While the undisputed heroes of the Melbourne Cup Carnival are the stars of the turf, the accompanying fashion frenzy that seizes Melbourne in spring is truly spectacular. Men and women alike relish the opportunity to dress in their finest racewear and head to Flemington as the racecourse becomes the place to see and be seen.
Over the years some of the world’s most fashionable people have attended Melbourne Cup Week including Princess Diana, Sarah-Jessica Parker, Chi-Ling Lin, Kate Bosworth, Jerry Hall, Georgia May Jagger, Chloe Sevigny, Naomi Campbell, Dita Von Teese, Gigi Hadid, Coco Rocha, Lady Kitty Spencer, Elle Macpherson, Megan Gale, Lara Worthington and Bella Heathcote.
However, it was Jean Shrimpton’s appearance in 1965 that caused the greatest stir. The Melbourne Cup Carnival’s most famous fashion spectacle took place when the English model attended Victoria Derby Day wearing a one-piece shift four inches above the knee with no hat, gloves or stockings. Despite causing outrage among fashion traditionalists, Shrimpton instantly turned the world fashion spotlight on Flemington and it has remained there ever since.
In 1962, the VRC Committee introduced a competition designed to ‘woo more women to the races’ during the Carnival. Today, Myer Fashions on the Field at Flemington is not just an institution of the Melbourne Cup Carnival; it has established its place as Australia’s largest and most prestigious outdoor fashion event. Myer Fashions on the Field – a Flemington icon that has been replicated the world over – is showing no sign of losing relevance after more than 50 years.
Each year women (and more recently men) with a passion for fashion vie for a lavish prize pool worth more than A$430,000 and a place in the social pages. The only tougher competition is on the racetrack.
On the Carnival’s fourth day, the Myer Fashions on the Field competition on Seppelt Wines Stakes Day offers children and families the opportunity to impress in the fashion stakes and claim fantastic prizes.