2009 Spring Carnival Racewear

The illustrious Victorian Spring Carnival is all about the horses, trainers, jockeys and of course, the fashion. Each year thousands of spectators flock to Flemington dressed to impress creating a fashion spectacular on the field. Dresses, ties, suits, hats and fascinators often steal the show as the racecourse comes alive in a sea of colour, contrast and creativity.

There are a few trends already emerging in the fashions seen and celebrated at this year’s Spring Carnival. It is definitely a return to glamour defining this year’s racewear, with mini-skirts and kicker-flashing frocks all but abolished. What we are seeing on the field this year is a combination of modern, radical designs with the classic 1950’s look.

The Sydney Turf Club, who is currently running their own Spring Carnival, has just held the final of their Myer Fashions on the Field contest. Both the winner and the runner-up wore 1950’s inspired dresses that combine the demure style of the era with bold and modern colours and prints. Because of the 1950’s inspiration on the track this year, pillbox hats have also been very popular. Taking over from the feathers and flowers seen in past years, embellishments including glamorous French netting and vintage jewels have been spotted everywhere. Topping off the look, many women have been spotted wearing gloves to accompany their outfits.

Caulfield’s first big race meeting on Saturday also saw the running of the Caulfield Classic Style Awards. This year’s winner was Perth designer Aurelio Costarella with a Victorian-inspired black and white piece. This highlights the fashion fact that black and white combinations will always impress. We are sure to see many more of these this racing season as all the leading department stores like David Jones and Myer boast an array of black and white creations in their collections this year.

Some of the top racewear styles seen so far this spring include the re-emergence of sharp two-piece suits for the ladies, fitted with volume adding shoulder pads. Soft and romantic dresses are a classic look that will never go out of fashion, and as always there have been a beautiful display of fabulous floral designs incorporating sheer fabrics, elegant lace touches and subtle hues.

There have been a number of bold new styles emerging that are catching the eye of fashionistas everywhere, including irregular one shouldered dresses and unique fabric details. Floating fabrics and ruffles have been see before, but this year designers are upping the ante with their racewear creations incorporating pleats, folds and bends seemingly inspired by the art of origami. This detailing is working the same way as the shoulder pads, adding oomph, bulk and volume.

This asymmetrical and more structured style has made its way right to the top this racing season, as the key fashion accessories of hats and fascinators have also been more abstract. This year racewear has been dominated by orange, purples, red, greens and silver, often in brave and cheeky combinations. Of course the classic shades of white, ivory and cream will always be loved and seen.

The biggest day of racing and fashion will be on Tuesday November 3 on Melbourne Cup Day.