About Me2019-02-28T13:55:43+10:00
Hi I’m Milano.

I’m a racing fashion blogger who has been immersed in the world of Fashions on the Field since 2011.

After four years of developing my own personal racing style, putting together and designing race day outfits, and entering numerous FOTF competitions, I started this blog; a place to share tips on dressing, DIY projects, opinion pieces, photos, FOTF calendar and race day updates.

My goal is to create a supportive community of likeminded women who are just as obsessed with racing fashion as I am. In the Field Fashion Community Facebook Group, you can join our 3,000+ members where we share ideas, ask for advice and show off our creations.

I want to inspire women who are just starting out and are still learning the ins and outs of racing fashion. Stick with me and I’ll show you how to put together the perfect outfit with your own personal touch.

In 2017, my struggle to find the right millinery led me to create Millinery Market, an online platform where you can rent or buy over 1,000 hats from milliners and race enthusiasts. My goal is to make beautiful, handcrafted millinery accessible to the everyday race goer, while providing a platform for milliners to showcase their work to a wider audience.

These days I can often be seen on the other side of the catwalk as a Fashions on the Field judge. I judge large city events such as Viva Prix de Fashion, but I also like to visit rural parts of Australia to support our small country race clubs.

If you have any questions or just want to say hello, please get in touch as I would love to hear from you. You can email me at milano@milanoimai.com and you can follow me on Facebook and Instagram using the buttons below.

Fashion Qualifications

  • 2011 to 2013 – Diploma of Applied Fashion Design and Technology – Gold Coast Institute of Technology (GCIT)
  • 2014 – Certificate III in Millinery – Tafe Queensland Brisbane
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My Fashion Style has been Constantly Evolving Over the Last 15 Years.

Scroll through the timeline below to see life events that have influenced my style.

My first sewing machine

When I entered high school I was given my first sewing machine as a birthday present. I didn’t know how to use it properly but still had fun altering my clothes and sewing bits and pieces onto everything.

Denim Shorts for the Disco

In grade 9 I had nothing nice to wear to an upcoming disco so I decided to revamp an old pair of jeans that I had outgrown. I cut off the legs to turn them into denim shorts and then hand sewed an old red belt down each of the side seams. It turned out surprisingly well and I even got a few compliments from my friends at the disco.

Making a Corset from Scratch

In my Grade 11 Home Economics class I made my first ever garment from scratch. It was a lined, boned corset with an invisible zip. While I did enjoy sewing the corset together, I soon realized that what I was most passionate about was getting to embellish everything at the end... something that is still true to this day.

School Design Competition

I entered my first fashion design competition in Grade 12 and it was a competition for all Home Economics students in the state of Queensland. I entered the corset I had made earlier that year and a cerulean blue bodice with long gold fishtail skirt. I entered two categories and came first in the Embellishment Category and second in the Design Category.

Home Economics Award

At the end of the school year in Grade 12, I was awarded the class Home Economics Academic Award. This was the one class that I enjoyed the most and had put a lot of effort into. For me, it was validation that I should pursue my interest in fashion design after school.

A Year Living in Japan

In 2006 I lived in Japan for a year and was exposed to all the outrageous fashion trends in Tokyo. With time I became more adventurous with my style and even tried a few of the trends myself. At the end of the year I returned home with bleach blonde hair, coloured hair extensions, fake eyelashes and bejewelled nails. My time in Japan had helped grow my confidence and personal style.

Working in Retail Fashion

My first retail fashion job was with a burlesque themed store called Kitten D'Amore and I absolutely loved dressing up for work. Through this boutique I discovered my love of styling others and learned how to select outfits to suit individual tastes and body shapes. Since then I have worked in other retail stores including Kookai and Cue.

First FOTF Competition Win

My first win at a FOTF competition was at the Gold Coast Turf Club for Melbourne Cup Day in 2011. I wore a beautiful champagne satin pencil skirt and matching top from Kitten D’Amour. I purchased my first ever fascinator from The Hat Store and I embellished it with pink stems and decorative leaves that I bought from a homewares shop.

Diploma in Applied Fashion Design

After years of wanting to study fashion design I finally enrolled at the Gold Coast Institute of Technology. The course took 2 years and I learned about sewing, pattern making and fashion illustrations. The course helped me realize that my passion and talents lie in embellishment and this is what I now mainly focus on when creating new FOTF outfits.

First Time Competing at Flemington

After my win at the Brisbane Melbourne Cup Day I booked flights to Melbourne to compete at Oaks Day at Flemington Racecourse. This was my first time in Melbourne for the Spring Carnival and the atmosphere and quality of the contestants' outfits were amazing. Out of hundreds of competition entrants I placed in the top ten.

Gold Coast 50 Best Dressed List

I was invited to enter the Gold Coast Bulletin's 50 Best Dressed Competition and ended up coming in Second Place. It was a fun experience as it was the first time I had ever been photographed in a professional studio and it made me feel like a star! It also gave me some great exposure in the Gold Coast Bulletin newspaper.

Certificate III in Millinery

I completed a short Millinery course through TAFE Queensland to get a better understanding of hats and how they are made. So far I have embellished a couple of fascinators with feathers, quills, beads, sequins and flowers to suit my dress. In the future I'd like to make a fascinator from scratch and am considering taking the Cert IV in Millinery course.

Second Place at Flemington Melbourne Cup

Being awarded Second Place at the Melbourne Cup Carnival at Flemington Racecourse out of over 500 entrants has been my biggest FOTF achievement to date. It was especially satisfying because I had put a lot of effort into the outfit design and embellishments. If you pop on over to My Creations page you can see photos of the dress and a video of the competition finalists.

Launch of this Blog

Over the years I've made friends at FOTF events and it's been great to have conversations with women who are as interested in fashion and design as I am. Earlier this year I thought it would be fun to create a blog to share this hobby and passion with other FOTF enthusiasts. I'm hoping to build a small community where women can come together to share their ideas and inspirations.

Field Fashion Community

Building a community was an important aspect of my blog, which is why I started our very own Facebook Group. It now has well over 3,000 members who love to support one another and give great fashion advice. We also hold regular competitions, share race day photos and have in person meet-ups.

Millinery Market

In 2017, I created Millinery Market, an online marketplace to rent or buy new and used millinery. We strive to make beautiful, handcrafted millinery accessible to everyday race goers while providing a platform for milliners to showcase their work to a wider audience.

Judging FOTF

In 2018, I started judging a lot more events and experienced what it's like to be on the other side of the catwalk. I've judged quite a few large city events such as Viva Prix de Fashion, but also enjoy visiting rural parts of Australia to support our small country race clubs.

I Think I Might Actually be Addicted to Fashions on the Field Competitions.

My Competition highlight was coming First Runner Up at the 2014 Melourne Cup Day at Flemington Racecourse.

  • 2018 – Kennedy Oaks Day – Flemington Racecourse – Top 10 Finalist

  • 2018 – AAMI Victoria Derby Day – Flemington Racecourse – Second Runner Up

  • 2018 – UBET Stradbroke Day –Doomben Racecourse – Winner

  • 2018 – Gold Coast Cup – Gold Coast Turf Club – Winner

  • 2018 – Magic Millions – Gold Coast Turf Club – Top 10 Finalist

  • 2017 – NSW State Final – Coogee Pavilion – First Runner Up

  • 2017 – TAB Everest – Royal Randwick Racecourse – Top 8 Finalist

  • 2017 – UBET Stradbroke Day – Doomben Racecourse – Top 10 Finalist

  • 2017 – Ladies Day – Doomben Racecourse – Top 10 Finalist

  • 2017 – James Boag’s Premium 10,000 Day – Doomben Racecourse – Winner

  • 2017 – Magic Millions – Gold Coast Turf Club – Top 10 Finalist

  • 2016 – Crown Oaks Day – Flemington Racecourse – Top 10 Finalist

  • 2016 – Melbourne Cup Day – Flemington Racecourse – Top 10 Finalist

  • 2016 – Brisbane Ekka FOTF – RNA Showgrounds – Winner

  • 2016 – AAMI Stradbroke Day – Eagle Farm Racecourse – Winner
  • 2016 – Prime Minister’s Cup – Gold Coast Turf Club – First Runner Up
  • 2016 – Girls Day Out Raceday – Doomben Racecourse – First Runner Up

  • 2015 – Surf Life Saving Raceday – Gold Coast Turf Club – Best Millinery

  • 2015 – Tattersall’s Celebration Raceday – Doomben Racecourse – Winner

  • 2014 – Melbourne Cup Day – Flemington Racecourse – First Runner Up

  • 2014 – Queensland State Final – Gold Coast Turf Club – Top 10 Finalist

  • 2013 – Melbourne Cup Day – Flemington Race Course – Top 10 Finalist

  • 2013 – Gold Coast Bulletin’s 50 Best Dressed Competition – Second Place

  • 2013 – Prime Minister’s Cup – Gold Coast Turf Club – Winner
  • 2013 – Queensland State Final – Gold Coast Turf Club – First Runner Up
  • 2012 – Crown Oaks Day – Flemington Racecourse – Top 10 Finalist

  • 2012 – Melbourne Cup Day – Doomben Race Course – Winner
  • 2012 – Magic Millions – Gold Coast Turf Club – Top 10 Finalist
  • 2011 – Melbourne Cup Day – Gold Coast Turf Club – Winner
  • 2011 – Ipswich Cup – Ipswich Race Course – First Runner Up
  • 2011 – Beau Desert Races – Beau Desert Race Course – Second Runner

Media Spotlight

Because sometimes us girls need a little attention…

It’s always exciting to open a newspaper and find a photo of yourself in there.

Thanks to Fashions on the Field I’ve had the chance to be featured in a number of newspapers including The Australian, Gold Coast Bulletin, Courier Mail, Sunday Mail, Herald Sun and Ladies in Racing magazine.

The highlight so far has been making the front page of the Brisbane News magazine in 2016.

Some of the Work I Am Most Proud of is Featured Below.

You can find these items and many more over on My Creations page!

Have a Question?

Check out my answers below or send me an email – milano@milanoimai.com

I would describe my style as being vibrant and creative. I tend to adapt my style with the changing fashion trends but there are also aspects of my style that are common to all of my outfits. I’d say I’m best known for my beadwork, embellishments and use of different patterns, textures and prints. I like to combine these elements in interesting ways to give my outfits their own unique twist.
I used to work for a boutique women’s clothing store that sponsored prizes for the Gold Coast Turf Club’s Fashions on the Field event. One year they asked me to attend to do some promotional work. It was the first time I had been to such an event and I spent the next few hours admiring the fashion and all the elegantly dressed women. From that moment I was hooked and it wasn’t long before I bought my first fascinator.
Using social media like Instagram is a great way to stay up to date with fashion trends. I love to follow fashion savvy women and brands to see what they are bringing out next. You can usually get a good feel for what colours and shapes are trending from a designer’s collection or from doing some good old fashioned window shopping. Flipping through fashion magazines like Vogue is another good way to see what’s in style. I often take photos of certain aspects of a design that I like and keep it for inspiration for my next race outfit.

My favourite stores to browse for Racing Fashion outfits are ASOS, Net-a-Porter, The Outnet, Polyvore, Asilio, Alice McCall, Thurley, Elliatt, Keepsake the Label and Toni Maticevski to name a few. I usually shop for items that are a bit different and have an interesting shape, print or colour. I shop everywhere and always keep an eye out for things that catch my attention be it a belt, shoe, necklace, clutch … all it takes is an idea to get you started. If I really like something but find it doesn’t really work with the outfit I have in mind, sometimes I will still buy it as I often find a way to incorporate it into a future outfit design. The past two years I have gotten a lot of my outfits custom made. I will sketch an idea and source some fabric and have it made.

This is a tough question and I would honestly have to say there isn’t just one milliner who is my favourite. Every milliner has pieces I love and want to own. Every piece they create is a one-off and each milliner’s unique style can be seen in their work. The milliner I have worked with the most is Belinda from Peacock Millinery as I LOVE her creativity and amazing feather work. For someone starting out you can check out @millinerymarket Instagram page as I share many different milliner’s work and you can get a feel for whose style you like.

My favourite part of race day is definitely the people watching and looking at everyone’s outfit ensembles. Having made a lot of my own outfits, I can appreciate the effort that has gone into outfits that have cleverly coordinated accessories, attention to detail and original designs that make the women stand out. I get so caught up in the event that I sometimes don’t even see a horse race. I’m all about the fashion and being able to catch up with friends and other Fashions on the Field enthusiasts.

The best prize I’ve won so far was flights to China for my mum and I. We went sight seeing and saw The Great Wall, Terracotta Army, Forbidden City, Summer Palace and Tiananmen Square. It was a fabulous trip, I don’t think we would have ever visited there if we hadn’t won flights.

I would recommend going to a couple of events first to see what the entrants wear. There’s nothing worse than turning up to your first competition and not being aware of general FOTF rules such as no midriff, no short hem lines, no uncovered shoulders or plunging necklines and that millinery is a must. I think another good tip is to stick to your own personal style. Wear something you feel comfortable in and that represents you. There’s no point wearing a bright mustard pencil dress if you hate that colour and it doesn’t suit your figure just because it’s ‘in fashion’.
spring carnival fashion style trends

2018 Racing Fashion Trends Report

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