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Fashion, food and French chic: The Melbourne Cup experience

Laura Peppas

With cutting edge fashion, couture headpieces and sweet treats from bakery Patissez, Canberrans who like their horse racing with a side of French chic will be in their element at a new Melbourne Cup experience event.

Danielle Cleary, who owns local business Danielle Cleary Events, has created the ultimate Melbourne Cup experience to be held at Hotel Realm on 18 October in the lead-up to the race that stops a nation, fusing Thoroughbred racing style and knowledge together with the help of some savvy guest speakers.

Former international model Lizzie Wagner and Creative Director of iconic fashion house Perri Cutten, Penelope Loorham, will together showcase the latest spring styles in women’s fashion, including a collection of couture headpieces created by one of racing’s finest milliners Cynthia Jones-Bryson, at the French connection themed cocktail event.

“This event creates a platform for Canberra to showcase our amazingly talented milliners and the addition of Perri Cutten to the runway will treat our guests to on trend styling advice from one of Australia’s most iconic fashion houses,” Lizzie says.

“Perri Cutten’s new collection of chic forward-thinking pieces are inspired by a fresh modern aesthetic and supreme versatility – designs that certify a winning fashions on the field look.”

Image courtesy of Perri Cutten

Image courtesy of Perri Cutten

Danielle says Hotel Realm’s National Ballroom will be beautifully transformed into a French theme of lavender, champagne and canapés for the event, where exhibitors will be given the unique opportunity to showcase their business to up to 400 guests.

“We have more than 17 exhibitors showcasing their products or service, as well as special guest speakers Sarah Kelly and Kristen Henry from Mix 106.3 as our MC/Host,” Danielle says.

“Guests will also be presented with Patissez (home of the ‘Freakshake’) treats, wine tasting, an equine art exhibition, the Perri Cutten women’s race wear style stage show and Momento Dezigns and Ken Cook Menswear live model mannequins.”

When it comes to matters on the track, event sponsors TAB.com.au will be sharing insights on Melbourne Cup betting knowledge and promoting the festivities of the big race.

Tabcorp Marketing Manager Scott Colvin said The Melbourne Cup is an iconic day for Australians, and uniting race knowledge and fashion at the prelude event is a great way for Canberra to acknowledge the national significance of this race.

TAB.com.au knows that betting on the Melbourne Cup is about more than just winning and we are proud to be associated with any racing event that promotes participation in this great sport,” Scott says.

Tickets for the Melbourne Cup Experience, from 2-5pm on Sunday, 18 October, in support of Malkara Special School can be purchased from Danielle Cleary Events on 0427 666 584, Facebook or danielleclearyevents.com from early September. Interested businesses who may wish to exhibit at the event or donate to the Malkara Special School charity auction, can apply by registering via danielleclearyevents.com.


HerCanberra, in collaboration with Danielle Cleary Events, is offering readers the ultimate Melbourne Cup experience with the following prizes:

  • Major Prize Winner: A $250 Cynthia Jones-Bryson millinery voucher and a Perri Cutten $300 ladies fashion voucher, plus a couples complimentary event pass valued at $198 (total prize pack value is $748.)
  • Minor Prize Winners: Five runners up will each receive two complimentary event passes, valued at $198 each (total value $990 for 5 different winners).

To enter, simply answer the following question in 50 words or less and send to [email protected]: “When it comes to fashion, what is your spring racing essential?” Entries close Monday, 12 October 2015. 

Lizzie Wagner Group has also offered HerCanberra readers 10 per cent off full day and 1/2 day styling & 1.5 hour wardrobe audit when mentioning this article.


Laura Peppas

Laura Peppas is HerCanberra's senior journalist and communications manager and is the Editor of Unveiled, HerCanberra's wedding magazine. She is enjoying uncovering all that Canberra has to offer, meeting some intriguing locals and working with a pretty awesome bunch of women. Laura has lived in Canberra for most of her life and when she's not writing fervently she enjoys pursuing her passion for travel, reading, online shopping and chai tea. More about the Author

  • Kathy Vanduren

    Sounds like a wonderful afternoon event with lots of interesting ‘happenings’

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