Style Melbourne

David Jones Spring Racewear Preview


Freedman’s first task as David Jones’ racing ambassador was made easy with stunning young models and absolutely perfect racing outfits. Also, probably by her classic Christian Loubouton heels. Melbourne socialites Lauren Phillips and Angus Kennett led the group of models which included Caulfield Face of Fashion finalists and Caulfield Classic Style Ambassador, Neredah Blake. The three public shows were wonderfully co-ordinated and divided into the main days of the Spring Racing Carnival. With a different theme for each day, there are plenty of outfits to choose from!

Caulfield Guineas Day was up first and Phillips led the parade in an outfit harking back to the 80s (but really, which fashion designers aren’t giving us a flashback to the 80s at the moment?) She was wearing a beautiful straw coloured, netted skirt by Willow that flowed out from the thighs, making it flattering on most figures. This was teamed with a structured black jacket from Veronika Maine, just right if it turns out more like the Winter Racing Carnival. With big shoulders, it’s right on trend (Balmain’s trend that is).

The Caulfield Cup is one of the most popular days on the racing calendar, and if you buy the Alex Perry dress that received many ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ from the crowd, you’ll be one of the most popular fillies at the track. In typical Perry fashion, the dress stands out from the crowd in a stunning cherry colour and swings out from the hips, making you look very graceful when you walk (or glide). It has a high, rouched neck with exposed shoulders, so your faux tan will be in for a workout. The ruffled lining around the stomach area of the dress ensures that those that overindulge on raceday treats can easily disguise it! Also intended for the Caulfield Cup, a 50s swing, silk skirt from Veronika Maine will be popular with more sophisticated women. Falling below the knee (which Freedman says is very respectable), the tie dye, navy design is intricate and mesmerising and teamed with a red chiffon top, oversized, black patent Oroton clutch and matching shoes and belt, it may be a races winner. My personal favourite from the show was an Easton Pearson number. While I may be a true Melbournian in black when it’s freezing cold, the moment the barometer gets above 19 degrees, I’m all about colour. This season, DJ’s is pushing brights. Anything that stands out is in (I just let out a little “yay”). The Easton Pearson number was perfect for a spring day; a yellow shell top, with panelling to add detail, tucked into a stunning, patterned skirt of stars (slightly morphed into crosses) with colours that just pop out at you; pink, orange and yellow. The pink satin waist tie certainly adds an air of sophistication to the ensemble, and nude patent (very high) shoes and a shiny purple clutch finish it off. A sure stand out around the track.

Derby Day is a favourite for those who ooze sophistication and class with the black and white theme. The best out of this lot was the Alannah Hill ensemble. What absolutely amazing, gorgeous, feminine, stunning designs as per usual. Some people may think that is a bit over the top, or that even her prices are, but all must agree she’s perfected the art of girlish femininity. For Derby Day, how about a wrap silk skirt in those classic Derby Day colours with a lace trim to make it stand out from the crowd? Teamed with a polka dotted, black and white camisole and matching cardigan with cute little bows scattered, even if you have a few too many champagnes, you’ll still look classy.

Then the big one; Melbourne Cup Day. The race that literally stops a nation. It’s quite bizarre if you think about it. According to racing experts (Freedman), the Cup is the time to go crazy with colour, it’s all about fun! And to prove that, Helen O’Connor’s cult brand, Thurley, hit the catwalk. A bright tangerine silk dress drew claps from the lunchtime crowd. With a striking, contrasting print in cream the dress would stand out on the turf. It’s detailed with crochet lining and with two layers, adds volume that would look super-hot with sky high heels!

While this may have been a preview for the Spring Carnival, it certainly mirrored the trends of the season. And one final tip from the show, you don’t need a new outfit for each race day. Mix and match with skirts, jackets and tops. And hats are expensive, so perhaps go with an embellished headband!

Pretty prose by Tara McGrath

Great snaps by Christopher Moore

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