Everyone has an opinion on Spring Racing fashion – it’s like we enter the season as The Devil Wears Prada’s delightfully innocent Andy Sachs, and leave as a jaded and cynical Emily Charlton.
However, fashion is a constantly evolving artform, and we can find so many things to admire and appreciate. Fashion allows us to express ourselves and feel comfortable and confident in whatever we choose, and Spring Racing is a fantastic way to showcase beauty – both inside and out.
Here’s the standouts of the last week’s Spring Racing Carnival:
I would actually prefer to dedicate an entire think-piece into how J-Hawk NEVER gets it wrong trackside, but maybe another time. For now, let’s celebrate a woman who embraced a daring wide-legged pant (PANT! VIVA LA REVOLUTION @ FLEMINGTON!) for Cup Day.
Wearing block red and bucking the dainty metallic fascinator trend for a practical wide-brim. It’s like, does she even KNOW how good she looks? And how non-sunburnt she is going to be? Honestly, I can’t even. Pants and a big hat. Amazing.
You can’t mention one without the other – Megs is the Guy Sebastian to Jen’s Shannon Noll. You know there’s still some competition there but you hold out for a collaboration (thanks, ANTM 2016!).
The pride of the Lavazza marquee on Cup Day, Gale wore D&G botanical black, minimal make up for a glowy, sexy, I’m-very-loved-in-Italy look which she always nails. I also love that her clutch could double as a very pricey lunch box. Her bloke could’ve worn a matched suit, but I mean he could never even attempt to draw focus from Australia’s youthful Sophia Loren.
Montana Cox at Oaks Day, wearing the classic ‘why did anyone else bother turning up this year’ dress – a Zimmerman look that hands her the Best Dressed Clothes Horse (get it) of 2016. Monty is supporting Aussie designers, she is killing the metallic fascinator trend, and if you haven’t noticed, the dress is alright too.
Can you see the corset detail? The weaving ruching along the sleeves? Lace neckline? A HEM THAT ABIDES BY NO RULES?! I love it more than I love the sneaky Fireman Cam/Nikki Gogan pairing that was snapped at Derby Day. That’s how much.
One of the great loves of my life (she doesn’t know it yet because she won’t reply to my emails), Nads Bartel – a vision at the Cup. She literally looks like she has torn out a piece of blue sky from Queensland and gotten Alex Perry to make it into a dress.
This is the same iconic #kween whose pun-rich Instagram is headlined ‘The Chronicles of Nadia.’ Peep the sleeves – taking the spring French/cap sleeve trend to untested heights and SLAYING. She’s even wearing a crown. She is a gift.
This outfit was inspired by Irving Penn, Vogue covers, Veronica Lake, Victorian dresses, and one of my favorite films 'Gangs of New York'. I thoroughly enjoyed becoming a character for the day and learning about the confines of race wear tradition. Thank you @myer for opening up your floor(s) and letting me do what I love, it was a fashion dream! Xox NT 😘😘😘
Now Nicole Trunfio was a hero at Derby Day – not one, but TWO outfits. Before I even address how smashing they both were: where did she keep the second one?! Hanging up in the car? In a locked toilet cubicle? I genuinely don’t know. Has anyone ever been bold enough to SWAP CLOTHES at the races? Is this a first?
She kept the same hat and choker, and took advantage of two prevailing trends this season: exposed mesh and those crazy-ass sleeves that defy gravity. What I take from this is that Trunners wanted to capitalise on all the trends, so she just bought all the clothes. It’s logical and it’s genius. Next year, I’ll be changing 4 times to accommodate all the fashion boxes I need to tick, and I advise you to do the same.
So you don’t know what to wear to the 2016 Caulfield Cup. You walk into your white wardrobe that is the size of an average Aussie’s lounge room, with a rug made out of a unicorn on the floor, with a frosé slushie machine in the corner and rubies inlaid on the side of the shoe cabinet. You grab your nearest sheer, foliage-based D&G, throw on a crown and a statement lip and float out the door like the gossamer meadow princess you are.
Okay, I got a little carried away imagining Ms. J. Franklin’s pre-race regime, but y’all gotta admit…three (thousand) votes.
Bec Judd gave birth to twins recently – and somehow here she is at Oaks Day, in flyaway Websters and a dress that is giving me sexy ‘Sweet Home on the Prairie’ vibes. She never puts a foot wrong, she’s a business woman and highly-regarded speech pathologist and she has somehow managed to keep that dress white with two newborns.
She’s a bad-ass weather-reading, Brownlow-dominating mum who has taken advantage of the Spring combo of blue and white and executed it perfectly. Her fashion clout is so strong, that I can say ‘that dress’ and you ALL know which one I mean. Legendary.
Ultimately, my first thought about Finch’s Stakes Day frock was: ‘Florals for Spring? Groundbreaking’. But it grew on me (get it) because Rachel is positively glowing and her headpiece is a glorious representation of the Rainbow Road track on MarioKart. Also she is a champion of a nude, sensible heel and she can smash a pleat. The dewy complexion and relaxed way she approaches Spring Racing always has her looking demure and sophisticated – #inspo for us all.
The word that summarises this year’s Spring Racing is: change. We’ve seen pants, and we’ve seen headbands…but George Maple brought us a kimono and we are all better for it. She paired it with sequins and a smokey eye and just was the coolest at Stakes Day.
That’s another racing season over. We saw the birth of The Park, we listened to some amazing live music, and we saw a fashionable revolution (PANTS!) bloom before our very eyes.