Derby Day 2016: the best dressed people in the Birdcage

The suit of the day was a windowpane check on a black or grey suit, and every second woman seemed to be wearing a white lace dress. 

Derby Day was blessed with blue skies and sunshine on the first day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival, and the Birdcage was the place to spot sleek black and white outfits and blag your way into one of the top marquees.

Lexus proved to be one of the hottest spots, with a new three level sustainable monolith designed by Joost Bakker featuring hundreds of cardboard cylinders and full meals from Franklin's David Moyle and Attica's Ben Shewry.

The Mumm 'tent' was undoubtedly the most hilariously over-the-top enclosure, with a small pool at the centre and regular shows from outrageous entertainers. Emirates was the class act of the cage, with the most celeb-heavy guest list and a fresh Australiana theme including mini chicken parmas and fruity cocktails, plus cameos from Shane Warne and Rachel Griffiths.

By Appointment Only

Myer had undergone a revamp and was arguably the toughest marquee to get into, with polished glass doors reading 'By Appointment Only'. Newcomer Sensis had the disco tunes pumping, while Tabcorp was naturally a haven for high-flying punters.

Schweppes was the quiet achiever, with a fantastic set of cocktails individually mixed by a fleet of bartenders, and Lavazza retained its crown as the coolest marquee on the circuit, with 'latte' martinis and footballers from wall to wall.

James Boag's and Wolf Blass also nailed the brief, boasting a slightly more mature offering at either end of the Birdcage. And with three more days left to go, the party's just getting started.

Scroll through the gallery above to see our pick of the most intriguing people in the Birdcage.