Many believe this dress code, for what has become the Victorian racing carnival’s most dressy day, has some sort of cultural heritage. But in fact, it has never been part of the Victorian Racing Club’s dress requirement for Derby Day. Indeed, it seems it originated from a marketing ploy – for whisky.
The editor of Fashion & Flemington, Emily Power, said the earliest reference she could find to the black-and-white dress code was in a 1960 Australian Women’s Weekly magazine advertisement. A £200 wardrobe was offered to the racegoer who wore the best black-and-white ensemble to the Melbourne Cup during the VRC’s centenary carnival. The competition was sponsored by whisky-maker James Buchanan and Co for its Black and White brand.
Since then, other companies have jumped on the bandwagon and on Saturday it was a sea of black and white, with women going out of their way not to break the monochrome code.
🙂 I remember the outraged hoo-ha when Jean Shrimpton shocked race-goers by going hatless/gloveless and in an even worse HORROR … exposed her knees in a mini-skirt way back … when she arrived for the Victoria Derby on 30 October 1965.
Love the contrast with the ultra conservative outfits in the background LOL.
Thanks Jen for your very interesting Post. I recall Jean Shrimp ton, but not the rest of your information.
I didn’t want to watch the poor horses race, but I’m looking forward to seeing the fashions, on tonight’s T V News!