Ok, so don’t panic, but Melbourne Cup Carnival starts next week!
It’s officially time to get serious about what you are going to wear to Flemington this spring.
If you need to hightail it to the shops so you can complete your look for each of the carnival days, or (like some of the Melbourne Girl team) need to start from the very beginning and get a brand new outfit, then my advice is take a trip into our beautiful CBD and head straight to the corner of Swanston and Lonsdale Street… You’ll find the ultimate Spring Racing style at QV Melbourne.
QV is one of my favourite shopping precincts in Melbourne. It is home to all the coolest brands in Melbourne and also houses a new-look food court, residential apartment buildings and the city’s only full-line Woolworths supermarket. It is a high-street label haven and the perfect place to get your shop on for all your Spring Racing fashion and accessory essentials.
The precinct boasts a variety of boutique stores which appeal to super-stylish youth shoppers; as well as to sleek Melbournian hipsters, and for any of us who are looking for a unique fashion piece which screams ‘hello statement piece’. Their retailers are leading the way in Australian fashion movements and recently welcomed three new residents to their fashion laneway, Albert Coates Lane – Benjamin Barker, Republic Boutique and Genkek Shoes.
Last week I headed into the precinct’s laneways to capture some of the culture and style of the new boutiques, as well as some of my other favourite stores to pick up a great Spring Racing buy – Brent Wilson, Incu and Vanishing Elephant.
Store: Republic Boutique
Their Spring Racing style: This sharp store is a mecca for premium global labels including KENZO, MCQ by Alexander McQueen, MSGM Milano, YEEZY Season One, Versus Versace and more. Get your designer hit from Republic Boutique!
My tip: Gents, jump onto the YEEZY footwear. Sold out elsewhere across the globe, YEEZY styles are retailing for a few hundred dollars in-store at Republic Boutique, whereas people in other Australian states and internationally are buying them from resellers for well over $2k! The shoes in the collection are sure to make a statement and trust Melbourne to have the hottest global styles ready to snap up just in time for the best season of the year!
Store: Benjamin Barker
Their Spring Racing style: A lifestyle store for the discerning gentleman to shop for premium menswear.
My tip: It’s hip to be square! A small pocket square has the ability to instantly make you look dapper and will be real hit in 2015. This style trend is making a massive resurgence this year after being almost non-existent for a few decades. Nothing adds the flair and style that a simple piece of fabric known as the pocket square can and Benjamin Barker has a pattern and colour for every day of the carnival.
Learn how to fold your pocket square the right way here.
Store: Genkek Shoes
Their Spring Racing style: Genkek offer a large range of shoes and accessory styles, designed for young style-driven, confident women in mind. They have well-priced styles which are influenced by the Chinese market and are tastefully different to any other shoe store you’ll find in Melbourne. Think pastel colours, touches of sequins, embellishments and jewelled heels.
My tip: The ultimate trend in the footwear market this year for spring/summer is Strappy High Heel Sandals. Genkek have heaps of pairs that make a statement and will be the feature of your race day look. Just remember, if your shoes do all the talking, keep your dress simple and complement your headwear to ensure the perfect balance.
Store: Vanishing Elephant
Their Spring Racing style: Simple and chic, the Vanishing Elephant collection offers a range of understated silhouettes for girls and guys.
My tip: The women’s leather tan visor will make a sports chic statement during the Carnival, particularly on Cup or Stakes day when attire is considered to be less traditional and lots of fun.
Their Spring Racing style: INCU cater for a diverse and united community of customers. They house a wide variety of innovative, personable and unique international brands and emerging Australian labels. You’ll find their men’s and women’s department spread across two gorgeous store spaces at QV Melbourne.
My tip: Both stores offer a diverse range of unique accessories for Cup Carnival. For us girls, I love the idea of a small handbag with a strap for serious style and serious practicality when you’re trackside. Incu’s range of Deadly Ponies bags tick the two boxes perfectly. For guys, check out their range of The Hill-Side ties and bow-ties. The fabric styles are perfect for the races and not your average silk/satin in finish. Styles include cotton twill, chambray and cotton muslin, all great blends for Spring and can be dressed up or relaxed pending the race day you attend.
Read our style guide for each of the Cup Carnival days here.
Store: Brent Wilson
Their Spring Racing style: This Aussie designer kick-started his career working for street wear label Volcom, until Australian designer Wayne Cooper handpicked the young talent to work on his label and design his menswear line between 2000 and 2003. Continued success of producing fashion forward collections cemented Brent’s passion to pursue his dream of founding and developing his own successful menswear label, which focuses on ensuring men can enjoy and take pride in getting dressed for any occasion.
My tip: Brent Wilson has gents covered in every style sense for Spring Carnival. Cufflinks, suits, shoes, shirts and accessories… You’ll come out looking sharp head to toe after shopping here.
I was lucky enough to meet Brent during my visit at QV and chatted to him about the upcoming Cup Carnival and any specific style tips he can offer to his customer base as they prepare to head trackside…
Q: Your store at QV Melbourne is certainly in Spring Carnival mode, we love the front window display – Tell us some key suiting styles for stylish gentlemen over the four day Melbourne Cup Carnival?
A: Fit is paramount. Find a brand that compliments your body shape and type. You can’t go wrong with a beautifully cut 2 button notch lapel suit. If you are after a versatile suit that is appropriate for all days choose a colour like navy, which is extremely adaptable to different looks and combinations.
Q: How important are the finishing ‘accessory’ touches for men?
A: Extremely important, accessories can make an outfit. They have the ability to completely transform and complete the desired look.
Q: If you could suggest one core fashion/accessory piece for men to invest in this Spring Racing season, what would it be and why?
A: A good Navy suit, as I have stated above, it is the foundation stone, the key ingredient in creating so many race day outfit combinations.
To view the full range of retailers at the precinct, head over to the QV Melbourne website here.
See you all trackside at Flemington!
This post is brought to you by Nuffnang and QV Melbourne.