This is Part 2 of a 3-part blog series where I show you how I made my three 2018 Spring Carnival outfits pictured below.

In this post I’ll share how I created my Melbourne Cup Day outfit. If you missed the previous post about the making of my Derby Day outfit, you can find that one here.

My Melbourne Cup outfit was the result of many lucky encounters and ideas as you’ll see in the following sections.

milano imai racing fashion blogger flemington outfits 2018

My 2018 Spring Carnival Outfits – Left to Right: Derby Day, Melbourne Cup Day, Oaks Day

Starting with the Hat

Upon accepting a judging position at Cairns Cup, Ana Bella Millinery contacted me, offering to make me a hat to wear. Although she lives in London, Cairns is her hometown and she wanted her piece to be present.

We began discussing colours and Ana suggested blue. I too had been thinking about the colour blue in an outfit for quite a while so we agreed upon a dusty blue. She created a hat with a rose like base, from leather and pleated crinoline swirls and it arrived in early May. It was beautiful.

ana bella millinery dusty blue rose leather and pleated crinoline swirls

In Search of a Blue Dress

I popped over to Andrew’s house one afternoon with my Ana Bella hat in tow to have a chat with him about a blue dress I wanted him to make me for Cairns Cup to match my hat.

When I arrived, laying on his table were some pleats he had been testing and experimenting with. He had made his own pleat template from cardboard and baked them in the oven! Yes, his oven at home! So incredible!

homemade pleated fabric pleat cardboard template

I spotted a blue fabric roll he had amongst his random fabric collection and thought it would be perfect for my outfit, just a slightly different shade to my hat.

fashion design outfit planning

We discussed silhouettes, threw around some ideas and Andrew sketched up some ideas.

silhouettes and fashion design sketches

Exploring Dress Ideas

For the pleated detail I wanted my signature silhouette, which is a very fitted waist and midi length pencil skirt. I returned to Andrew’s house a week later and he had made up a mock idea