Melbourne Cup is definitely a very special race Carnival and Fashion experience you wont get anywhere else. It's different from Royal Ascot in the UK, as the Millinery and Fashion are much more free and creative, not as much focus on traditional big hats and Millinery, but rather creativity, modern materials and sculptural designs.
Each year Ana Bella Millinery is invited to the Melbourne Cup Carnival, to attend the invitation only Myer Millinery award. The Millinery award is a very prestigious well known prize, where around 100 Milliners are invited to compete on Oaks day among professional Milliners. A panel of judges is made up of international and Australian professionals; designers, stylist, in 2015 Stephen Jones guest judged and 2016 UK Milliner Vivienne Sheriff was on the panel.
Ana Bella Millinery has been a top ten finalist two years running, below are both of the final AB Millinery signature award winning pieces below. Worn by Latoyah Asha, a model and presenter from Horse Shoes and high Heels.
Stephen Jones OBE Master Milliner and Ana from Ana Bella Millinery
The Millinery award is held on Oaks Day, just after the Designer awards which are also amazing to watch. The cream of Australian Design and Millinery enter and make outfits that are raceday suitable. It takes a few hours, as the models are paraded in heats, to get through all the entrants, to finally go from around 100 entries, to 40, then to ten finalists which are announced and broadcast on National Television.
This year, English Milliner, Ian Bennet won the First Prize, from the top ten finalists, with his fireworks feather piece Millinery. It was an amazing display of years of hard work and mastering dying of feathers.
The Melbourne Cup Fashion
There is a an entire week of horse racing and fashions to enjoy during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Derby Day, Melbourne Cup Day,Oaks Day, and Stakes Day.
Each race day is known for different attire, such as Derby Day is Black and White elegance, Melbourne Cup day is reserved for colourful floral designs, and Ladies day, Oaks day is ladies day but also the day of the Millinery and designer awards.
Each day a Fashions on the Field Competition is held for the best dressed Lady, it is a fierce and exciting competition with serial fashionistas who prepare outfits all year for this one event. It is definitely great people and fashion watching, a racing style unique to Australia.
How the ladies Fashion competition works in a nutshell; During the year, each Australian state produces a best dressed lady winner, and the finalists from around the country are flown to Melbourne for the grand finale on Oaks Day, where the overall winner is crowned. This is the ultimate prize for the Fashion on the Field Ladies in Australia.
You can find out more about the Myer fashion on the Field competition and fashion rules for each day and purchase tickets through the Victorian Racing Club.
"The Park" The main stage for Fashion
Melbourne Cup delivers each year to be bigger and better, and this year 2017 was no excuse, a new area just for the Fashion on the field was created called " The Park" .
A fashion playground, acknowledging just how important fashion and Millinery is to Horse Racing. The large stage where the Fashions are judged was even bigger, with more cover and a runway. Photo booths from sponsor Yellow Glen, a floral wall and flower seat, a Loreal touch up make up hotel, with bars and food lining the enclosure were all on offer in this exquisite area jsut for Fashion and entertainment. It was all in one place to enjoy a day at the races, along with TV screens to watch all the races.