Every October and November is an exciting time for us Melbournians, as girls rock out their frocks and guys suit up for the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
There are many different race events, such as the Caufield Cup, Derby Day, Oaks Day, Stakes Day etc. But the most important and well-known event is Melbourne Cup Day, which is held on the first Tuesday of November (it’s so famous that it is an official public holiday in Melbourne!) at Flemington Racecourse. On this day at 3pm, the Melbourne Cup race takes place (aka ‘The Race that Stops a Nation’). In fact, there’s a recent movie made about this particular race in 2002 called ‘The Cup’.
Although I don’t have much interest in horse-racing or gambling, I still love going to the races every year. The atmosphere, excitement and field fashion makes a great day out with friends.
In past years, I’ve attended both Stakes Day and Derby Day. So this year, my friends and I decided to attend Cup Day itself 🙂 The ticket cost $74AUD, which is quite expensive considering it was only general admission (no seats).
Because I needed my makeup to last all day in outdoor conditions, I opted for my HG foundation – L’Oreal Infallible 18 hour foundation (with SPF 20).
I went for a pretty Spring makeup look this year to match my outfit, using shimmery lilac, pink and gold shades from my Coastal Scents 88 Ultra Shimmer Palette.
I used a soft pink blush on my cheeks, as well as some highlight, to give my face a flushed, radiant glow. I finished off the look with a rosy pink lipstick and clear gloss.
For my hair, I twisted it into a loose side bun and held it in place with lots and lots of bobby pins. I was surprised that it held up for the whole day!
Fascinators (a headpiece often adorned with feathers, flowers and lace) are an iconic part of race day fashion, although some girls choose to wear hats, flowers or headbands instead. Around the racing period every year, every department store and accessory/jewellery/clothing store would sell all kinds of fascinators, with many being very overpriced (over $100).
This year, I bought this 3-tiered fascniator from Equip. I signed up to their online mailing list, which allowed me 50% off my purchase, so I got this for $25 instead of $50. It actually didn’t come with the pink feather flower, I bought that separately (for $30 also at Equip) and added it on myself to give it a personal touch.
Also, the fascinator originally came on a headband, which I didn’t like because it would give me a headache if I wore it for the whole day. So I snipped off the headband and hot glue-gunned a plastic hair comb to the back.
Fashion is one of the most important aspects of the races and there is no such thing as being ‘over-dressed’ (there are girls in full-length ball gowns!).
This year, I choose to wear a feminine and frilly cocktail dress with different shades of purple and specks of gold throughout. The dress is from GASP and if you came across my past blogpost regarding the recent GASP scandal, you’d know exactly how I feel about them. And once again, I did not buy this at their retail store, but on their eBay clearance store for $30AUD with free shipping (the price tag says $199). I think it definitely is quite a bargain because the material is gorgeous and the dress is very intricately made.
I paired the outfit with a thin white blazer from Valleygirl (the weather was a little chilly that day) and a white bow clutch from Forever New. I also wore a pair of cream heels with cute bow detail from Eastlayne Shoes, they were so comfy that I didn’t even have to change into my emergency flats!
For jewellery, I wore a pair of pearl earrings, a pink flower ring from Equip and a white bangle given to me by 78 (7 Days, 8 Styles) for a sponsored video.
Taking the train is the most popular method of getting to and from the races, as parking would be hard to find. Also many people enjoy a drink or two (or 10) there, which would make driving a very bad idea.
Every year, we bring along rugs and mats and lots of food for a picnic at the racecourse. In past years, we always over-estimated and would bring too much food, most of which we ended up carrying home again! 😛
So this year, we were more sensible and had just the right amount! I made ham and cheese and creamy egg and avocado sandwiches and my friends brought coleslaw, crackers, dips, kabana, cheese, chips and fresh fruit. YUM!!!
Our picnic spot was close to the area where they paraded the race horses and had performances and presentations – lucky! 😀
The official flower for Melbourne Cup Day is the yellow rose and they bloomed beautifully everywhere.
After watching the agonisingly close Melbourne Cup race and the two races after (where my friends were lucky enough to win several bets), we left at about 5pm and went for an early dinner at China Red in China Town. It’s quite a unique restaurant because every table has a interactive touch-screen where you enter your orders. It’s very convenient as you can decide at your leisure and add dishes anytime instead of constantly trying to get the waiters’ attention. The service is also very fast and efficient.
We were surprisingly hungry and ordered quite a few dishes to share between six of us. We had xiao long bao (soup dumplings), wontons in spicy sauce, salty fish and chicken fried rice, pumpkin with salted egg yolk, Mongolian beef and Shanghai stir-fried noodles. My favourites were the wontons, the fried rice and the pumpkin 🙂
The restaurant is very affordable if you go with a group of people and share the dishes, as we only ended up paying about $15 each for all the food!
After dinner, we had the random idea of revisiting our teenybopper days and taking sticker photos together LOL! The lighting inside the sticker photo machine was amazing!
We finished off the night with desserts at Monga Dessert Lounge. I ordered the grass jelly, sago, palm seed and popping boba with coconut milk – it’s one of those things you have to eat quickly before it turns into a bowl of watery mush 😛
From left to right: Derby Day 2008, Stakes Day 2009, Derby Day 2010
And just finishing off the post with some pics of my past race day looks. Wow I actually look every different in all of them! I really enjoyed wearing a hat last year – very classy and elegant.
Have you been to the races before? Did you enjoy it?
– Miss Pixie Lulu