This will be the second year the National Myer Fashions on the Field state competitions have been held via the photo competition format. In previous years, the finals were held throughout the year at various race days with an on-stage competition and winners announced during the event.
Now days, the State finals take place in September and October, some at race days and others at designated locations with photographers roaming around capturing ladies’ outfits with a ‘street style’ vibe. Three photographs are chosen of each entrant’s outfit, showcasing a head to toe look and their finer details. The photos are uploaded to the website www.fotf.com.au for everyone to see.
The photographs are judged by an esteemed panel of judges selected by Flemington. This year the panel consists of:
- Kim Wilson, Herald Sun Executive Fashion Editor
- Clare Hurley, Myer Category Manager Womenswear
- Caroline Ralphsmith, VRC Executive General Manager Customer Engagement
- Kirrily Johnston, Creative Director Husk
- Crystal Kimber, 2019 Myer Fashions on the Field Ambassador
In the following week, the top 10 are announced via the website and the top 3 a few days later.
The winners from each state are then awarded a 10-day trip of a lifetime to attend the Melbourne Cup Carnival and compete against the other state finalists to be named the National Winner- the highest honour and a dream come true for us race enthusiasts!
As per previous years, the Victorian state finalist will be chosen from the three winners of Derby Day, Melbourne Cup Day and Oaks Day. The six state winners will then compete for the coveted Myer Fashions on the Field National Winner title, on stage at Flemington on Oaks Day.
With four State Finalists now named, and two to follow in the coming weeks, It’s an exciting time for me, as I love hearing about how each finalist came up with their outfit.
Call me nosey, but I love the details and tend to ask a thousand questions! I want to know how long it took, what brands they are wearing, the personal anecdotes that go along with how they pulled together their own individual look…everything!
So, for other lovers of racing fashion stories, I have compiled the tales behind our state winners’ amazing outfits…
Western Australia State Final | Bernadette May
Perth Racing, Saturday 12th October 2019
Who is your dress, millinery and accessories by?
My dress is by Kate Watts from Only One Ashley. The millinery I made myself. My shoes were an Asos purchase, earrings by Christie Nicolaides, ring by Mimco, and bag by Olga Berg.
How long did you plan your outfit for and how did you come up with the idea/concept?
The actual planning of my outfit started in April of this year but didn’t come together until the very last minute. I approached Kate early as I knew that she would book out fast like she usually does. Kate asked me if there was any inspiration or trends I was hoping to include but at that stage all I knew was that I wanted lots of colour and sequins.
I found a great plaid sequin online and ordered 5 metres. But like many things that look amazing in photographs; the fabric was not as lovely in real life. The sequins had a very shiny finish and the colours were quite dull. The last thing I wanted to do was simultaneously blind and bore people.
Kate had a large range of sequinned fabrics she had sourced and she threw them at me one by one. They were all great but none quite hit the mark. I then saw the floral fabric she had used in her new spring range. It had a semi matte finish and I loved the colour palette. The design stage was very typical of the relationship I have with Kate. A lot of excitement, a bunch of bickering, oodles of text messages back and forth, and lots of sighs of relief when I finally trusted Kate to execute the design.
Did you experience any mishaps with your outfit? Trouble finding the right shoes/ clutch /colour decisions etc?
The millinery was originally going to be a piece that had more detailing on the crown with yellow veiling and sequins. When it arrived from the milliner I realised it was a touch too elaborate for such a busy dress.
With only a week until finals there was no time to have another one made. There was really no choice but to make it myself. I did a mock up version of the cap in blue straw and then wrote down all the measurements and method so I wouldn’t forget. I had been learning millinery online through Hat Academy for the past year but I still make many silly mistakes, including chopping the peak clean off the crown when I was cutting out the pattern I had traced.