Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Melbourne Cup 2014: Bold designs, colour dominate Birdcage on racing's biggest day

It seems the more famous you are, the later you appear.

At 10am, the Birdcage resembled a sleepy hollow as early risers gradually arrived, some still swathed in cloaks and jackets in the delicious sunshine.

                                                [Dresses Online Canada - Ca-dresses.com]

The marquees - small and large - had a few guests milling about, sampling fresh delicacies and having their first coffee of the day.

The Lavazza Marquee - dubbed the "party" marquee - was off to a slow start with only 15 guests about 10.30am. The fountain of food, including fresh bread, cherry tomatoes, salami, chunks of artfully arranged cheese, spinach and other delicacies remained woefully untouched as guests preferred to started their day with miniature pancakes topped with a dollop of cream and half a strawberry.

Excitement soon arrived in the form of glamour wives Nadia Bartel and Rebecca Judd, who looked fresh and tall in their sleek numbers, a peplum, ice-blue dress from By Johnny (Bartel) and a structured, purple, Dolce & Gabbana extravagance from Judd.

At the Emirates Marquee - sporting the biggest and most colourful guest list - Geelong mayor Darryn Lyons and fiancee Elissa Friday lit up the room with their combined purple, pink and leopard-print ensembles. Sporting matching royal purple headpieces - the mayor had dyed his famous mohawk to match Ms Friday's hat - the duo posed for cameras and bet on their favourite horse - the grey Fawkner.

Melbourne music icon Molly Meldrum was seen hanging out at the exclusive Emirates balcony while the Prime Minister's daughter, Frances Abbott, was in attendance with boyfriend Lindsay Smith.

Although 11.30am was a little too early for A-list celebrities at the James Boag marquee, it was a haven for reality TV stars. The ice-blue cool marquee seemed to be reality TV central as MasterChef winner Brent Owens, another MasterChef contestant Sean Baxter, and The Voice star Johnny Rollins milled about with their partners.

Myer's futuristic marquee contained funny man Andy Lee, who said he would have to find someone who knew about racing before he bet.

"Someone with glasses or maybe a moustache, is my guess," Lee joked.

Glamorous Myer guests sampled acai and berry smoothies while spiced tuna tartare, black quinoa cake and yuzu creme also circled the marquee.

Myer ambassador Kris Smith looked dapper in a grey Dom Bagnato suit, while his female counterpart, Lauren Phillips, stood out in an orange and black Arthur Galan creation. She posed for photos with The Block judge Shaynna Blaze.

By midday, the Birdcage was finally filling up with Melbourne's A, B and Z-listers, all exchanging kisses and hugs like long-lost friends.

And among the air kissing and daaaahlings, there was real love, too.

Former doctor Geoffrey Edelsten, shining in a canary-yellow ensemble, proposed to girlfriend Gabi Grecko outside the Emirates Marquee to the delight of all.

Following the big question - she said yes, everyone - Ms Grecko posed outside the marquee, displaying her remarkable outfit of sequins and clown faces.

The dominant colours floating around the Birdcage were fuchsia, sunflower yellow, jungle greens, cobalt blue and orange.

Bold designs and prints on scuba-bonded structured pencil dresses are a huge look this season and have made their way into every tent.

Laser-cut lace wiggle dresses continue to make an impact with hatinators, headpieces and small jewelled tiaras outnumbering hats.

Model Bambi Northwood-Blythe, clad in Valentino, followed fashion advice from her Melbourne-based mother and wore a wreath of fresh David Austen roses atop her romantic braid.

Sunrise's Samantha Armytage struck a pose in Escada and Viktoria Novak while Frances Abbott wore a By Johnny full-skirted white and fuchsia print creation in the Emirates marquee.

Surprisingly, the full morning suit was worn by more than a few men in each marquee with a crisp shirt, tie waistcoat and yellow lapel flower.

The fedora is, happily, fast fading from the race day repertoire of the fellas.

Milliner Richard Nylon and Melbourne wedding couturier Gwendolynne were, as always, fabulously turned out in matching new romantic turn  of the century outfits.

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