The fashion obsessed trotted(see what I did there) into Portsea anyway they could this past weekend, by bus, helicopter or even by boat. Dressed in their best threads to impress the masses, the crowd spent the day on the sidelines, sipping their cocktails, listening to music, whilst watching the sport that is popular with high society and the Royal Family. For a day the Melbourne social scene migrates to Peninsular for The Alfa Romeo Portsea Polo. It is an annual event offering up polo, fashion and celebrity spotting which is one of the hottest tickets on the social season calendar in Melbourne during summer.
Let’s be honest, only a handful of attendees actually purchase their tickets with the intention of watching opposing teams scoring points on the polo field, but rather for the opportunity of rubbing shoulders with politicians, celebrities and the wealthy. People fly in in from interstate to attend as it really is one of only a handful of events where you can play with the rich and famous in such a small environment. Marquees line the arena and inside are the fashion pack sporting their best polo looks.
Malinda wears: @charly_thorn_designs
On the day the ladies had their fair share of picnic at hanging rock lace and crochet frocks that were topped off with straw hats and the most rented bag in Australia, the YSL tassel handbag (so over this bag, can we move on ladies!). It was great to see a number of the ladies branch out and wear some bright colours and prints, but the interesting footwear to tread the grass arena peaked my interest with many opting for colourful wedges and embellished shoes. One of the refreshing ensemble highlights was a sunflower short one piece that was all kinds of sass. The females definitely took more risks when it came to their ensembles than men with many adorning their perfectly GHD'd curled hair wrapped in a head scarf. The smartest accessory of the day was truly an umbrella, with the weather playing havoc with downpours that would last from a minute to 40 minutes it was the ultimate weapon to save you from looking like a drowned rat.
It is always nice to be surrounded by so many people who take pride in what they wear and it is a fantastic event to get dressed up in your finest to mingle at such an aristocratic event.
Preparation for the polo can start months and weeks in advance to ensure that your outfit is on trend with many planning their outfit in advance and scheduling an appointment with their tailor or designer of choice. Women tend to shop months in advance so they do not run into another lady wearing exactly the same dress. My sources on the day were keeping count of how many frocks were repeated with one tally hitting 7. Guess it pays to plan ahead ladies.
I never like to look like anyone else and tend to be prepared in advance. For those of you that know me, I am not afraid to stand out in the crowd and rarely shy away from wearing unique colourful pieces, or unusual prints, and for the polo this year I wanted to take it one step further with the help of The Spectre Collection with a personalised piece no other gent would have in the arena.
For the educated fashionista the popular dress code for males is usually a blazer, linen shirt and a pair of chinos. Rarely do you see a man that is not wearing blue or beige. Think of a preppy frat boy, Polo Ralph Lauren commercials or any 90s slasher flick where frat boys meet their doom by a knife wielding maniac. If you can imagine it, that is pretty much what you will see. A sea of muted pastels, sweaters over the shoulders, polo shirts in crisp white, fitted knee length shorts paired with loafers.
Whilst most gents opted for plain, light colours or stripes and checks in linen, lightweight cotton shirts, it was great to see some guys experiment with florals, double breasted blazers, bold colours, collarless shirts and runners instead of loafers. It was fantastic to see a handful challenging what is traditionally the classic polo look. I congratulate these men on wearing their bright hues of blue and purple, patterned fabrics and pops of pink. Well done boys.
There was so much beige in the arena this year I could have made a fortune if I opened a stain removal service stand at the entrance. Beige, beige, beige, some more beige, wait there is some more beige followed by a little more beige. I have not seen so many blue blazers with beige trousers on men since I visited Adelaide for Adelaide Fashion Week last year. As much as I respect the traditional dress code I was half expecting a flash mob to Backstreet Boys.
So back to planning in advance. I visited The Spectre Collection showroom and met with the delightful Joanne to discuss the event, my style and personality. Their attention to detail both in design and fit is a rarity with the team working with you on a design to personalise it to your needs. The result? A fantastic vibrant yellow satin blazer with unicorn motif with brown lapel. This I knew no one else would have which is something I love about bespoke suiting. It is perfect opportunity to be unique and personalise your wardrobe. The team at The Spectre Collection nailed this blazer and have the ability to combine style, fit, quality, your personality, into one item. Their customer service is excellent and not just in the showroom, from start to finish the process was flawless, professional and fun. A lot of brands both male and female could learn a lot from the team at The Spectre Collection, especially around customer service.
Ben and I both wearing: The Spectre Collection
Back to the polo! Between chukkers the arena converts into a runway for both men and ladies strutting the field to people watch and be watched. Whilst the rain dampened the field and created a few side stepping puddles, people took the opportunity when the sun broke to lap the arena. It is a great way for meeting people and I was stopped many a time by both ladies and gents asking where I found this one of a kind blazer. A pair of delightful ladies stopped me mid walk to ask why I did not enter the fashions on the field, an investor stopped me to ask if I would be interested in joining his hedge fund as he clearly thought I had money to burn wearing this blazer, I had numerous young lads ask if they could try on the blazer and was stopped to take pictures with people I would likely never see again. It still amazes me how fashion can be a conversation starter and bring people together who would not normally converse.
Whilst the rain may have kept the crowd smaller this year and people inside their expensive marquees as compared to previous years, the day was still full of fun and plenty of entertainment.