Day had a carnival atmosphere. Fascinators were replaced with sequined berets, colours were bright and styles were funky . Juniors and families can showed off their race wear at the Junior Fashion on the Field event.
Emirates Stakes Day was full of joie de vivre. Families were out early with the mini punters taking to the fashion scene with gusto. Siblings were dresses in red and white coordinated frocks and sun hats. Little boys carried their Homburgs with élan. Nautical stripes were a major influence on the junior punters as were sailor caps. Tartans, lace and accordion pleats adorned young and the not so young alike. Stylish top hats were worn with ruffled shirts. Floral and maxi dresses worn with floral headbands were a distinct favourite this spring racing season. Fresh flowers in headwear epitomized the spirit of spring.
Emirates Stakes day had a different feel to it. Candy floss added to the festive mood as did pony rides, fun and games, crafts and several other outdoor activities. Boys and girls held their own at the Junior Fashion in the Fields competition. As families sashayed down the runway, it was obvious the junior punters did not lack in confidence.
As the day drew to an end, a sea of tired yet happy faces made their way to the exit gates. Wins were celebrated and losses shrugged off. At the end of the day, it was all about the satisfaction of a day well spent in the company of those that matter the most and excitement in anticipation of another spring racing festival in 2017.
As another Melbourne Spring Racing festival came to an end, it was time to relive the memories. Who won in the best dressed category, who staged a fashion coup with offbeat headwear, clutch bag or wrap and who committed a fashion faux pas?
Each year, the Melbourne Spring Racing Festival relives the era of elegance and gaiety. We forget our worldly worries these few days and live in times where carefully coiffured ladies partook of high tea served in sliver service and bone china and dandies roamed the streets of London. Till next time!