Friday, 1 November 2013


A model sporting Dior for a Harper's Bazaar spread, 1957. #vintage #fashion #1950s #jockey #horse

Here in Melbourne the annual Spring racing carnival is about to start.  Next Tuesday is the famed Emirates Melbourne Cup where everyone from young and old will stop and watch the race, as the saying goes 'Its the race that stops the nation!" .

I wont be attending the big day although i love horse racing and the whole glamorous affair of the whole day, unless i have a ticket to a marquee i ain't setting foot there. I did attend once, general admission.. lets just say hmmm, not for the faint of heart. I will though be placing a bet  on a few favourites as well as waiting with baited breath for the big race to start, as i do each year! It is so exciting, i love it.

For the  high rollers, the famous and the  everyday folk,  the races have been and still are  a huge annual worldwide event dating  far back as 648 BC. With  the opportunity for  all to don their best clothes for a fabulous day out at the races.

Flemington fashions

Since its beginning the Spring carnival horse racing and fashion have gone hand in hand. Fashions on the field are a HUGE deal and there are some big prizes to be won.  To create the perfect race day outfit  is to start  with your fancy hat using it as your signature piece and then  work your way down so you won't end up on the worst dressed list in the newspaper the next day.

Flemington fashions

Rita Hayworth 1956 - Kentucky Derby

Flemington fashions

The  Melbourne Cup has had its infamous moments in the past. In 1965, Jean Shrimpton attended the Melbourne Cup and caused a huge uproar by wearing a dress with a hemline above the knee, no hat or any gloves.  
Oooo naughty! It was big  head line news back then.

This image captured major headlines in 1965, when Jean Shrimpton was photographed at the Melbourne Cup with no hat, no gloves, and a hemline above the knee.
Jean Shrimpton, 1965

As i mentioned before Fashion on the fields is the big draw card for day aside from the big race. Looking back through past fashion on the fields winners its great to see the flag flying for some fabulous handmade creations, some really original eccentric designs as well as  some gals who entered that simply  had to borrow pieces to create their final outfits.  

The 1962 winner who borrowed a hat and money for her outfit, cute! 

1972 winner - Slack suit anyone?  I kind of like the gingham chef hat thing going on!

1978 handmade outfit - I wish this photo was in color, this dress was sewn up in Silk crepe Yves Saint Laurent fabric... sounds lovely.

1986 - A  button-through leather suit... Holy shit i cant believe something like this existed! Hahaha hilarious!

1987 winner - I have nothing to say...Apparently Spanish bull fighter influence fused with a mini skirt.. Let me think about that one.... OK got it..

The 2011 winner. She made this outfit herself  including the hat, double whammy talent.

And the 2012, not too sure about the cauliflower hip pads?!

You can find all past winners of the fashion on the field here  its a great glimpse into the past fashions over the years at the races.

If i was attending i would obviously definitely sew my own, what a chance to create an amazing outfit for the big day and a totally original one at that. Ok, i may be bias but in my opinion I think the Billie Jean dress,  both versions would be a great choice for race day. Especially sewn up in some beautiful striking  bright colors,  sky scraper heels,  a signature hat, all coordinated  with some signature vintage pieces such as a brooch, gloves or a beautiful one off clutch.

Even though i won't be attending Cup day i will still get dressed up for the day in  one of my Billie Jean dresses the whole kit to celebrate, even though i will  just be at home having my own little shindig!

Tell me are you attending any of the race days in the Spring carnival? Vintage or modern? Stored brought or handmade? Or have you ever entered a fashions on the field?




  1. That was so cool! I went, general admission, back in.... Wow, 1992? Was fascinating!


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