Sydney Street Style: Melbourne Cup Stops The Nation

My post today is all about Sydney street style…but with an elegant twist.

What’s the big deal about Melbourne Cup, I asked a few of my Aussie friends. The reaction I elicited was one of shock and disbelief. How could I dare to ask such an ignorant question? Almost as if I asked an Indian, “what’s the big deal about cricket matches?” Well, as it turns out, the Melbourne Cup, the BIG derby and the biggest horseracing event in the country, is a national event. ‘A race that stops the nation’ they call it and, as I would find out, it really did. The Melbourne Cup, is held in Melbourne, obviously, where it is a public holiday. However, in Sydney, it is an undeclared holiday. People choose to make it a long weekend or just take the day off. But most offices and business across Australia, down their shutters after lunch and brace for the race. Which kicks off at 3pm and lasts no more than three seconds. So much for a race that stops the nation!

Though I am not interested in the race per se, I decided to spend the evening in downtown Sydney on derby day to see what the fuss was all about. I was charmed to say the very least.

By the time I got to the city, the race was over and it was party time. The city was abuzz. Everyone was on the streets dressed to the hilt. Interesting to note how people in Sydney and across the country get all dressed up for a race in a totally different city and for a race that they might probably not be interested in. But it appeared to me that it was more about the tradition and customs than the race itself. Don’t get me wrong, almost everybody I met had placed their bets, but there was much more to it than just racing. It became clear to me that the Australians cherish their British identity. Everywhere I looked on the streets, people were dressed up in derby wear. This was Sydney street style paradise. There were gorgeous hats all over – pillboxes, fascinators, feathers, fruits and more. What fun! I was in the heart of Sydney’s business district but it appeared to me like I had stepped into the Royal Ascott Derby in England. A slice of Britain on these faraway shores!

So I decided to snapshot some of these awesome ensembles and post them here. With my Starbucks in hand (no I was not drinking beer, in case you were wondering), I ambled through the streets looking for more.

Here are some candid images of the street style I spotted yesterday. I had to take these pictures as discreetly as possible so pardon the quality. I love how the Asian woman wore her hat and outfit. Very elegant indeed.Sydney Street Style

Sydney Street Style

Sydney Street Style

Sydney Street Style

Sydney Street Style

Down by the harbour, on the waterfront leading to the Opera House, the parties were rocking. People were out, enjoying post work drinks, soaking in the evening sun. Sydney Street Style

Sydney Street Style

Sydney Street Style Sydney Street Style

And as I was scouting around for some British fashion on Sydney’s street, I spotted something familiar in a chic bar. An Aussie woman clad in a sari??!! Could this be true? I went up to her and told her that I was travelling to her city, appreciating the British hats, while she was clad in a sari. Before I could continue she asked me if I was from Bombay…I said yes, how did you know? Your smile and accent says it all. (I wonder what that meant but I shall leave it at that)

Here she is. She seems to have a slightly different idea of derby style. But we aren’t complaining! 

Sydney Street Style

Sydney Street Style

 

So the next time you’re planning a trip to Australia, and if you’re around on derby day, make sure you put on your hat, walk around the city, wherever you are and soak it all in. See you soon!

 

 

 

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