Melbourne Cup fashion: All bright from all corners of the country

Victorian fashions finalist Shathie Nkoni Molelekwa and ambassador Olivia Molly Rogers turn up the colour for the Cup.

Victorian fashions finalist Shathie Nkoni Molelekwa and ambassador Olivia Molly Rogers turn up the colour for the Cup. Photos: Instagram

There’s never been a Melbourne Cup like this one – and fashion-forward racegoers around the country made sure to dress for the occasion.

In 2020, it’s out with the Field and in with the Front Lawn, as contestants sent in their racewear shots from around the country.

The state finalists for the competition have been announced, with the overall winners to be crowned on Oaks Day on Thursday.

Victoria’s female finalist Shathie Nkoni Molelekwa said Melbourne was in the grips of Stage 4 lockdown when she found out about the Front Lawn competition.

All she had to make her look was the resources in her home.

“When putting my look together, I was inspired to be my true authentic self; unapologetically so,” Shathie wrote.

“I did not want to look like I am trying to fit in, instead I wanted people to look at my outfit and want to know more about me, the real me: A woman who carries both her African and Western values with grace, wherever she goes.”

This year’s finalists embraced colour but also accessibility.

As well as individually designed outfits, we saw a lashing of entrants wearing branded clothing from outlets – including Northern Territory finalist, Sherlon Garbo. He dressed exclusively in Zara.

Garbo, who is also the NT’s first representative in the competition, wore a clear face shield with his look, explaining it’s “the new normal”.

Celebs were all aboard the ‘gram train to Cup wear central, too.

Cup ambassador and fashions judge Nadia Bartel set the tone, showing us two outfits on the day. First, a sleeved fuchsia frock with a crown-like headpiece from Millner, fit for meeting racing royalty Makybe Diva.

Then it was an iridescent blue dress with that 1990s silhouette we’re seeing everywhere.

Bartel went simple in the headwear, leaving her hair loose with a diamante-studded band from Viktoria Novak.

Here’s Bartel and fellow Cup and Front Lawn ambassadors celebrating the day in a COVID-safe way.

Before we move on, let’s just hone in on Olivia Molly Rogers’ make-up. It’s a tequila sunrise done right.

Bartel’s fellow WAGs showed up strong and early.

Rebecca Judd put daughter Billie front and centre with her spring-inspired outfit.

Former NRL WAG, glamour model and SAS Australia contestant Bella Del Busso was making headlines first thing, with her ode to Jennifer Lopez get-up.

Model Bambi Northwood-Blyth was the picture of floral innocence with a luncheon that matched from head to toe.

Olympia Valance and fiance Tom Bellchambers decided for one of the fun comps for Fashions on your Front Lawn – the loud category.

TV host Brodie Harper kept it casual and wholesome at home, with an outfit appropriate for Melbourne’s 30-degree day.

From across the ditch, journo Wilhelmina Shrimpton slayed in an all-white jumpsuit.

Actor Isabella Giovinazzo had the perfect accessory for her statement sleeves.

Finally, it doesn’t get much cuter than Chloe Lofthouse, who went with a themed outfit.

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