Tomorrow is the first Tuesday in November. In Australia that means it’s Melbourne Cup Day, a horse race, a day to put on that once a year bet, join in a sweepstake at work, get dressed up, go out to lunch. If you’re living in Melbourne, lucky you, it’s a public holiday. Yes that’s right, for a horse race.
If the weather is anything like here in Newcastle expect a wet track, racegoers. Ladies, ditch the stilettos for the wellies. Forget the fascinator, go for the sou’wester. Nothing you wear will shock the onlookers in 2010. But this is what had Melbourne’s race-going matrons tutting in 1965.
British model Jean Shrimpton caused a stir when she went to Melbourne Derby Day sans stockings, gloves or hat and in a really (for 1965 Australia) short dress. I love the woman at the back on the right peering round to get a better look. ‘Wait ’til I tell the girls at bridge about that English hussy! Those knees, the bare arms. What’s Melbourne coming to?’ The younger women at the top left look more amused than horrified.
The British photographer, David Bailey said of Jean Shrimpton that she genuinely never cared how she looked (why would she with a face like that? She’d look gorgeous even in the wellies and sou’wester) and that she couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about.