Can you hear the thundering in the ground beneath you? You can actually feel the horses before they fly past you within seconds, kicking up the greenest, thickest grass with soil into the crowd. The jockeys with laser concentration, visualising what is ahead of them, each one wearing the colours of their company.
As the horses pass you see their flared nostrils, pushing out carbon dioxide into the air, chests pumping to get to the finishing line first! The crowd’s chatter has become hushed tones, as they intently watch like eagles, turning their heads from left to right in a 3200 metre race at 3:00 p.m. exactly, on the first Tuesday in November. It is known as “the race that stops the nation.” It is also known as the Melbourne Cup.
The Melbourne Cup, held at Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The very first race was held in 1861. The race now has been shortened from over 3 kilometers to 3200 meters. It is a time where race meets all over the world and Australia, starting in Spring then coverage to this day and after. You will see Sheiks from the Middle East, Oligarchs from Russia, the rich, famous and invested from Asia, come to the most famous day in November.
Other than viewing the most beautiful horses on earth, you will undoubtedly get to enjoy the site of some truly beautiful spring dresses and hats. It is a time for men and women to show their creativeness, boldness and bravery, which puts into a spin, the local seamstresses, milliners, glove and shoe boutiques. It is the perfect excuse to dress bright, elegant and stand out with a milliner's hat or one that you have designed yourself.
Of course, you can dress up anytime for a race meet all over Australia, however the major days that you would want to be seen are:
31st October - Victoria Derby Day
3rd November - Melbourne Cup Day
5th November - Kennedy Oaks Day
7th November - Stakes Day
Dress Etiquette and Style Guide
The VRC (or the Victorian Racing Club) does have etiquette rules for how ladies and gents need to be attired, if one is to enter certain areas of the racecourse. If one is lucky enough to be invited to private and/or member sections, there are a few rules to remember:
Ladies - are required to dress suitable standards of dressing, maintain dignity inside the enclosure. Overseas guests are able to wear their formal national dress of origin. Not acceptable is jumpsuit/playsuits, midriff exposed or shorts.
Gentleman - are required to attire themselves with tailored slacks (tailored chino's), sports coat/blazer, tie and dress shoes. Overseas guests are able to wear their formal national dress of origin. During the hot summer months jackets can be a side item.
Children - are required to be neatly dressed and with an adult.
Member’s Guests - are required to adhere to the above dress requirements.
Fashions on the Field... It’s Competition Time!
This is an amazing sight that brings the colour, fashion and drama to the races. The competition is held in collaboration with VRC and Myer Department Store each year.
Held for over 57 years, it was first created in an attempt to appeal to more women. What was a male dominated sport suddenly seemed ‘fashionable.’ The fashion competition is now a glam event, held over the four days, and brings in international designers, milliners, and global media attention, along with celebrity judges.
There are some that have made their name known just entering these competitions putting together a stunning outfit from shoes, outfit, hairstyle and hat.
The competition has four sections that attendees can compete in: Women's Racewear, Men's Racewear, an Emerging Designer Award, and a Millinery Award. This is an amazing time in Melbourne.
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