Starting spring in style

13 September 2022 Written by Jane Rocca

To mark the 60th anniversary milestone of Myer Fashions on the Field, a red-carpet gala took place at Flemington that saw some of Australia’s biggest celebrities and VIP guests enjoy a luxurious sit-down dinner and entertainment to salute the return of occasion dressing trackside.

Those who attended the night included Melbourne Cup Carnival ambassador Christian Wilkins, shoe designer and A-list celebrity stylist Lana Wilkinson, former Miss Universe Australia Olivia Molly-Rogers – a social media influencer who is also this year’s Pin and Win ambassador and Myer ambassadors Tayla Damir and Kris Smith who shined in their sartorial moments upon arrival.

The event was hosted by Australian media personality Jacqui Felgate who alongside VRC Chairman Neil Wilson spoke of the iconic decades that shaped Flemington’s Fashions on the Field historic moments in time. One of the greatest fashion moments at Flemington was when English model Jean Shrimpton wore a white mini dress to the track in 1965 – inspiring a change in hemlines all over the fashion world.

Guests were treated to fashion moments at the gala that saw diverse models strut their best looks from suiting to dresses in a bid to promote the year’s new Myer Fashions on the Field categories of Best Suited and Best Dressed. It’s the era where personal style is to be celebrated with a difference.

ARIA award-winning singer/songwriter Dami Im wowed in a green Jason Grech gown on arrival, and swapped into figure-hugging pants and sheer blouse in electric blue for her performance on the night, while Lana Wilkinson wore an avant-garde black dress by Rick Owens and her namesake shoe brand. VRC ambassador and former Myer Fashions on the Field winner Crystal Kimber-Peters was inspired to embrace all the colours in a true ode to Melbourne Cup Day, wearing a striped gown with a fitted peach-toned bodice made by her mother especially for the gala.

Kimber-Peters said the gala was a chance to salute all that we love about racing and colour during the Spring Racing Carnival.

“In the 2000s, I discovered my love of Fashions on the Field. I love the bright colours, bold silhouettes, the DIY … and how can you forget the year of the white Toni Maticevski dress that won three different competitions,” Kimber-Peters said.

In previous years, VRC and Myer have hosted a luncheon to mark the beginning of the Spring Racing Season, but the gala this year was surely an elegant nod in a new direction – where after-dark flamboyance was the winning ticket to get us back in the mood for racing.

Christian Wilkins, who unveiled his gala look on Tik Tok on the day, opted for a black MJ Bale dinner suit matched with heels and winged eyeliner thanks to make-up artist Jade Kisnorbo, while Tayla Damir wore a sass & bide deep red and black dress with elegant straps and a large back bow. Kris Smith wore a white dinner jacket matched with black pants for a nod to Derby Day elegance.

Olivia Molly Rogers wore a beautiful yellow gown by Oglia-Loro Couture and jewellery by Swarovski look was put together by Styled By Bloom’s Paul Versace who channelled a hint of JLo’s Maid in Manhattan look on the night.

Other fabulous g ala looks included Shirin Pulitano, founder and Managing Director of Dot Dot Dash, who wore a fitted black dress by local designer Effie Kats over a pair of YSL stretch leggings and Jimmy Choo shoes. Shiva Singam, Partnerships and Experiences Consultant at Melbourne Fashion Festival wore a custom tuxedo suit from Melbourne designer Arthur Galan teamed with a gold mesh Versace dress as a layering piece. Melbourne Fashion Festival CEO Caroline Ralphsmith has settled into her new role, dialling up the elegance with a stunning purple-hued Jason Grech ballgown with his signature logo splashed all over. There were plenty of sequins, plunging necklines and a hint of feathers in dresses on the night.

“It was great to see that the VRC honoured legendary socialite Lillian Frank on the night,” said Shiva Singam.

“She was synonymous with the ebullience, fun and colour the Melbourne Cup Carnival represents.”

Singam also applauded the VRC for its inclusive dress codes for Myer Fashions on the Field this year; and hopes to see men embracing their true style persona authentically – where skirt suits could have their moment. Think Gaultier and Thom Browne for inspiration.

The gala, complete with an interactive fashion showcase and decadent three-course menu curated by Executive Chef Josh Pelham, is the perfect reminder that FOMO is back, as the night of night’s certainly delivered plenty of “wish I was there moments”.