Hats off to compromise, and cool heads at Oaks day
Blokes Day lives up to its reputation
Entertainment reporter Donna Demaio discovers that Oaks Day at Flemington isn't jokingly called 'blokes day' for no reason.
OAKS day is a celebration of females and the males who admire them, so how ironic that controversy should erupt over Broadmeadows ''femiman'' Andrej Pejic.
The model arrived at the Swisse marquee in the Birdcage without the highly anticipated Princess Beatrice tribute hat by milliner Kerrie Stanley after Irish milliner Philip Treacy, the VRC's international style ambassador, objected to his famous hat being imitated.
VRC chief executive Dale Monteith didn't want the hat offending ''special guests'', saying: ''The VRC approached Swisse, which readily agreed to an alternative ensemble."
Model Andre Pejic wears a Kerrie Stanley hat after Irish milliner Phillip Treacy and the VRC objected to him wearing a Princess Beatrice tribute hat. Photo: Suzanne Carbone
Stanley was told on Wednesday at 9pm by vitamin company Swisse that there was a ''change of brief'', so Pejic, a hit in New York and internationally for his feminine beauty, wore Stanley's substitute hat and was unaware of the scandal.
Being a joker, here's his reason for not wearing the hat: ''I see it as a symbol of a vagina, so I'm saving it for my wedding day.''
The censorship of another milliner's work is puzzling given Stanley's tribute did not mock the Beatrice hat that was worn to the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton and has been likened to everything from a pretzel to a uterus. The hat has been Photoshopped onto the head of the Queen, Osama bin Laden and Donald Trump.
Princess Beatrice wears her much derided Phillip Treacy hat. Photo: Getty Images
Stanley, a talented and respected milliner, said her version was ''sculptural'' and honoured Treacy's brilliance. ''I'd hate to think that he would be upset with me.''
Stanley was commissioned by Swisse to make the hat, and fashion designer Arthur Galan made a tribute outfit, a light pink suit. Pejic wore the trousers but couldn't wear the jacket because he spilt a drink on it, replacing it with another jacket.
Stanley dismantled the tribute hat and used the parts for other hats.
Pejic's manager from Chadwick Models, Matthew Anderson, said about the hat switch: ''We wanted to keep the peace.''
Treacy's friend Christine Barro, the fashionista who runs Christine salon in Flinders Lane, said the tribute hat was an insult to Treacy, the royals and Pejic. She said Pejic was a ''gorgeous boy'' and: ''Wouldn't it be nice if he's his own style.''
Another Treacy design that commanded attention in Swisse graced the head of Sex and the City actor Kim Cattrall, who was elegant in a cream Toni Maticevski outfit and Tony Bianco shoes. She was accompanied by her make-up artist Angel, who powdered her nose and topped up her lippy in between camera flashes.
Maticevski loved dressing her and she loved Maticevski, saying: ''I met him a few minutes ago and complimented him on his jacket.''
For Lavazza's ''Diva Day'', it hosted Mena Suvari, an actor skilled at rolling her Rs when pronouncing the name of her label, Aurelio Costarella.
Marquees laid on delicious food and there was not one pretzel to be found.