In the true spirit of 60’s rebellion the world’s first supermodel Jean Shrimpton arrived at the 1965 Melbourne Cup in an outfit which sent tremors across the world of fashion.
No hat, no gloves, no stockings and her dress cut short above the knee The Shrimp had unwittingly sparked an international fashion scandal. Her refusal to adhere to the conservative rules of dress outraged the crowds and Australian people causing a global controversy.
Despite the blue skies and warm air the short cut dresses and skirts of the British mini skirt pioneer Mary Quant were still wholly unacceptable in the eyes of Australians.
Although the conservative attitudes on dress from 1960s Australia have withered away many events still of course maintain strict dress codes.
Despite the bold defiance of Jean Shrimpton’s outfit in 1965 and the consequential scandal this caused the event re-imagined the way women could dress at these events, igniting a totally new wave of fashion across both Britain and Australia.
Jean Shrimpton may have sent shock waves across the world by attending the Melbourne cup in nothing but a shift dress but today the style of the Melbourne ladies of 1965 is back in vogue. Hats and gloves transform simple dresses into timeless outfits but we have the Shrimp to thank for a little dusting of rock and roll.
Jean Shrimpton with gloves and hat.
Take a look at Gok Wan's visit to Cornelia James for some inspiration for your day at the races this year.
Race Day fashion through the ages.
1930's - Ascot. Real fur and smart white gloves.
1938 - Brisbane. Dresses, hats and gloves.
1945 - Doomben racetrack Brisbane. Modest dress, long white cape, angular hats with dark gloves.
Below: The swinging 60s Melbourne