Melbourne Cup fashion wrap
Old hand at races, Camilla the Duchess of Cornwall outshines the fashion competition at the Melbourne Cup 2012.
Rose Byrne: Cool and classic in a custom tri-stripe Alex Perry dress. The actress pinned black and white Chanel camellias in her hair with a peach Chanel handbag over her shoulder - delivering an A-List outfit. (See below left.)
Jennifer Hawkins: Track-side Jennifer always keeps her hemlines long and she looked seriously beautiful in a sculptural, lilac Toni Maticevksi pencil dress. She opted for a tiny, black beaded head piece with a small black and white bag from Balmain. Young, fresh, pretty. Tick. (See below right.)
Melbourne Cup 2012 : Birdcage and Fashion
Mischa Barton in the Emirates marquee. Photo: Angela Wylie
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall: Royalty knows race etiquette and Camilla brought a touch of Ascot to Australia wearing a chic white shift dress with matching cream appliqueé and large straw hat. Appropriate and regal.
Alex Dimitriades: The actor loves fashion and an opportunity to dress up. He didn't disappoint yesterday in a pale blue slim suit with bow tie and dark shades. Slick and schmick.
Erica Packer: The mum of three looked beautiful in a cobalt blue, knee-length dress (my guess is Roland Mouret) with minimal make-up and simple black hat. Proof that less is more.
Trends that worked
Colour: Racing rules stipulate wearing colour on Cup Day and there were plenty that towed the line. Kyly Clark in red, Delta Goodrem in fuchsia - these clean, deep colours made a welcome reprieve from the neon overload.
White: Sophie Monk in Carl Kapp and Jesinta Campbell in Manning Cartell looked simple and stylish in white dresses. Many race goers opted for a cleaner look this year adding just a pop of colour with their accessories.
Peplums: Next to the racer dress and pencil skirt, the peplum was the carnival's most popular trend. This silhouette looks best in neutrals - black and white - or in colourful digital prints like Rachel Judd’s Manning Cartell multi-coloured dress.
Trends that didn’t
Neon: Flemington looked more like a Wham video than a race meet with women wearing every possible shade of fluoro in every possible style of dress. It didn’t stop at frocks – there were shoes, hats, bags, umbrellas – and it was a disaster.
Bandage dresses: You know this look? A dress that appears to be made of bandages and starts half-way down the bust and finishes just under the bottom? There were literally thousands of Hervé Leger rip-off frocks at the track – too tight, too short – that would have been better saved for the after parties.
Flying saucer hats: This trend is a hangover from the Royal Wedding – Prime Minister Gillard wore one to Westminster Abbey – but it’s time to retire the side-of the-head, may-be-a-satellite-dish style. The End.
The official button hole for Melbourne Cup is a yellow rose and the men looked magnificent donning big, beautiful rose buds in force.
This look started in music videos and should have stayed there. Every second woman was wearing a rainbow manicure: eight nails coloured in a neon polish (pink, orange, yellow) and two nails painted in black, white or grey - not very Races.
Headpieces v. hats
It was anything goes when it came to headwear with everything from birds to the Eiffel Tower (not joking) taking the place of more traditional hats. There were floral headpieces – Delta Goodrem and Mischa Barton - turbans (Jesinta Campbell) and plenty of bejeweled and bedazzled headpieces that could have doubled as necklaces.
Leaving the track, I was pushed to the ground by a young women wearing a bandage dress and no shoes. She’d lost her handbag but not her champagne bottle - from which she was drinking. Don't take off your shoes, don't drink out of a bottle and don't push people to the ground. It's the Melbourne Cup.