The 2015 Melbourne Cup Carnival at Flemington: The Week That Was

So, the most anticipated week in Melbourne for 2015, the Melbourne Cup Carnival at Flemington, is sadly but mercifully done and dusted.

Those few who were fortunate enough (see: famous enough) to score a golden ticket into the Birdcage enclosure were treated to the elegance and charm that the Birdcage is now famous for.

Marquees hosted by some of the world’s leading brands provided a truly marvellous affair for all attendees, with captivating architectural designs, world-class cuisine and sumptuous cocktails. The marquees to be seen in this year were Emirates, Lexus, Myer, G.H. Mumm, James Boag, Swisse and Lavazza.

With a week that circles around ‘the race that stops the nation’, that is, the Melbourne Cup, it wasn’t all fillies and form guides for race-goers. The fashion was as on point as ever, with very few deterred by the temperamental weather conditions that Melbourne experienced throughout the week.

From the traditional black and white dress code of Derby Day to the parade of colour that clad both men and women on Cup day, we take a look below at the best styles of the week and what our favourite marquees had to offer from this year’s Melbourne Cup Carnival week at Flemington Racecourse.

Lavazza – This year took inspiration from six masters of Italian mid-century design for a “120 years with classic Italian icons” theme. Vogue Living editor Neale Whitaker played an integral part in the direction of the marquee’s design and style to great effect. The espresso martinis were an absolute hit (you know we are partial to a well-times espresso martinis) and the desserts prepared by television favourite Silvia Colloca were of the highest order.


Emirates – The airline presented a double storey marquee that was just as impressive from the outside as it was the inside. Emirates celebrated all things English in appreciation of one of their most popular destinations, featuring a sit-down restaurant with an English-influenced menu, a Georgian-themed interior and even an English Garden balcony with the best view of the Flemington track. To say we were impressed would be an understatement.


Myer – The retailer delivered a breathe of fresh air with a visually stunning space bursting with flowers, fruits and vines. The menu was designed by The Big Group, offering guests fresh, seasonal produce in simple yet elegant renditions. Our favourites were the shucked oysters paired with G.H. Mumm Champagne and the mouth-watering artisan gelato (mandarin-yuzu sorbet) prepared IN a passion fruit (exquisite)!


James Boag – This marquee can be summed up in one word: Meteorphonium. The first of its kind in the world, the James Boag Meteorphonium was on offer for all guests to see (and hear). What is a Meteorphonium, you ask? It happens to be a revolutionary instrument that takes cues from its environment to self-play a stunning, ever-changing symphony…. Truly impressive.

James Boag - Melbourne Cup Carnival 2015

With that said and done, the Birdcage enclosure would however have been extremely bland if it were not for the dazzling outfits that were paraded throughout the week. Below are our favourite picks from each race day. Courtesy of the extremely talented Colin Gold of TheTrendSpotter for all photography.

DERBY DAY: Keeping with the traditions of the black and white dress code, guys were dressed conservative yet elegantly. A change from the traditional black suit to a dark charcoal/grey approach was evident, with details and accessories the key to standing out from the pack. Some played this game cleverly and with flair, while others erred on the side of caution.



MELBOURNE CUP: If there was a day to go all-out with colour, patterns and accessories, this was the one. We saw many men don an array of exuberant colours and patterns in their suiting, without veering into the whole ridiculous Geoffrey Edelsten territory. Pastel/block coloured suits, double breasted and large windowpane patterns were a hit. Our personal favourite was Dan MacPherson dressed in a stylish 3-piece navy checked suit, paired delightfully (and noticeably) with chic tortoiseshell sunglasses, all by Gucci.




OAKS DAY: Although a day for the ladies, the guys did not shy away from the Oaks Day challenge, rising to the occasion in waves of pink, blue and magenta. Much like on Melbourne Cup, guys were not afraid to explore their options with colour, and did so quite successfully. Mirrored sunglasses, off-white chinos and navy blazers were the key trend of the day.




STAKES DAY: The least formal of all the days, this was a day to unwind and relax in the setting of the Birdcage enclosure. A day to let the hair down, guys dressed smartly, erring a little to the side of colour, yet executing their respective looks quite successfully. Block coloured suits from olive-green to salmon-pink were seen, with the tan suit also a popular go-to. With a perfect setting of music, laughter and delightful weather amongst the Birdcage folk, it was a fantastic day to conclude the week that was the Melbourne Cup Carnival at Flemington for 2015.




Photos courtesy of Colin Gold from TheTrendSpotter