One fifty four years and still going strong is the Melbourne Cup – Australia’s premiere horse race. Known as the ‘race that stops the nation’, we really wonder if it ‘halts’ Australia alone… For, on one hand while the race attracted over 1,00,000 enthusiasts at the Flemington Race Course in Melbourne this year, we had admirers of the sport from Chennai too, who had gathered in large numbers at the Hyatt Regency Chennai on Tuesday.
The Melbourne Cup Charity event is not new to Chennai. This was the fourth edition. And a gala fundraising lunch (instead of the breakfast) and fashion show, ensured that this edition stood out from the previous ones. The proceeds from the lunch, organisers said, would go to MITHRA (Madras Institute To Habilitate the Retarded and Afflicted), a charity organisation in the city.
What was surprising was that the large number of people who had gathered at the venue on a Tuesday morning. These included businessmen like Sam Paul, Rajesh Venkat and Naresh Mehta spotted at the event.
As for the glam section of the afternoon, models walked the ramp with outfits that could be worn to the Melbourne Cup! Inspirations for themes varied from springtime and flowers to the Melbourne Cup and horse braids. And hats noticeably were an accessory that formed a major part of the ensembles as the models strutted their stuff.
These creations from seven student designers of Hindustan University, Pearl Academy of Fashion and Wigan & Leigh were previously judged as part of a competition by big names in Chennai’s fashion circuit like designers Vivek Karunakaran and Sidney Sladen and jewellery designer Minnie Menon.
With the crowd having a blast every step of the way, we noticed aunties dressed in elegant gowns waving hello to friends and quite a few taking selfies as has become the ‘in’ thing to do.