With the Myer National Fashions on the Field competition just around the corner and the excitement with the first of the State Finals taking place, I am so thrilled to be sharing this interview with the lovely Carle Rutledge who was sashed the 2018 winner.

I love Carle’s impeccable style and quirky styling. She is no stranger to a sash on the FOTF circuit and is a beautiful lady inside and out!

I really enjoyed learning about Carle’s life on and away from the track, including what it was like to be named the National Winner, her advice to other hopefuls, trend predictions and the life she leads away from the track.

Carle Rutledge | National Winner 2018

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Fashion Related Questions

How long have you been entering FOTF? Number of events per year?

I’ve always enjoyed going to the horse races and loved shoes and hats. However, I only started to show more interest in the fashions side in the last 4 years when I also started to play around with making my own millinery.

I always love Flemington’s Spring Carnival and try to go to every day if I can – the week has such a great vibe of celebration. Regarding events through the year, I might do one Sydney, one Brisbane and try to do a country race meet if I can. I find it’s a great way to encourage my creative side, practise my millinery and enjoy catching up with friends.

Describe your National winning outfit and where you got the idea/inspiration?

My winning race day ensemble was a Burgundy, navy, yellow and white silk Roksanda dress featuring feathered mohair detailing. Canary yellow leather gloves, bag, belt and shoes provided a great accessories pop and I completed the look with my own millinery – a white straw boater style hat with sculptured brim and acrylic flowers, hand painted flowers.

Image credit: www.fotf.com.au

To be honest I started with the dress – I saw it in the Roksanda store in London while overseas earlier last year but was too expensive to justify!  Then in September, I stumbled over it while returning something else back to Myer Melbourne at a fraction of the price as part of a designer sale- thought it was meant to be! I didn’t think of it initially for race wear but loved it so much, it had a unique colour and fabric combination. I made the hat to match. I originally started with yellow straw but changed it out for white. I loved this outfit – I had no idea it was a winner.

What was it like winning the national final? Recreate the moment for us.

It was a dream come true! Still can’t believe it – pinch myself! It was such an incredible journey with firstly being announced as the state finalist for QLD, the roller coaster of amazing opportunities in the week leading up to the final, and then to be announced as the National Winner for Myer Fashions on the Field was the most unbelievable moment. I honestly was in such shock, I didn’t believe they had called my name. I was, and am still so grateful. Small town country girl winning such a prestigious honour, it really is so very special and emotional for me.

Has your life changed in any way since taking out the winning sash?

I have had some incredible opportunities with VRC this year so far. They flew me over to NZ to be part of the judging panel for the Ellerslie Derby Day fashions and I also featured on NZ radio and television. I had never been to NZ so it was such a privilege and heaps of fun.

What do you like most about FOTF? Will you continue to enter FOTF competitions?

Racing fashion provides that creative outlet where you dress up elegantly, wear hats and/or gloves and put your personal flair to it. You meet so many amazing people at the same time who are all very supportive and encouraging, we have a laugh and a glass of bubbles – what better way to spend a day. I’ll definitely continue to participate.