The only certain things in life are taxes, death and the blessed sartorial matrimony between black and white. The aforementioned death and taxes were part of a letter by the late Benjamin Franklin addressing the then new US constitution, and much like the traditions upheld across the Pacific oceans, we fiercely respect the monochrome mantra today.
In an article written by racing royalty Kate Waterhouse for The Sydney Morning Herald, she said the earliest reference to the dress code was in 1960. A whisky ad in Australian Women’s Weekly promised a £200 wardrobe to the best ensemble at the Victoria Racing Club’s centenary carnival.
Of all things to unite black and white, it was James Buchanan and Co whose blended scotch whisky embodied the theme. The company began operations in 1884 and frequently used an image of a West Highland Terrier and Scottish Terrier in their campaigns, noting every occasion with Black & White would be a happy one.
Those ingenious ad executives weren’t wrong, as Morphettville turned mostly monochrome for a remarkably festive day in the racing calendar. Many guests of Derby Day went for the white moment, as astonishing jumpsuits and dresses complete with metallic headpieces and handbags lit up the field. With sleeve detail as unique as headwear choices, ladies of Derby Day revelled in ruffles, lace and intriguing textures.
Those who wore black on black exuded confidence, as hair-styling and fabric cuts added a feminine finish to their outfits. Meanwhile, those who combined the colours focused on mesmerising patterns, outstanding accessories and cinched silhouettes. Numerous looks from this Derby Day carnival expressed relevance to the past and present; this was a crowd that knew how to put the trend in tradition.
See if your monochrome moment made the street style cut…