Melbourne Cup: The best celebrity fashion from over the years

·Contributor
·7-min read

There is nothing like the Melbourne Cup to say spring has sprung and to kick off the social events of summer. And this year is extra special. 

With Victoria having had the longest lockdown of any city in the world, this famous event is a welcome re-entry into social events for celebrities and fashionistas alike with a chance to dress up – something none of us have done for months. 

While the race that stops a nation is limited to just 10,000 attendees this year, the fashions on the field are sure to be hotly contested.

Here are our picks for the best celebrity fashions over the years...

 Elsa Pataky poses at the Emirates Marquee on Melbourne Cup Day at Flemington Racecourse on November 1, 2016
Elsa Pataky poses at the Emirates Marquee at the 2016 Melbourne Cup Day at Flemington Racecourse. Photo: Getty Images

Although she is an honorary Australian, being married to Chris Hemsworth and having lived Down Under for so long, Elsa Pataky gave her Spanish heritage a nod with her Cordovan style fascinator hat by Sydney milliner Nerida Winter when she attended the Melbourne Cup in 2016.

But when it came to her dress she went with Aussie designer Cappellazzo Couture. "I thought I really have to wear an Australian designer," the mum-of-three told Who. 

"This colour is amazing and this is a day of colour. It’s my first time here and it’s my first time to wear a fascinator with such amazing colours."

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Elyse Knowles poses on Melbourne Cup Day at Flemington Racecourse on November 6, 2018
Elyse Knowles poses at the Myer FOTF Enclosure on Melbourne Cup Day at Flemington Racecourse in 2018. Photo: Getty Images

Reality TV show contestant and model Elyse Knowles looked stunning in this unusual pants suit by Acler. 

"Cup Day was so, SO wet! Through the grey clouds & pouring rain however, I have to say a thank you to stylist Elliot Gaurnaut for styling me in sunshine!" Elyse said on her blog

"The warm yellow tones honestly made it seem like a warm, spring day," she added.

Elle Macpherson arrives at Derby Day at the 2018 Melbourne Cup Carnival
Elle Macpherson arrives at Derby Day at the 2018 Melbourne Cup Carnival. Photo: Getty Images

Supermodel Elle Macpherson also sported a similar outfit during the Melbourne Cup carnival in 2018. The Body, as she is known, turned heads in a Philip Treacy hat and white Toni Maticevski asymmetrical pantsuit. 

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, she also refused to remove her Alexander McQueen sunglasses for photos. "It's part of the look," she told the photographers and reporters.

"I just can't wait to get out and see what people are wearing. People look beautiful and the black and white theme makes for a very pretty picture when you walk in," she added.

Rose Byrne on Melbourne Cup Day at Flemington Racecourse on November 6, 2012
Australian actress Rose Byrne poses at the Lexus Design Pavillion on Melbourne Cup Day at Flemington Racecourse in 2012. Photo: Getty Images

Actress Rose Byrne arrived in a custom-designed Alex Perry dress for her Melbourne Cup debut in 2012. 

"I wanted to wear an Australian designer and I love Alex," she told Vogue Australia.

"I love flowers," Rose explained as to why she didn't wear a hat or fascinator. "And I've always loved wearing them. The last time I wore one was in Cannes, so I thought it would be lovely to wear a flower in my hair today."

Megan Gale poses on Melbourne Cup Day at Flemington Racecourse on November 6, 2018
Megan Gale poses at the Lexus Design Pavilion Marquee on Melbourne Cup Day at Flemington Racecourse in 2018. Photo: Getty Images

Model Megan Gale wore a star-studded Paolo Sebastian dress which was part of the designer's Disney collaboration to the Melbourne Cup in 2018, layer over a Dion Lee top.

"I feel like a bit of a princess," she told Yahoo Lifestyle. "It's not often you get to wear a piece like this. I've actually never done this shape or silhouette or style before so it’s quite new for me."

Jennifer Hawkins poses at the Myer Marquee on Melbourne Cup Day at Flemington Racecourse on November 1, 2016
Jennifer Hawkins arrives at the Myer Marquee on Melbourne Cup Day. Photo: Getty Images

Former Miss Universe Australia Jennifer Hawkins always impresses in the fashion stakes and often graces the best-dressed list for events such as Melbourne Cup.

Her 2016 Misha Collection outfit, paired with a wide-brimmed Melissa Jackson Millinery hat, stood out not only for its colour and daring cut out but also for being a jumpsuit – not a usual choice for Melbourne Cup but it should be!

"The cup is about having some fun. Derby Day is a bit more classic, but for the Cup everybody lets loose," she told news.com.au.

"I think the fashion rules are a bit relaxed when it comes to pants now, but I still think they can be really classic and traditional. And it's like 1970s and I love it."

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 06:  Jodi Anasta poses at the Mumm Marquee on Melbourne Cup Day at Flemington Racecourse on November 6, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Sam Tabone/Getty Images)
Jodi Anasta arrives at the Mumm Marquee on Melbourne Cup Day at Flemington Racecourse in 2018. Photo: Getty Images

Former Home and Away actress Jodi Anasta (nee Gordon) often goes for traditional low-key sophisticated outfits at Melbourne Cup which is why we love the daring of this outfit.

The Lillian Khallouf dress and matching Murley & Co Millinery headband lent an old Hollywood glamour and matched with the theme of the Mumm Space Odyssey Marquee.

MELBOURNE, VICTORIA - NOVEMBER 01:  Bec Hewitt poses at the Lavazza Marquee on Melbourne Cup Day at Flemington Racecourse on November 1, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
Bec Hewitt at the Lavazza Marquee on 2016 Melbourne Cup Day at Flemington Racecourse. Photo: Getty Images

Actress Bec Hewitt returned to the public eye attending the 2016 Melbourne Cup with her husband, tennis player Lleyton Hewitt. 

Wearing a designer Cristahlea hand-embroidered dress with matching jacket and headband she told Who: "I feel really special today. I couldn’t have put this together myself!

"The designer is known for a lot of gowns with jewel embellishments," she added. "It's never too much—the more bling the better. On a day like today, you can go all out."

Lady Kitty Spencer attends the Melbourne Cup Day on November 05, 2019
Princes William and Harry's cousin Lady Kitty Spencer attends the Melbourne Cup Day in 2019. Photo: by Getty Images

Princess Diana's niece Lady Kitty Spencer followed in her aunt's footsteps by attending the Melbourne Cup. In 2019 she chose this ombre Roland Mouret figure-hugging dress paired with an oversized Stephen Jones fascinator.

"I have always loved embracing the glamour and joy of dressing for the races and wearing an incredible headpiece," Lady Kitty told AWS. In particular, I have such wonderful memories of my visits to the Melbourne Cup Carnival."

Delta Goodrem at the Melbourne Cup at Flemington Racecourse on November 6, 2012
Delta Goodrem at the Swisse marquee at the Melbourne Cup at Flemington Racecourse in 2012. Photo: AAP

Delta Goodrem upped the fashion stakes in 2012 when she chose a Christian Dior fuchsia dress with a Kerrie Stanley floral headband.

Diana, Princess of Wales, at Melbourne Cup on November 05, 1985
Diana, Princess of Wales attended the Melbourne Cup at Flemington race course in 1985. Photo: Getty Images

Princess Diana was just 24 when she attended the Melbourne Cup in 1985 while she and Prince Charles were on their Royal Tour of Australia. The mum of two wore a monochrome suit from British fashion designer Bruce Oldfield teamed with a hat by Frederick Fox.

"We were all on a steep learning curve, her as a princess and we as a princess dressing company," designer Oldfield told The Age. "We all learned quickly and not too many mistakes were made."

Though he does admit that the jacket had caused him a few issues. "It was the middle of the 80s and the time was very big [shoulder] pads and it was always a problem to get them tight in a piece of clothing and these looked like they had somehow slipped. "

Rachael Finch on Melbourne Cup Day at Flemington Racecourse on November 3, 2015
Rachael Finch at the Myer Marquee on Melbourne Cup Day at Flemington Racecourse in 2015. Photo: Getty Images

Model and former Miss Universe Rachael Finch wore a colourful candy-striped By Johnny dress and Natalie Bikicki millinery floral headband.

Lindsay Lohan on Melbourne Cup Day at Flemington Racecourse on November 05, 2019
Lindsay Lohan attends the Network 10 marquee on Melbourne Cup Day at Flemington Racecourse on November 05, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. Photo: Getty Images

Lindsay Lohan fell in love with Australia when she signed up to do The Masked Singer in 2019. And of course, her Australian experience wouldn't have been complete without going to the Melbourne Cup.

Lindsay attended with younger sister Ali and wore a beautiful ensemble of a pale pink feather and bejewelled dress with a star encrusted headband and matching heels.

The Melbourne Cup is at 3pm on Tuesday 2nd November 2021.

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