The Victoria Derby is the oldest event on the Australian racing calendar and heralds the start of the Melbourne Cup carnival.
Considered the most stylish day of the 4-day carnival, tradition reigns supreme on Derby Day and you are a brave lady if you try to break what is unwritten law.
Black and White is the traditional Derby Day attire for the ladies. The colour scheme dates back to 1910 at Royal Ascot when race goers adorned black to mourn the death of King Edward VII. The Daily Mirror described the fashion on the day as “monochrome”.
The day would be dubbed ‘Black Ascot” and the ladies would accessorize their black attire with white flowers or a string of pearls.
But it isn’t all about the ladies. ‘Derby Day’ has fast become ‘Men’s day’ in the Fashion Stakes, and the boys have their own rules of tradition to adhere to as well. For men, morning suits are customary on Derby day and are worn by dignitaries to the Cup. The suit comprises of a peacock vest, pinstripe pants and the flower of the day, a blue cornflower. The idea of wearing a cornflower on Derby Day was introduced in 1962 by Mrs Sheelah Wood, wife of prominent VRC committeeman of the time, Mr Samuel Richard Creswick Wood.
Lucky for the ladies, black and white is a key trend this Spring. You may already have black, white or a combination of the two in your wardrobe. If not, take inspiration from the Fillies Form fashions to perfect your Derby Day ensemble.