They may be one of the hottest designs on the catwalk, but don’t expect to see any cut-out dresses at Australia’s richest horse race on Saturday.
Organisers of The Everest have doubled down on banning the flesh-flashing frocks in a controversial move that has left Sydney fashionistas fuming.
The designs have actually been prohibited for years but the rules were rarely enforced. However, the Australian Turf Club has now made it clear rule-breaking will not be tolerated.
Rule breaker: They may be one of the hottest designs on the catwalk, but don’t expect to see any cut-out dresses at Australia’s richest horse race, The Everest, on Saturday. Pictured: Nadia Bartel in a white Dion Lee number with cut-outs on the hips at Derby Day in November 2019
Former WAG Nadia Bartel controversially wore a white Dion Lee number with strategic cut-outs on the hips for Derby Day in 2019, and model Elyse Knowles flashed her stomach in a white two-piece outfit from Anna Quan at the same event.
But with the dress code being strictly enforced this year, both women would be denied entry if they tried to enter the members’ enclosure at Royal Randwick this weekend.
Fashion matters aside, it’s unlikely Nadia will be attending the races anytime soon after being fined $5,452 for attending an illegal party during Melbourne’s lockdown on September 2.
She was also filmed snorting white powder at the gathering, but no drug charges were laid because police couldn’t prove what the substance was.
Forbidden: Former WAG Nadia Bartel would be denied entry if she tried to enter the members’ enclosure at Royal Randwick this weekend in this outfit she wore for Derby Day in 2019
According to the Australian Turf Club dress code, female ATC members are banned from wearing dresses ‘which show midriff and have cut-outs’.
The most well-known rule for men also remains: no shoes without socks.
Despite calls to relax the rules, ATC director Angela Belle McSweeney told The Daily Telegraph: ‘The dress codes need to stay and be maintained.
Rule breaker: Another guest who has defied the dress code is model Elyse Knowles, who flashed her stomach in a white two-piece outfit from Anna Quan at Derby Day two years ago
‘The dress code rules are in place to maintain a benchmark of appropriate race day dressing,’ Ms McSweeney added.
‘It really comes down to common sense and the suitability of the individual outfit to a day at Royal Randwick.’
The likes of M-KARA creative director Maria Kara and Tuchuzy fashion designer Kate Anderson hope the ATC will one day overturn the ban on cut-out dresses, saying they are ‘elegant and classy’ and ‘huge trend here and overseas’.
Milestone: The Everest will be allowed to host 10,000 punters, marking the first major event since the end of lockdown in Sydney
The Everest will be allowed to host 10,000 punters, marking the first major event since the end of lockdown in Sydney.
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has approved an exemption for the bigger crowd to attend the $15million race at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Major events are normally only allowed up to 5,000 guests under current restrictions. The boost to 10,000 is still well short of the 42,000 who packed Randwick Racecourse in 2019 for the event.
Approved: Premier Dominic Perrottet has approved an exemption for the bigger crowd to attend the $15million race at Royal Randwick on Saturday. Pictured: guests at The Everest 2018
The Australian Turf Club has drawn up its Covid-safe protocol for the day which includes one punter every four square metres.
Chief executive Jamie Barkley said he was thrilled the race would be going ahead.
‘The Australian Turf Club has been working closely with the NSW government throughout the pandemic and we are thrilled to be opening the gates to more people this Saturday,’ he said earlier this week.
‘Sydney and our racing is back open for business during the $50million Everest carnival and for a race and event being watched around the world.
‘The Sydney spring is ready to shine with spectators and the ATC is ready to a lead the way in a Covid-safe reopening across the city.’
Rapid antigen testing will be set up for trainers and jockeys when they arrive on the course.
New rules: The Australian Turf Club has drawn up its Covid-safe protocol for the day which includes one punter every four square metres
The owners of the horses will also not be allowed to visit the raceday stalls.
The Everest is Australia’s richest horse race. Organisers had been lobbying for months the state government to host the event.
Racing NSW and the Australian Turf Club argued that because the event is mainly outdoors – where the virus is less likely to spread – it should be given the go-ahead.
The massive crowd will be a welcome sight for organisers after they were forced drastically scale back numbers at the event in 2020.