A menacing forecast and some unruly weather patterns didn't deter over 28,000 from attending The Stella Artois Caulfield Cup on the weekend, with both the men and women doing their best to raise the fashion stakes in their own right and potentially head home a little richer at the end of the day.
An honest conversation
Although it was glitz and glamour for the most part, the elephant in the room, so to speak, was the ever-concerning conversation about animal cruelty, in particular to race horses.
With sponsors and media in somewhat of a predicament come the celebration of such events, it's evident that the idea of attending - and celebrating - such an occasion at the expense of the mistreatment of race horses is ethically murky.
But for now, plenty did and weren't afraid to dial up the fun as publicity machines were in overdrive to make sure everyone had a good time.
Behind the gates
Within the exclusive Heath enclosure, guests were privy to an environment made for the stars; think enviable marquee fitouts, delectable dining and electric entertainment.
'New York City' was the theme of the Caulfield Cup carnival this year, with the Melbourne Racing Club doing a fantastic job of bringing the big apple to suburban Melbourne.
New York City to Melbourne
Keeping within the theme, New York's own Gabriel-Kane Day-Lewis, son of Hollywood actor Daniel Day-Lewis, came dressed in Australian label Strateas Carlucci. The skater-turned-model sported a check double breasted overcoat with matching high-waist pleated trousers and a beautiful pair of tonal wingtip Derby lace ups by bespoke shoe brand Undandy, looking the part as he mingled with fellow models Georgia Fowler and Shanina Shaik within the Stella Artois marquee.
"I'm super pleased with how it looks. It's always fun to dress up for these sort of occasions, especially as its my first time at the races," says model and musician Day-Lewis.
"My style is constantly evolving, but I'd say this look is definitely me. You know, that British mod-rock vibe."
Somehow, Day-Lewis missed the memo about wearing a tie, which was sported by every other lad in attendance. Although this could be put down to the loophole that the Heath Enclosure is exempt from the rule that makes the wearing of the accessory mandatory, like it is in the Members' Reserve holds. Regardless, the 24-year old pulled off the striking ensemble nonetheless, which was perfectly suited to the day.
Step into the Heath enclosure and you would have witnessed a plethora of dashing gents doing their thing; frolicking. Whispers of who wore what ran rife throughout the day, but none were more amusing than the guys being snapped trackside, trading tips and tricks for how they best achieved their look.
Colour was seen in plenty, with some missing the mark slightly, dressing for an event at Pitti Uomo rather than an elegant day at the races - cobalt blues, joker-purples, ruddy reds and candy pinks just didn't work on this occasion.
Instead, dominating the dress trends were unstructured suiting styles in linen, cotton and hopsack weaves, blended with colours of muted pastels of blues and olive-greens, earth tones of rust brown, terracotta, cream and beige, and tonal dressing of flowing spring colours paired effortlessly with subtle accessories were all a hit.
Some men braved white ensembles, but did so elegantly throwing in just a splash of colour to complement these bold looks. And although a sea of monochromatic navy's was, as always, present, guys dressed with enough confidence and style that it could be said the limelight was stolen from the ladies, albeit briefly...
A VIP experience
Inside the exclusive Stella Artois marquee, guest Jarrod Scott looked the part in a traditional double-breasted midnight navy suit by Dior Homme, paired with a classic black Derby lace ups. A stylish set up to say the least, guests of Stella Artois were treated to a special menu curated none other than acclaimed chef Shannon Bennet and his Vue de Monde team.
Over at The Caulfield Lounge by Alfa Romeo, AFL champion and David Jones ambassador Adam Goodes was seen looking the part in a subtle powder blue ensemble by Hugo Boss.
The Caulfield Lounge was emulated to represent a Brooklyn-style Loft, with exposed brick wall facades, Art Deco furnishings and New York-inspired treats curated by MRC executive chef Julian Robertshaw.
In the New York-inspired home turn restaurant, Greenwich St, Shannon Bennett further provided his expertise, designing a four-course menu inspired by some of the best restaurants in downtown NYC, with wine pairings by Penfolds. Think braised Wagyu corned beef cheek with brown cider butter and Bennett's gourmet take on the signature pastrami sandwich with mustard and pickles.
Take a look at the gallery up top to see the most interesting style choices from the Caulfield Cup.