On the first Tuesday in November the race stopping us in our tracks is behind The Birdcage barriers. Right this very moment in fabulous Flemington, the marquees of the 2016 Melbourne Cup Carnival are pulling out all the stops to be crowned ‘the place to be’.
High profile design collaborations, top chefs and extravagant party favours are all in tow to help the big brands outshine the competition.
And when it comes to style, there’s no holding back.
Think understated refinement dialled up to eleven. The three-storey Lexus marquee has gone for substance over gloss in a major way with a three-level pavilion comprised of reclaimed concrete and covered in soil. The structure is eco designer, Joost Bakker’s attempt to whip guests into a frenzy of anticipation. Inside, Sydney design stars Henry Wilson and Emilie Delaland of Etic have created a raw and beautiful ambience with Carrara marble, a sea of tulips and cardboard tubing (of all things) to ramp up the texture. Oh top of all that design cred, VIP guests will be treated to food from Ben Shewry, David Moyle and Mr Miyagi and party favours from accessories brand The Daily Edited.
The Australian wine label has teamed up with artist David Bromley to create a veritable wonderland inside the birdcage marquee. Bromely has painted the walls inside and out with signature scenes from his Birds, Nudes and Butterflies series (a nod to his latest wine series with Wolf Blass). Furnishings include handpicked ornate Victorian era pieces and antiques from Bromley’s own personal collection. Rough luxe at it's very best.
The 2016 Myer Marquee has gone for all-out luxury with a “By Appointment Only” theme. Think European atelier meets race day glamour. Envisioned by Amanda Henderson of Gloss Creative, the blush-toned space is a treasure trove of refinement, all industrial steel, oversized mirrors and flowers. There's also over 200 metres of velvet bringing the luxury.
Making the biggest splash by far is Maison Mumm. The French brand has transformed their two-story trackside marquee into a beach club reminiscent of the Cote D’Azur. The all-day party palace is complete with a four-metre oval pool lined with rose-coloured Bisazza tiles, synchronised swimming performances and acrobats. It's loud, and proudly outrageous. But froth and bubble is what the champagne house is all about.
Wanting to celebrate all-things Australian, Emirates called in Bazmark Inq head designer, Silvana Azzi Heras, to design their decadent marquee. The space takes the form of an Art Deco mansion surrounded with a sweeping verandah. Australian flora and fauna motifs adorn the walls and in the middle of it all a palatial gum tree stands tall. VIP guests will nibble of pearl meat and touch up their look at the in-marquee salon.