A Day At The Races

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“Nowhere in the world have I encountered a festival of people that has such a magnificent appeal to the whole nation,” declared American writer Mark Twain on his visit to Melbourne in 1895. “The Cup astonishes me.”

More than 100 years later, the Melbourne Cup – and indeed the whole spring racing carnival – commands the same attention. But it’s not just about what happens on the track. With racing style garnering nearly as much attention as the race itself, choosing what to wear takes some serious consideration. And some serious style nous: each race day has its own traditions, etiquette and dress code. With this in mind, here is your guide to doing racewear right, on three of the carnival’s most well-attended days.

DERBY DAY

The oldest classic race on the Victorian racing calendar, the Victoria Derby was first run in 1855, six years before the Melbourne Cup. With an air steeped in prestige and tradition, the dress code is observed as keenly as the race itself – in fact, it was at Derby Day that British model Jean Shrimpton caused a scandal in 1965 by attending the race in a white mini-dress cut 10cm above the knee and opting not to wear a hat.

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Even now, Derby Day has perhaps the strictest dress code of the whole carnival. With a pared back palette of black and white, the focus shifts to the line of a dress – so make sure you pick something sharp, like our Logan Dress. Your headwear should be striking, and similarly monochromatic.

 

 

 

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Gentlemen, this is your opportunity to showcase a really fine suit, our Marcella Suit  – smart tailoring and impeccable fabrications will earn you the right kind of attention.

On this occasion, it’s best to uphold a sense of tradition, so opt for a black, grey or navy suit with a coordinating waistcoat if you like, a white shirt, and black dress shoes.

A tie is mandatory – although there is no regulation colour – and the official corsage is the cornflower.




MELBOURNE CUP

First run in 1861, the Melbourne Cup was initially held on a Thursday – it wasn’t until the carnival of 1875 that it was switched to a Tuesday. Known as “the race that stops the nation,” the Melbourne Cup has the honour of being the only sporting event in Australia that gets its own public holiday – at least for those living in Victoria.

Look to the Melbourne Cup as your opportunity to showcase a sophisticated, modern look – a sleek bustier dress in a standout colour, is a sure bet, as is a dress with a refined pattern, like our Mosaic dress. Distinguish yourself on the field with your choice of headwear: it should be chosen to balance, not overwhelm your look. If you’re not a fan of hats, a silk scarf tied into a chic turban serves as a daring alternative.

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For the gentlemen, Melbourne Cup offers the chance to express a little more personality than the strict traditionalism of Derby Day. Choose a well-tailored suit in a dark colour, a lightly coloured shirt, a tie or bow-tie in a bold hue or striking pattern, and perhaps a pocket square to add flourish. Keep in mind that the official corsage of the Melbourne Cup is a yellow rose – a flower that will look superb next to navy, or indeed any iteration of blue.

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CROWN OAKS DAYlilac

Commonly known as Ladies Day, Crown Oaks Day has developed into a celebration not only of horse racing but also of women in the horse racing industry. Crown Oaks Day sees the judging of the Fashions on the Field competition – so expect the standard of dress to be high.

With that in mind, opt for pastel shades and feminine shapes: try ladylike hues of soft pink or lilac, or maintain a sense of occasion with an elegant dress. As with all race days, your headwear should match the mood: try something with a touch of fun, like a vintage-inspired boater, or play up the femininity with a floral headpiece.

Although it’s known as Ladies Day, that’s no excuse for men to fall behind in the style stakes. The look should be relaxed, urbane but still switched on: try separates rather than a full suit for a more contemporary take, and don’t shy away from lighter colours. Complement your date’s outfit with touches of pastel or pattern, and finish your look with a pink rose, the official corsage.

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Style Refresh: Zest

Few colours feel as thoroughly modern as yellow. It’s exuberant, the design equivalent of an extrovert. For those used to quieter hues, it’s a colour that can seem overwhelming – but don’t be put off. Used as an accent with bright white or calming neutrals, yellow creates a breezy, cheerful energy and adds a visual pop to any outfit.

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Try a clutch or sleek cuff bracelet as a way to introduce the season’s key hue into your wardrobe. Ready to take your wardrobe into bright new territory? As a statement piece, it’s unbeatable, a colour that refuses to fade into the background. To make a lasting impression, slip into this season’s ‘90s-influenced cami dress – the minimal construction is the perfect way to showcase the vibrant hue. Finish the look with metallic accessories – zest looks equally effective with gold as with silver – for cocktail hour or a day at the races. View all of our our new season accessories here >>

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Inspired by: Japan In Bloom

Sakura in Japan

Every year, as Japan wakes from its winter slumber, Mother Nature puts on the kind of display that leaves no observer in any doubt: spring has arrived. The ‘sakura’ or ‘ume’ tree is the catalyst for an impressive floral show. Known to the English-speaking world as the cherry blossom, the trees begin to flower in January in the southern prefecture of Okinawa, moving northwards as the warm ‘cherry blossom front’ envelops the country in a shower of pink petals, passing through the capital Tokyo in late March and reaching the northernmost island of Hokkaido a few weeks later. Take the opportunity for ‘hanami’, picnicking beneath the colourful, cloud-like canopy and imbibing.

Culturally, symbolically and spiritually, the cherry blossom is so significant to the country that there is even a national Cherry Blossom Association whose job is to ensure every prefecture has at least one grove of sakura under which people can gather, celebrate and witness the extraordinary beauty unfolding above.

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Our signature print for the season is inspired by the Japanese Cherry Blossom’s featuring deep purples and reds in an abstract floral formation. Shop the trend>>

 

 

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SS14: ON THE MOVE

It’s unconventional, to say the least: a set that moves. In fact, it’s anathema to the ordinary process of shooting a new campaign, where every element is meticulously planned for predictable outcomes and creative assurance. Not so this time.

On this crisp June morning, a clear winter sky and a working industrial estate provide the backdrop. In a studio the scene is static but out here in Sydney’s inner west, cranes continually lift and move bright containers, an ever-changing setting creating a play of light and shadows, colour and tone.

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Renowned British fashion photographer Roger Deckker, the man behind the lens, took it all in his stride. But then, he’s shot Anna Wintour, so it’s entirely possible this wasn’t the most unpredictable set he’d worked on.

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Of course, the urban landscape has long been the natural home of the Saba wardrobe—the metropolis as muse, as it were. But this season, an altogether harsher side of the city is drawn upon as a contrast to the sleek sophistication and underlying sportiness of the collection. A contrast reflected in the play of high and low, matt and sheen, flat and textural.

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Ironically, the movement in the final images comes from models Alex, Charlie and Claudia, showcasing the elongated proportions and amplified volumes of the women’s collection next to the athletic men’s tailoring worn by Louis and Jacob. It’s an extension of the Saba signature, modern simplicity given a kick along with fresh textures and shapes.

Like the set itself, the Saba aesthetic is on the move… a studious evolution. The fleeting scene, ever changing, is no more, a mere moment in time—but its hard, temporary beauty is now immortalised forever. Predictability be damned.

Watch the video: here

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Saba Peer: CJ Hendry

Creating drawings that could be mistaken for photographs is no easy feat, especially when all Brisbane artist CJ Hendry uses is pen and paper. 


If patience is a virtue, then CJ Hendry is a saint. How else do you describe someone who can sit for up to 200 hours, recreating large-scale photographs with only a fineliner? Her drawings — a series of blown-up luxury items that look unnervingly like photographs — are intricate and incredibly precise, a result of what the Brisbane artist says is a combination of a personal perusal of perfection and a love of high end fashion.

“There are two reasons I adore luxury,” she says. “Without a doubt, I am intrigued at the way in which it is made — not a stitch out of place, it is mind-blowing.”

“If I can get to the level of intricacy that the ateliers employ to create these bespoke pieces, then I will be satisfied.” 

A testament of unwavering mental endurance, Hendry works only with paper and pen, rendering small centimetres of light and shade at a time. Her competitive nature and desire to grow, develop and push herself to perform is attributable to the perfection and detail present in all her pieces. The epitome of polished precision, hers is a craft like no other.

And while creativity is a given for any artist, Hendry is almost methodical; more exacting than fleeting, the level of precision in her work is practical, not abstract. “I believe my style is leaning more toward mathematical draftsmanship rather than whimsical creativity,” she says. 

“There is a small element of creativity in the initial stages of deciding on the object and placement, however the drawing part is extremely methodical.” 

The detail present in her subjects — be it a silk scarf, Gucci loafers, a skull or a saddle — is often much more striking on paper than in person. For all the complicated detailing and hours of tedious work, there is a refined simplicity that, Hendry says, makes the process more of a meditation than a struggle. 

“Before taking on drawing as a full time pursuit, I was a very aggressive and unsettled individual,” she says. “It was probably due to the fact that I was attempting to pursue something that was totally against my wavelength.”

CJ Hendry wears: Tia Cotton V Tee in white/Mid Rise Ankle Grazer in white

“The past year has been more fulfilling that I ever thought possible and I believe it is down to the relaxation I find from doing what I’m meant to be doing.”

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Bookmark: Sound Transit

We’re inundated with images of cities around the world every day. Thanks to Google Image Search, photos of food, sights, fashion, people from Hong Kong, London, Tokyo and almost anywhere else you could imagine are instantly accessible. But none of them truly capture the real sense of being there, which is something that immerses all of our senses, not just one of them.

Sound Transit is a project collaborative online community project that seeks to change that for at least one of the senses. It captures thousands of recordings from hundreds of field recording artists around the world, each of which transport you to a different place and moment. You can visit Porta Capuana Mercato in Naples, the foyer of the Royal Festival Hall in London, or Nakano Station in Tokyo.

Surprisingly, the absence of visual accompaniment makes these recordings in more evocative and transportive, creating a sensation of sitting in a place with your eyes closed, absorbing the movement and hum that it uniquely creates.

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