Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival – Interview with Lisa Barron

The excitement of Spring Racing Season is building ahead of Australia’s premiere equine event, the 2014 Melbourne Cup, and with it comes an eye towards a staple of major race day tradition – fabulous fashions on the field.

As gentlemen search for the perfect suit and ladies are presented with a myriad of choice in dresses, fascinators and season accessories, putting together the perfect outfit can be a consuming task. To help our guests in search for the perfect race day look, we spoke to renowned Australian fashion designer, Lisa Barron, and got the inside scoop on Spring Racing must-dos and her top tips for the perfect track side ensemble.

If you’re travelling from Crowne Plaza Melbourne to the 2014 Melbourne Cup Carnival, be sure to take advantage of our dedicated guest shuttle bus service.


As one of Melbourne’s most recognised fashion designers, what would be your career highlight?

The 30 year + lifespan of the label has had many, many highlights, varied and diverse, from dressing some of the world’s most famous supermodels like Helena Christensen, Linda Evangelista and Claudia Schiffer but the most significant is the celebration event of the 30th anniversary when several artists and friends came together in an exhibition “30 Years, The Art of Fashion”

Where does your inspiration for your spring collection come from?

Every collection starts with the fabric, the racing carnival is a wonderful and specific mode of dressing. It has to be special, innovative, last the day looking great and reflect the personality of the wearer. This is the time of the year everyone, not just the horses are on show. It is a fun collection to create.

Over the Spring Racing Carnival we get many guests who are going to the races. What are the top three items they shouldn’t go to the races without?

Number one- has to be a great dress or outfit, that from the moment they put it on it must make them feel fabulous. Race wear can either be colourful and over the top (although always tasteful) or classic and sophisticated with a statement headpiece. Never ever do bland for the races.

Number 2- A handsfree handbag, juggling champagne, racebook, phone, handshaking, all gets too tricky.

Number 3- Comfortable- but again stylish shoes. They must work with the outfit.

Which Milliners do you work with to complete your looks?

I am so fortunate to work with some very talented and creative milliners –

  • Kim Fletcher from Kim Fletcher millinery
  • Carla Murley from Murley&Co
  • Lisa Bell from Lisa Alexander Millinery

Do you have any tips for choosing the right fascinator or hat?

Proportion is everything when choosing your headwear, it firstly must suit the shape of your face, the proportion must be right for your height and then it must coordinate with your outfit. It is very difficult to choose a hat without assistance from either a milliner or store stylist who can give you advice. Ideal if you can buy your hat and dress together for the complete look.

What is your top fashion tip for dashing gentleman attire at the races?

A well fitting suit with some quirky personality expressing accessories, such a hat, these are becoming very popular for men’s racewear. Great tie, cuff links, kerchief. Just make sure you don’t look like you have just come from the office.

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