This year, fashion took a jump back in time and we loved it! We saw the resurgence of styles from the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s and the ’80s. Puffy and over-sized sleeves continued to show up in the masses! Prints and florals were top picks of fashionistas, apart from Derby Day. While there were a lot of off-the-rack outfits, it was lovely to see so many custom-made outfits or even better, outfits which the ladies made themselves. The Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival sets the trends for 2020 – Racing Fashion Trends 2020!
One of those self-made outfits (made and worn by Carena West) won the National title of the Myer Fashions On The Field competition, winning her a brand new Lexus and stacks of other prizes. The third place-getter, Mildred Elwood, also designed and made her outfit. Runner-up, Peta Bell, designed her outfit and had it professionally made for her. The FOTF result was such a turnaround from last year where we saw only Myer designers winning the top three spots.
Derby Day Fashion Trends 2020
Derby Day is a traditionally black and white day. This is the classiest day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival! It always amazes me how everyone takes these two basic colours and styles them to their suit their personality. There was an array of different fabrics including spots, sequins, leopard print, wet-look leather, feathers and stripes. The gorgeous black and white striped Maticevski dress came up on top to win the FOTF sash that day. This was the most popular dress of the week, with a few contestants choosing it for the carnival.
There was a lack of (if any) florals on Derby Day, apart from being an accessory on some millinery and nobody dared to go against tradition by turning up in The Park in colour. As for the men, the no-sock trend struck the right notes with the judges and none of the three top men in the FOTF competition wore socks. The overall men’s winner on Melbourne Cup Day didn’t wear any socks or a hat!
Want to see more fashion images of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival on Derby Day? Have a look at our photo gallery!
There’s always a huge colour explosion on Melbourne Cup day, following the monochrome tradition of Derby Day. Plenty of prints, florals and bright colours. The Park was full of wonderful fashion with a strong vintage vibe this year. Although there is so much out there which you can buy off-the-rack, I just love how so many people choose to have their outfits custom-made or make it themselves! This ensures that they have an outfit which is unique and showcases their personality.
One lady we’re always in awe of is Athena Lin who spent approximately 800 hours to create her Cup Day outfit. She hand-cut each fabric feather of her dress. Carena West won the Myer FOTF on Melbourne Cup Day with her self-made outfit. Although puff-sleeves were such a huge thing this season, Carena won in a simple, embroidered shift dress with no sleeves! Bright colours were very popular, with pinks and reds standing out in the crowd.
The Emerging designer awards were also held on Cup Day, with Jason Checuti (Checuti Couture) being chosen as the supreme winner. Checuti designed a one-shoulder wiggle dress with floral print and a draped rose detail. Birdskin came in second with their floral full-skirt dress and vinyl top. Lindsay Ridings came in third with her blue wiggle-style dress which featured an over-sized bow.
Oaks Day brought out the most feminine fashion! It is ‘Ladies Day’ and the ladies generally saved their best outfits for this day. Not only was it the day of the National final of the Myer FOTF, but it was also the day of the Myer Millinery Award. The best outfits and the best hats were wandering around The Park for us to admire.
There were more florals, pleats and puff-sleeves. The best outfit in The Park goes to Claire Hahn who wore a gorgeous custom-made candy pink ostrich feather dress! The movement of the feathers was just incredible and caught everybody’s attention. Stephanie Kwong won the Myer FOTF Kennedy Oaks Day title in a purple and red custom-made dress and a large-brimmed red hat.
Millinery shapes were very traditional this year. Boaters were still a favourite of some, along with various styles of large-brimmed hats. The vintage style pillbox hats were the most popular, classy choice. The National winner of the Myer FOTF chose a pillbox with feathers for her outfit. Large bows were a huge hit as well as blocked and padded headbands. The biggest trend which followed through from last year were small, very easy to wear headbands of various shapes and styles. The Top Hat was also a fashionista favourite for those wanting to make a bold statement.
The invitation-only Myer FOTF Millinery Award was a tough one! The best milliners from around Australia brought their best work to the stage at Flemington. There were so many amazing creations. It was too hard to pick the winner! Cynthia Jones-Bryson’s bright pink and red feathered creation came out on top. Peacock Millinery’s sculptural feathered headpiece came in second place and velvet&tonic’s statement hat came third place. For those who don’t know, velvet&tonic is my millinery label. What an unexpected thrill it was to be in the top three after only the second time I have been invited to take part!
Trend-Setter or Trend Follower – Racing Fashion Trends 2020
This year was a year to take some risks with fashion. Some fashionistas followed trends while others just threw caution to the wind and did it their own way. Even if some bought their outfits off the rack, it’s lovely to see these fashionistas making it their own with their choice of accessories. Take that popular black and white striped Maticevski dress for example. Adele Pearce styled it to perfection and won on Derby Day whereas the other ladies didn’t manage to wow the judges enough to make it to the final round. Peta Bell and Mildred Elwood both incorporated the puff-sleeve trend into their designs which saw them as State winners and then placing second and third place in the National Final.
This Melbourne Cup Carnival did not disappoint in the fashion stakes. There were so many impressive outfits, even on those who didn’t enter the competition! The vintage look was a favourite of most, enabling us to create stunning images where everyone looked like they were from the same era.
We’re always excited to see what the next year brings. We can’t wait for the Racing Fashion Trends 2020! Until then, enjoy our beautiful coverage of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.