This year will be the 10th year I’ve attended the Caulfield Cup. Each year (with one exception) I have entered the Chadstone Fashion Stakes. Until the last couple of years I lived in Canberra, so attending was a pretty serious commitment to attending a raceday and fashion competition. I’ll also add I have never won anything at the Caulfield Cup Fashion Stakes- in 2006 I was a heat winner and went into the daily final, but otherwise I have never made it past the first round. Despite my lack of success at the Chadstone Fashion stakes, I’ve always had a great day out at the Caulfield Cup and have many great memories over the years. This year will be my 10th Caulfield Cup and I can’t wait! As I type I have nothing planned yet for my outfits, but lots of ideas swimming around in my head. Here’s a little flashback of my outfits over the years…

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Caulfield Cup 2006. Image -The Herald Sun

This outfit had a very loose Japanese inspiration. The bolero is stitched to the dress and was a Japanese craft fabric. The red part is gathered silk satin which I wore with red satin shoes. I still like this outfit, but am alarmed at my eyebrows here. Thank god they grew back… This day I kept having drunk people yelling at my satellite dish hat and when I walked on the lawn for all of 50 meters ¬†someone spewed in front of me and someone else tried to pull my hat off my head. Caulfield has since dramatically cleaned up it’s act…

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Caulfield Cup 2007. Angela, Lisa and Christie

This year My dress was made from a heavy cotton canvas. Each little fringe is a little tiny stitched and flipped out pocket. It took hours to make and as raceday was drawing close my dad helped turn each pocket inside out. My hat was also one of the biggest I have ever worn. I flew from Canberra that day and it couldn’t fit in the overhead compartment on the plane. Lucky for me the airline crew wrapped it up and helped me out with getting it to and from Melbourne (and with no charge! but I did let one staff member try it on)

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Caulfield Cup 2008

Ribbon, ribbon and more ribbon! This year my skirt was made from I think 100 meters of ribbon. Lincraft had a sale and I got inspired! I wove the ribbon to make the skirt and it seemed to take forever and kept unraveling. Then it was really thick which is why the skirt had a paper bag waist. My bodice had straps made from ribbon and my hat tied on with ribbon too. This is the year I had a fun day with Sarah Schofield and it was really hot. She could’t sit down in her dress because it was so tight and had boning- I appreciate her commitment to fotf and I was really happy to catch up with her briefly in Paris this year.

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Caulfield Cup 2009

This year was freezing!!! I wasn’t intending to wear the jacket, but was too cold to take it off. My dress was made from dip-dyed seafoam silk strips cut on the bias. It had big padded shoulders as was the fashion at the time. My jacket is black brocade also with padded shoulders from Cue. I remember this year meeting a group of ladies from Cairns in the line up to go on stage… some of whom I’m lucky enough to still speak with today. My hat was made from kangaroo leather and had a mini makeover to become my entry in the Melbourne Cup Millinery award the same year where it made the top 10. The butterfly was hand cut with a scalpel.

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Caulfield Cup 2010

This year was also freezing and because of the Pom Pom on my shoulder I couldn’t wear a coat. I did borrow a big fur wrap from my friend Anthony to wear off stage and had camping hand warmers which I shoved down my top during the afternoon. The pom pom was made from hand dip dyed silk which I ruffled the ends of. I think the pom pom came about from a picture of Cheryl Cole (at the time) that I had seen and thought was beautiful. This stands out as one of the coldest racedays I have ever been too. I remember having a shower as soon as I left the track to try and warm up.

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Caulfield Cup 2011 Image- The Herald Sun

This year my outfit was made from a vintage obi I purchased at a flea market in Japan. It was quite narrow so I had to make my dress in panels. It was also the year that colour blocking was a big thing so I had contrasting accessories. This outfit was pictured in a number of places and a couple of years later went on to be used as heavy ‘inspiration’ to another designer. I might not have noticed, but they used the same colour scheme and had the same panel lines which I had to do out of necessity due to the width of my fabric. Moral of the story- I don’t care if you are inspired, but try not to be so blatant about it, especially when you are someone who should know better…

caulfield cup 2012

Caulfield Cup 2012 image- Fresh Photography

In 2012 I went to the Caulfield Cup but I chose not to compete in Fashions on the Field. I didn’t want to compete but couldn’t stay at home either! I’d had a big year and was happy to sit and enjoy the Chadstone Fashion Stakes. This outfit was made from hand dyed cotton lace, with a cotton underlay and a wide brimmed parisisal hat. I don’t think I have a full length photo of this outfit as I was too busy taking photos of everyone else. I’ve worn this dress a few times since as it’s one of my faves. The hat was worn again too, but has since been re-born into pom pom pirate style hat that I wore to Royal Ascot.

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Caulfield Cup 2013

This is one of the few times I have worn my hair out at the track. I had just discovered a good blow dry bar that I could just walk in without an appointment. This hat is one of my favourites and is a shape I use quite a bit in my millinery work. The dress has the back cut out as I though it looked too matronly otherwise. I later wore this outfit at the Pakenham Cup where I won Fashions on the Field.

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Caulfield Cup 2013 image- Melbourne Racing Club

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image- Richard Shaw

Last year I was running on empty trying to get my outfit together. I was really happy with how it turned out though. My dress is made from fabric I had purchased in Singapore. It comes from the same place where some of the Chanel tweeds are made. The black straps are ruffle elastic and there is black wool trim around the hem. The lace petticoat is actually curtain lace and if you look underneath you can see the holes to attach curtain hooks. I couldn’t find any normal lace I liked in my budget, but was really happy with this lacey find. The hat was one I’d worn earlier in the year to Epsom Derby in the UK. Its made from vintage braid, glitter and feather quills. I added the veil for Caulfield Cup. This dress has since become part of my regular wardrobe and has been worn a number of times

Now i’m up to 2015 and my 10th Caulfield Cup. You’ll have to stay tuned for this years outfit! I’ll update this post after the event.

UPDATE-

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Caulfield Cup 2015

For 2015 I decided to re-wear a dress I made for Royal Ascot earlier in the year. I was really happy with how it turned out and felt comfortable wearing it. Made from an orange sherbet coloured mesh, bonded nylon, the hemline was a long lantern shape with a fitted bodice. My hat was a black leather percher with curled turkey feathers. I kept my accessories pretty simple with a gold belt (I actually wore the same belt to the Caulfield Cup in 2013) and a necklace i’d picked up on a work trip to China. My shoes were a sample pair given to me by a factory I work with and were perfect as lace up shoes are a key trend for the season. Keeping up with tradition I bombed out of the Fashion Stakes in the first round.

 

I especially can’t wait to see what everyone else is wearing- I’ll be there again taking snaps for On Track On Trend.

By Angela Menz