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Thursday, 20 August 2009 10:00

Melbourne Cup and Spring Racing Fashion

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It is the race that stops a nation - the horse race AND the race to be the best dressed fashionista on the field. The Melbourne Cup has traditionally been an “urban fashion parade”. It is an event where attendees arrive decked out in their most fashionable (and sometimes outrageously so) clothes. Top-of-the-range designer dresses and suits, exotic costumes, thousand-dollar hats and fascinators, diamond-encrusted stilettos... From celebrities to your next door neighbour, everyone is dressed to be noticed.
The first Melbourne Cup race was held in 1861. In its early days, the annual races were the very few places where upper-class society and the lower ranks met and socialised. The first Fashions on the Field competition was started more than forty years ago, as a publicity tool to attract more females to the racetracks. The races have now evolved to a full-fledged fashion fiesta, with international celebrities attending to judge the Fashions on the Field competitions. The competitions are hotly contested every year – and it’s no surprise why. This year’s grand prize is a SAAB Convertible for a year, and two return trips to Dubai, flying Business Class with Emirates Airlines. The Melbourne Cup indeed involves much more than just a simple horse race. To keep up with the culture of dressing to be seen, most racegoers have their clothing tailor-made. Australia boasts a range of tailors and seamstresses who specialise in racewear. The Melbourne Cup Day Design Award – which honours the most outstanding racewear design – is a highly competitive and exclusive affair. It is an invitation-only event, and judging criteria include originality of style, matching of accessories, and appropriateness of the outfit to the weather, individual, and trends. d’Italia, a designer fabric store located in Malvern, Victoria, has been a key partner to many Melbourne Cup fashionistas. The store imports all its fabric from Italy and France, and has been providing Australian racegoers and award-winning seamstresses with high-quality, exclusive fabric for the creation of eye-catching Cup dresses. The store offers an extensive range of designer fabric, from bright, bold prints to sleek, toned-down silk. A dressmaker referral service is also available for racegoers who have not found their own seamstress or tailor. Staff in the store regularly work the fashion circles in Australia, and consistently provide ideal recommendations for the best fit and originality.  The History of Melbourne Cup and the Fashion It is Australia’s most famous Tuesday, the “race that stops a nation”. Mark Twain called it Australia’s true folk festival and said that the magnificence of its appeal on an entire country astonished him. It is also one of the world’s most challenging horse races, and certainly the richest in prize money. The Melbourne Cup. Every year, millions of people across Australia stop what they are doing at 3pm on the first Tuesday of November to watch or listen to the race. Parliament suspends its proceedings, hundreds of thousands flock to the racing grounds in their best and most fashionable outfits, and festive celebrations take place. Australia is the only country in the world which has declared an annual state public holiday for a horse race. As one of the most prestigious two-mile horse races in the world, the annual Melbourne Cup is a sporting and fashion affair that has become a national icon and a major Victorian tourist attraction. The first Melbourne Cup race was held in 1861, where seventeen horses contested for a gold watch and 170pounds in cash. The winner was a horse from New South Wales named Archer, who was acquired and trained by Etienne L. de Mestre. Archer also won the second Cup race, and de Mestre would later train a further three Cup winners. Sixteen years later, Australia officially made the first Tuesday in November a public holiday – Melbourne Cup Day. The Melbourne Cup race culture has traditionally been one of high fashion, with racegoers attending in their best outfits. From celebrities to the ordinary girl next door, attendees ensure they are dressed to stun. Women are usually decked out in fashionable hats or fascinators, and designer labels are prevalent. “Fashions on the Field” is a major highlight of the entire event, and prizes are given to the best-dressed male and female. d'Italia Designer Fabric has been active in the Melbourne Cup fashion arena for the past several years. The store’s imported fabric has been highly sought-after by Melbourne Cup racegoers, for its high quality and exclusivity. The store also offers referral services to award-winning tailors and seamstresses. Racing Fashion To Be Seen at the Melbourne Cup It is the race that stops a nation - the horse race AND the race to be the best dressed fashionista on the field. From celebrities to your next door neighbour, everyone is there to be noticed at the Melbourne Cup races. In view of the culture of dressing to be seen, d’Italia, a designer fabric store located in Melbourne, Australia, has been a key partner to seasoned racegoers and award-winning dressmakers throughout the years. The store offers high-quality, European fabric that originates from the same manufacturers who supply to international couture names like Gucci, Armani and Escada. Staff in the store regularly work the fashion circles in Australia, and consistently provide ideal recommendations to customers for the best fit and originality. The Melbourne Cup race, first held in 1861, has evolved into a full-fledged fashion fiesta, with international celebrities like Paris Hilton attending to judge the renowned Fashions on the Field competitions. These competitions are hotly contested every year – and it’s no surprise why. This year’s grand prize is a SAAB Convertible for a year, and two return trips to Dubai, flying Business Class with Emirates Airlines. In preparation for the racing season, d’Italia’s current key offerings are the in vogue metallic colours of crystal silvers, demure oyster/pewters, and glossy golds, available in high quality silks, linens and French laces. Pretty spring colours are also available, to celebrate the season in which the Cup is held. Geranium pink, blue violet, dandelion yellow, Hermes orange and tomato red are irresistibly feminine and fanciful in plain silk satins, voiles, georgettes and – the latest a la mode – silk burnouts and French corded and Chantilly laces. Racing season in Australia starts in September. Racegoers are encouraged to start booking their dressmaking services now, to avoid delays and disappointments.
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