One of the most highly-anticipated events on the Melbourne social calendar, the Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ladies Day is an invite-only event where women celebrate the first day of the racing event in style. Remix Local Editor Amber Baker was lucky enough to be invited over to experience the exclusive trackside glamour of high-profile women in fashion and business and of course, witness the buzz of the Grand Prix circuit.
As expected, the trackside venue at Albert Park was dotted with brand new Mercedes-Benz vehicles of all shapes and sizes. The classic white ‘G-Wagen’, the latest Mercedes Petronas Motorsport F1 show car and beautifully arranged dried florals and logo emblems greeted guests at the entrance, while the electrifying and adrenaline-racing sound of F1 cars racing around the circuit vibrated throughout the Mercedes-Benz Star Lounge.
Being the first day of the four-day race event with excitement in the air and endless bottles of crisp Moet, the notable ladies were abuzz for an afternoon of F1, food, fashion, and fun. A huge supporter of Australian fashion, the Mercedes-Benz Ladies Day included a sit-down session with designers Adrian Norris and Edwina Forest behind fashion label AJE. Discussions centred on their success with high-quality fabrics and perfecting the iconic Australian coastal yet city wardrobe, as local models showcased the latest designs.
As the sun reflected off the show-stopping fleet of Mercedes-AMG models parked on the lawn, well-known fashion blog photographer Liz Sunshine was behind the lens snapping the likes Georgia Love, Romy Frydman and Victoria’s Secret model Jessica Hart, who were among the best-dressed guests. Ice cream stations and tantalising canapes designed by chef Shane Delia, as well as espresso martinis and light cocktails pleased taste-buds, while the Mercedes-Benz Beauty Bar with artist Tre Dallas provided ladies with touch-ups throughout the afternoon.
Rivalling some of the biggest parties of the season, the stylish setting was a place for new friends and connections to be made between women over a shared love of fine food, fine wine and fine vehicles. Personally, I found it refreshing to witness so many incredible women enjoying a stylish experience of what is traditionally known to be a male-dominated event.
As the Ladies Day came to an end, the buzz and excitement picked up again later at the Mercedes Me Store in the city. An interactive concept hub of creativity, there are no vehicles for sale on the shop floor, instead couches sit in place of cars, brand collectables grace shelves and a high-end cafe and bar provide guests and members with all-day services. This is a place for Melbournites to meet, inspire and absorb the high-energy ethos and design that Mercedes lives and breathes.
The evening at Mercedes Me after Day One at the Grand Prix was to be no different. 200 or so guests mingled in the lounge-like environment enjoying fine food and drinks, witnessing interviews with drivers Esteban Ocon and surprise guest Lewis Hamilton - arguably the best F1 driver in the world! With a room full of F1 fans and Mercedes lovers, the excitement was simply electric.
The French driver Esteban Ocon entertained the crowd when revealing his sleeping patterns of 12-24 hours sleep per night, while the charming Lewis told the small crowd of his Aussie surfing tales, and his expectations for the Melbourne F1 Grand Prix as he playfully poked fun at Mercedes ‘Boss’ Toto Wollf.
Lewis said that despite being an F1 driver, surfing “is probably the hardest sport there is.” He also explained how he prefers an electric car as his personal car, after driving the latest Mercedes EQC into the Melbourne event. The crowd wanted more, and true to its concept of being an interactive space, guests at the Mercedes Me event were given the chance to ask the drivers and their team questions, making some superfans literally cry with admiration.
A day and night to never forget, Mercedes-Benz proved yet again their firm position as the top luxury and performance brand adding grace and glamour to the racing world, and of course the world of fashion.