History of Cup Week Fashion

From the first Melbourne Cup, Australia’s premier racing event has showcased cutting-edge design as well as transitions from the old to the new

Fashion designers and milliners consider the Spring Racing Carnival a most important annual event, and it is fashion that attracts many thousands of men and women to the course each year.


‘Fashions on the Field … will be a challenge to the ingenuity, economic sense and fashion sense of Australian women.’ The Sun, 7 September 1962

Each year, hundreds of women, men and children enter ‘Fashions on the Field’ competition, established by the VRC in 1962. The idea sprang from an earlier fashion competition held at Flemington for the 100th running of the Melbourne Cup in 1960.

Fashion had always been an important part of big racing events, and the competition was originally established to encourage the presence of women by identifying the most elegant and well-dressed woman at the racetrack. The competition became a major attraction for both competitors and spectators alike.