Princess Diana and Prince Charles attending the Melbourne Cup, Flemington, Melbourne 27 years later almost to the day Prince Charles returns to Melbourne Cup with Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall | Source: Francis Dias Newspix International

The Most Iconic Fashion Moments in Racing History

Racing carnivals bring with them a slew of stars who dress to impress as they take to the track in carefully planned looks, clearly coordinated from head to toe. Irrespective of the race in question or the season it just so happens to fall into, celebrities and influencers alike make the most of the photo opportunity the event presents. Here is a look back at some of the most iconic moments.

Jean Shrimpton at Derby Day 1965

English model Jean Shrimpton is often regarded as the world’s first supermodel so naturally, she commanded attention. When she attended Derby Day in Melbourne in 1965 she was clad in a white shift dress by London-based maker Colin Rolfe. It was her lack of hat, gloves and stockings, however, considered the essential dress code of the time, that became the main talking point.

Source: Getty Images

Ita Buttrose and Bernard King at the Melbourne Cup 1982

The Australian journalist and businesswoman attended the Melbourne Cup in 1982 alongside Australian actor Bernard King. She encapsulated the style of the time with a suit jacket and matching hat.

Ita Buttrose and Bernard King at the Melbourne Cup 1982 | Source: Getty Images

Princess Diana, Melbourne Cup 1985

During the Melbourne Cup in 1985, Diana The Princess of Wales wowed crowds at Flemington. The beloved royal turned heads by donning a suit from British fashion designer Bruce Oldfield and a hat by Frederick Fox.

Princess Diana at Melbourne Cup in Flemington 1965 | Source: Getty

Jennifer Hawkins, Flemington Races 2006

The former Miss Universe and Myer ambassador has certainly been a mainstay at Australian race days, judging fashion events and hosting shows. In 2006 at Flemington Races Jennifer Hawkins showed off a Myer styled ensemble wearing a Karen Walker dress, Fiona Powell hat and Manolo Blahnik stilettos.

Source: The Australian/Getty

Paris and Nicky Hilton at the Melbourne Cup 2003

The American sisters are simply heavyweights in the fashion world. They changed the face of racing fashion when they went against convention and wore rather skimpy outfits widely considered to be inappropriate for the VCR dress codes.

Paris and Nicky Hilton at the Melbourne Cup 2003 | Source: Newcastle Herald, Getty

Eva Longoria at the Melbourne Cup 2005

The 2005 Melbourne Cup carnival was a colourful display and leading the crowd was Hollywood guest Eva Longoria. The Desperate Housewives star featured brightly in a coral georgette dress, matching cropped cardigan by Alex Perry and a Jane Lambert headpiece.

Eva Longoria at the Melbourne Cup 2005
Eva Longoria at the Melbourne Cup 2005 | Source: NT News

Miranda Kerr at Caulfield Cup 2009

The former Victoria’s Secret angel always makes a style statement at events, and her horse racing fashion is no different. At the 2009 Caulfield Cup, she stepped out in a custom Alex Perry beige silk dress paired with a Nerida Winter headdress. The designer created the piece specifically for her saying “It fits like a glove”.

Miranda Kerr Caulfield Cup
Source: Harper’s Bazaar

Zara Tindall at Melbourne Cup 2009

The Queen’s granddaughter was the star international guest at the 2009 Melbourne Cup at Flemington. On the day she wore a royal blue frock by American brand Thread Social and a resplendent fascinator by British milliner Philip Treacy. Fittingly the royal is an accomplished equestrian even winning a silver medal at the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Zara Tindall at Melbourne Cup 2009
Source: Daily Mail UK

Ruby Rose at Melbourne Cup 2010

Actress Ruby Rose isn’t shy about going against the conventional. At the 150th Melbourne Cup, Rose attended the Lavazza marquee wearing an all-black outfit going against the race day conformity of bright colours. Her black dress, dark tights, ankle boots and watch was a real head-turner.

Ruby Rose at Melbourne Cup 2010 | Source: Getty

Sarah Jessica Parker at Oaks Ladies Day 2011

Although an American at an Australian event, the Sex and the City actress was flying the flag for British fashion, adorning a Jonathan Saunders pink ombre sleeveless dress paired with an Antonio Berardi silver coat. In lieu of a traditional hat, Parker wore a small, jewelled headpiece made by her hairdresser, Serge Normant.

Sarah Jessica Parker at Oaks Ladies Day 2011 | Source: Getty

Lara Bingle at the Caulfield Cup Day 2012

The famous socialite attracts eyeballs wherever she goes. Caulfield Cup Day in 2012 was no exception when she strutted out wearing a Camilla and Marc black jumpsuit with gold button detailing. Instead of opting for the traditional headwear, Lara added a sparkling diamante ear cuff as her stand-out accessory.

Lara Bingle at the Caulfield Cup Day 2012
Source: Graham Denholm/Getty Images)

Nicole Kidman at Derby Day 2012

Channelling Audrey Hepburn vibes, the Australian Oscar winner, turned heads wearing a white lace L’Wren Scott dress with black-and-white striped ribbon and bow detail to Flemington Racecourse in 2012. Sticking to the traditional Derby Day colour code of black-and-white, the ensemble resembled Hepburn’s character Eliza Doolittle in the classic 1964 movie ‘My Fair Lady’.

Nicole Kidman at Derby Day 2012
Nicole Kidman at Derby Day 2012 | Source: Vogue

Gigi Hadid at the Melbourne Cup 2014

The Australian race ‘that stops a nation’ brings out the finest fashion moments. International supermodel Gigi Hadid certainly made an entrance in 2014 as a guest in the Emirates marquee. The blonde model looked effortlessly pretty in pink adorning an Alex Perry lace dress teamed with a star-themed fascinator designed by Hat Maker.

Gigi Hadid at the Melbourne Cup 2014
Source: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

Lady Kitty Spencer at the Melbourne Cup 2019

Princess Diana’s niece Lady Kitty Spencer definitely follows in the late princess’s high-status fashion footsteps. Lady Kitty Spencer stole the show at the 2019 Melbourne Cup, wearing a hat by Stephen Jones and a heavenly multi-coloured dress by Roland Mouret. Since then the British model has attended the subsequent two Melbourne Cup days reportedly returning again this year.

Lady Kitty Spencer at the Melbourne Cup 2019
Source: Now to Love

Rebecca Judd, Melbourne Cup 2020

A regular fixture at Melbourne racing events, Bec Judd always puts her best fashion foot forward. Last year the TV host showed off a plunging pink and orange, off-the-shoulder mini dress by Cappellazzo Couture featuring puff sleeves and a stylish ruched bodice. She completed the ensemble with an orange headband by Trove, a pink handbag by French designer Jacquemus and stilettos by Melbourne shoe designer, Lana Wilkinson.

Rebecca Judd at Melbourne Cup 2020
Source: Bec Judd Instagram

Not sure what to wear for this years carnival event? You will enjoy our coverage of The Fashion Guide to the Spring Racing Carnival Season 2021.

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