The Australian Spring Racing Carnival is really unique in that not only does it have the race that stops the nation (and provides a public holiday in Victoria!) and provides fashionistas the chance to really go to town but also, offers corporate business the opportunity to showcase their brand within the increasingly impressive marquees in the area known as The Birdcage.
This year, we were very lucky to experience firsthand 'The Birdcage' and couldn't resist highlighting a few of the best marquees for you.
The Lexus Marquee catered for it's guests over three distinct levels. Entry level contained the all new Lexus NX SUV officially launched at the Melbourne Cup Carnival. Mim Design Studio was commissioned to design the interiors with a brief to compliment the latest Lexus, through a striking and inspirational interior that captures the senses and evokes innovation.
Partnering up with sustainable designer Joost Bakker who was responsible for the stunning twig, wire and floral roof installation which certainly achieves the sensory impact element of the brief.
Finally, the top level (The Sky Deck) was designed by Jamie Durie with it's living green wall again giving the guests an additional sensory experience with great views out to the course.
The colour palette was influenced by Myer designers (such as Alex Perry yellow) and oversized illustrations by the artist Cat McLeod featured on the white, gallery style walls.
The playful touches continue with guests having access to their very own "ultimate cake cabinet" which is unveiled at 3.30pm each day, and then an hour later, the pop-up fragrance station "La Parfumerie" opens to enable guests to have a sensory experience with their own scent sample as a memento of their day.
The Schweppes Marquee had that old-school laid back feel with the relaxed intimacy that comes with being in your favourite bar. A collaborative design between Broadsheet Melbourne, branding and design agency The Company You Keep, and Therefore Studio the chilled vibe was aided by the appearance of actor Rich Sommer aka Harry Crane from Mad Men.
Swisse vitamins and skincare certainly lived up to their healthy-living ethos by bringing the outdoors in with layered plant schemes (including a garden pergola with herb garden) designed by Matt Martino and a Paleo inspired menu with super-food cocktails!
Finally, a stand-out Marquee was Lavazza - with it's interpretation of a Raphael "The School of Athens" fresco behind the bar. Architect Matthew Herbert was responsible for the design which also created a chandelier made up of 160 stemless wine glasses. Beautiful parquet flooring, large windows and bentwood chairs helped to recreate the 'From Italy with passion' vibe that Lavazza were aiming for.
Great entertainment helped confirm Lavazza as the party marquee, with a highlight being the virtuoso violinist Sally Cooper performing in front of the stunning fresco.
Having had this as our introduction to the Melbourne Cup - we're crossing our fingers that this won't be the last time we get to go!