The 2015 Spring Racing Carnival has officially drawn to a close, and while the track side style stakes were undoubtedly high, the real stories come from deep within the Flemington Birdcage. Each marquee was decked with the goal of transporting VIP guests, racing royalty and fashion favourites to another world, from the British themed Emirates marquee, GH Mumm’s winter wonderland, Myer’s floral filled garden and Lavazza’s taste of Italy. As we rest our tired feet and wipe our weary eyes, we’re recapping the biggest news direct from the Birdcage’s very best marquees.
“Hello England!” was the theme for the marquee of marquees- Emirates. Made in Chelsea starlet and fashion icon graced the double story structure alongside Lady Kitty Spencer, with both women sporting millinery by the iconic Stephen Jones, another of Emirates’ international guests, throughout the carnival.
Speaking with Couturing, Stephen told us the design process is “like a performance” for him. While other milliners will create a sample and then rework the same sample to create the finished product, Stephen will create multiple samples and create an entirely new piece for his finished product. “It saves the finished work from looking tired,” he told us. “I look at it like a performance. You spend hours rehearsing, those are the first few mock-ups, but when it comes time to really perform, it’s just you in a moment and you almost forget about what you’d done before.” Stephen’s millinery has adorned everyone from Madonna to Celine Dion to the Rolling Stones, but his favourite starlet to work with? “Kylie Minogue. She’s the Queen of Australia, really.”
The beautiful people flocked to the “Super Botanica” themed Myer marquee, where a soft colour palette and intricate floral wall decals surrounded VIP guests. Ambassador Jennifer Hawkins dazzled in a slew of Australian designers, structured frocks and block colours over floaty silhouettes and prints. The botanical theme was translated into food as well, with fresh produce and and oyster bar taking centre stage in the culinary stakes.
Lindy Klim shone in her role as GH Mumm’s Spring Racing ambassador, speaking to Couturing about her fashion predictions. “I think really anything goes this year, that’s the beauty of the carnival,” she told us as she prepared to swap her sky high stilettos for a pair of crisp white sneakers. Lindy, who topped our best dressed list for the day, isn’t afraid to improvise when it comes to track side style. “I’m wearing Maticevski, but older pieces that I’ve switched up. I actually cut the shoulder out of the top myself and had Toni hem it for me, of course, and my fascinator is actually just an orchid from my bathroom!” As far as summer trend predictions, Lindy is open to experimentation. “We can almost get away with anything now. My mum might not understand it, like my runners for example, but fashion today is all about doing your own thing.”
The Lavazza marquee gave us a taste of Italy, with fresh gnocchi and bottomless Aperol spritzes floating around the “party marquee”. Emma Notarfrancesco mingled with guests in her role as the brand’s social ambassador, thirsty racegoers waited patiently until espresso martini hour, and the Couturing team unanimously voted the Lavazza marquee as having the Birdcage’s best dance floor all carnival long.
Photos courtesy of Robert Anthony and Emirates.