The attendees at Derby Day wore black, white and blue hands as temperatures sank and wind and rain threatened to topple headwear at the first day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Despite early showers and a cold start, celebrities flocked to the Birdcage at Flemington on Saturday in all their finery. There were photo opportunities, fashion faux pas, major hats (cough, Julie Bishop, cough), awkward moments and some seriously stylish looks.
Among the first to arrive was fashion blogger and Flemington veteran Nadia Bartel, wearing a white Dion Lee dress and wide brim Melissa Jackson hat, which blew off in the chilly wind.
“Theres no way I’d change my outfit for the weather,” she told AAP. “I’ll just be cold!”
Celebrity stylist Lana Wilkinson said no one would stray from the traditional black and white dress code.
“I think we’ll be seeing lots of jumpsuits, lots of wide brim hats,” she told AAP. “It’s a hat day 100 per cent.”
While there were no international stars on the Derby Day guest list, plenty of Australian exports have flown in for the day, including singer Natalie Imbruglia, actress Melissa George and models Shanina Shaik and Robyn Lawley, while Australian actress Zoe Ventura flew in from Los Angeles.
Today show host Karl Stefanovic made his first official public debut with new girlfriend Jasmine Yarbrough and the well-heeled pair arrived at the exclusive Emirates marquee flanked by a publicists and photographers.
Myer ambassador and former Miss Universe Jennifer Hawkins encountered a slight fashion faux pas when she turned up wearing the same Jonathan Simkahi dress – and a very similar black wide-brimmed hat – as Channel Seven’s horse racing presenter Francesca Cumani.
And when Cumani donned a black coat for the cold, punters joked it was at Hawkins’ request.
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As for the rest, everyone stuck to the dress code as promised, but some did better than others.
The best dressed
The biggest risk takers
Some attendees stretched the confines of the strict dress code, playing with texture, cut and volume in order to make a statement.
We’ll leave it to you to decide whether they nailed it or not.