The National Myer FOTF Competition is the Golden Globes of the racing world. And I daydream about winning it. A lot.
It’s not just because I drive around in a beat up old Toyota and would much prefer to be zooming around in a shiny, black Lexus iSport (although I can picture that quite easily).
It’s because, for us race enthusiasts, it’s the big time, the real deal.
Once you win one of these, you are racing royalty.
Imagine being that one person. The one, whose style was immaculate, a combination of uniqueness and pizazz, style and glamour. Of the thousands of entrants, you are the winner. You go down in racing history and your outfit showcased in a museum- so fancy!
And what a fantastic story to tell your children! Or in my case, my friends’ children, because I’m having dogs instead.
So after a few ladies in the Field Fashion Community Facebook Group voiced their interest in hearing about the lives of our national winners, I thought it would be a fun idea to profile our last three winners.
Courtney Moore 2016, Emily Hunter 2015 and Brodie Worrell 2014 are the past three national winners. This week I’m interviewing Courtney, and over the next few months we’ll also be hearing from Emily and Brodie!
They will be familiar faces for most of you, as they have judged numerous competitions around the country. Courtney was kind enough to share her story with us today.
Courtney Moore| National Winner 2016
Fashion Related Questions
How long have you been entering FOTF? Number of events per year?
I have been entering for 4 years now, into my 5th year. I was roughly entering 3 a year but mainly jumped straight into the Myer FOTF competitions with a few country cups in there!
Describe your winning outfit and where you got the idea/inspiration?
First of all, I came across the beautiful Alice McCall top featuring boned cap sleeves with different shapes, and cut outs and thought instantly I had to create something amazing with this.
I didn’t have any inspiration on this outfit to be honest; I found the top and then started from there. The high waisted Ellery skirt was found online and it was seriously the most perfect match. I loved the panels on the skirt and the way it flowed. When I received the skirt, it wasn’t high waisted so I went to my seamstress who adjusted it to be high waisted and I took the top in as well to make sure they both sat well together.
So originally this outfit would have had midriff showing, which obviously is not a FOTF attire but my mum sewed my top to my skirt for both Adelaide Cup and Oaks Day morning!!
However, the stand out of my outfit was definitely my 3D hand wired and jeweled headpiece by Moore Millinery Designs and talented mother. I am quite picky and particular with my millinery choices and always draw (terribly) my ideas.
It took a long time to decide on this headpiece, because I wanted to incorporate the shape of the top into the headpiece. Due to mum being part of calisthenics for 28 years she is amazing at working with wire and beading as she beaded all of our costumes and made all of our headwear!
I wanted something that stood out from the rest! After working together, designing, going back and forth it took mum a good 4 weeks to make this headpiece.
To complete the outfit, I accessorised with a blue bag from Myer and blue pointed silk shoes from ASOS.
What was it like winning the national final? Recreate the moment for us.
It is so hard to recreate the moment because when you are in it, it feels surreal. But I will try my best.
Winning Adelaide Cup first of all was an amazing moment! The races have become a family tradition for us especially Adelaide Cup as Shandell (eldest sister) has lived there for 10 years now.
When I won, I was in shock… I honestly couldn’t believe it!
I was then in a predicament as I already had a 2-month placement in Adelaide for my Prosthetics and Orthotics course during the time of Melbourne Cup.
Luckily I allowed the week off, however I did have to fly back and forth during the 10-day experience to complete some work (it was all worth it).
The experience itself during the Melbourne Cup Carnival will be one to remember. We felt like royals attending all of the race days, Governor’s House, the Melbourne Cup Parade and Oaks Day Luncheon. I had formed such a lovely friendship will all of the girls there and when we were standing backstage before heading onto the stage to announce the place getters we all had a group hug and just said we have all won!
We made friendships that I know will last a lifetime, we made memories and had the most unbelievable time!I had my family come watch and my partner and his family (surprise to me) so it was such a fun filled day.
I was soooo nervous standing up on the stage. To be honest I was nervous all day, luckily I had Andrea (twin sister) there to calm me down.
When it came down to announcing the winner and my number was called out I couldn’t feel my legs or couldn’t even tell you how I felt. I think I just started shaking and crying! It topped off the best week of my life! And then giving Jennifer Hawkins a kiss on the cheek, receiving the keys to my brand new Lexus, and hugging all of the girls, it was just a moment to remember. The best part was mum giving me an amazing hug on stage, and my dad and sister and partner… EVERYONE. Knowing how hard everyone works to get an outfit together and to be prized this prestigious award is honestly a great achievement. My partner has given me a frame with both my Adelaide winning sash and my National winning sash with photos of my outfit that is up on my wall in my bedroom 🙂
Has your life changed in any way since taking out the winning sash?
Victorian Racing Club and Myer have been amazing since I have won. I have been given the amazing opportunity to judge FOTF race days including Magic Millions, Tasmania and Adelaide Cup. However, it is hard being on the other side and judging!! You know first hand how much effort goes into putting an outfit together, hours planning, drawing and trips to different fabric stores or clothing stores, so you never want to disappoint!
I have also been contacted lots of times helping women get their outfits together and giving opinions on certain clothing choices or what will go with what, so that has been heaps of fun having a small input into people’s outfits! I love to help others, and love that people want my help!
What do you like most about FOTF? Will you continue to enter FOTF competitions?
I love the day you put your outfit together with hair and make up done and you fall in love. I wear what I want to wear, what I think goes well and what I feel comfortable in. But most of all, it is the friendships made in FOTF, the women you catch up with at race days, the chats, the bubbles and just smiling from ear to ear all day.
I will continue to enter FOTF because I love it. I am taking some time off and going to enjoy the other side of it. But I will be back entering because it’s my hobby now and it’s my passion to design and put together outfits.
I have won the most prestigious prize (to me) and nothing will ever top that, but I love going to race days and chatting to my friends, getting together and having a fun family day.
Who are your favourite milliners and racewear brands/stores?
There are so many amazing talented milliners out there, all amazing in their own way so it is hard to say who my favourites are. However, my favourite is definitely Moore Millinery Designs, we work together for every outfit I do and I appreciate all of the hard work and dedication mum puts into her work.
Other favourite milliners that inspire me include Louise McDonald, Jill Humphries, Viktoria Novak (I LOVE her crystal work and the beading involved), Katherine Cherry and Lady of Leisure.
Racewear stores and brands I use are definitely Myer; such a large array of styles, Delpozo, Dolce & Gabbana, and definitely ASOS.
My favourite Instagram feed that I gain majority of my inspiration from is Moda Operandi… Look them up if you don’t already have them, your life will change!!
What advice would you give to other race goers (myself included!) who dream of one day becoming the national winner?
Like myself we all dream of becoming the National Winner or be up there amongst the State Winners, in my opinion you shouldn’t concentrate on winning. Concentrate on your outfit, on wearing what you feel comfortable in, what makes your body shape pop, what colour suits you and going out of the box a little to give your outfit that edge. Never wear an outfit you think the judges may like… you won’t win and you will be disappointed!!
I love seeing entrants in outfits that you know took days to create and seeing how confident they look wearing it; you’re a winner already!
Another pointer is to accessorize. Your outfit isn’t complete without matching shoes, handbag and jewellery (if it is needed), but the shoes and bag are a must. Also hair and make up. Hairstyles compliment your look and millinery.
Which leads to my last pointer… Have a stand out piece of millinery. The millinery completes an outfit, it gives your outfit the look you want, the genre and the style you are going for, so always make time to search for good millinery and milliners 🙂
Away from the Track
Where do you currently live? What do you like most about the city/town?
I live in Geelong, Victoria. Geelong is a country town an hour from Melbourne and I have lived there my whole life. I love Geelong because it is so close to the surf coast and some amazing beaches. I love the cafes and the people in Geelong, everyone is nice to one another and we support small and big businesses in Geelong.
Where do you work? Why did you choose that profession?
I am still looking for a job in my profession as a Prosthetist/ Orthotist. My job is very specialized and there are not many jobs going in Victoria, they are mainly interstate as the course is only offered in Melbourne. My role includes assessing, casting, modifying and fabricating artificial limbs (prostheses) for people with amputations and supportive devices (orthoses) for people with musculoskeletal weakness or neurological disorders. There is no better feeling than when you see a clients face after they receive their leg or arm after going through an amputation or suffering from a neurological disorder. It is a very rewarding career!
What accomplishments are you most proud of?
I have a few accomplishments that I am proud of in my lifetime so far. I have completed my Masters in Prosthetics and Orthotics after 5 years of study. I have competed in the Victorian Calisthenics Team on 3 separate occasions and won the Nationals once and came runners up twice. I was involved with calisthenics for 19 years, competing in a championship team in Melbourne. My team Ceres, won the State Titles and Ballarat competition several times and I have won the state titles in my solo performance also which are all achievements when you put so many hours in a week of practice and for it to pay off, it’s such a great feeling.
What do you like doing in your spare time?
I love catching up with my friends, going out for brunch and shopping! Otherwise after a busy day/week/month there is nothing better than relaxing on the couch in my dressing gown and watching a movie!
What’s the most interesting thing about you that we wouldn’t learn from your FB profile?
I am dog obsessed. I love my dogs and any dog or animal for that matter. I definitely feel more relaxed and happy when I see my dogs, they are so kind natured and lovable.
If you could only keep five possessions, what would they be?
This is a hard question! I would say my dogs, dressing gown, toothbrush, mobile phone and pillow.
What was the last picture you took with your phone?
The last picture I took on my phone is a photo of my dog (surprising!). I have a king Charles cavalier and my partner has a golden retriever, so I feel loved all of the time with those two!
Do you have a sweet tooth or a savory tooth? Favourite desert?
I am definitely a sweet tooth. I had a piece of chocolate before my breakfast this morning!! I never give chocolate as a gift to anyone in my family because I will eat it before any one gets a chance. My favourite desert is obviously a brownie!!
What is the weirdest scar you have and how did you get it?
I have a scar on my chin after I split my chin open when I was roughly 6. I was on a see saw with Andrea at a caravan park that we holidayed at for 20 years that had no handles and my sister was being the pivot. Bronwyn jumped off the centre and my chin connected heavily to the see saw when my side plummeted onto the ground causing me to tear open my chin which has left me with a great scar!
Do you read any blogs or magazines or listen to any podcasts?
I don’t really read blogs, magazines or podcasts. When I was at Uni I was always studying so I was reading anatomy books and journal articles. My reading now is about animal anatomy as I want to become an animal prosthetist/orthotist.
If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why?
I would love to go to Switzerland! I am a nature lover and love going on walks. I would love to explore the beautiful scenery, the snowy mountains and being cozied up next to the fire with an amazing view. I am off to Canada at the end of May so I feel that Canada will be very similar to Switzerland!
I hope you enjoyed hearing about Courtney’s story, both on and off the track. Keep an eye out for the future interview with Emily Hunter and Brodie Worrell.
Will you be attending Spring Carnival this year? Come talk fashion and meet our 1200+ members in the Field Fashion Community Facebook Group and join our annual in-person meet-up in Melbourne at this year’s Spring Carnival!
Leave a Comment...
Spring Trends Report
The 2018 Spring / Summer Racing Fashion Trends Report. A 39 page comprehensive guide to what's trending this race season. Plus, you'll receive exclusive weekly fashion tips to help you stand out at your next race event.