The prestigious Fashions on the Field competition was first introduced in 1962 as a way of getting more women to attend the races.

Hopeful entrants were enticed by a generous prize pool of 7,000 pounds and could enter in two categories; outfits under 30 pounds and outfits over 50 pounds.

Back then, the winner’s main prize was usually a return trip for two to the UK. By sea.

1962 inaugural Fashions On The Field

Margaret Gaudion, winner of the inaugural 1962 Fashions On The Field. Picture: Cameron Laird. Source: MelbourneHub.

57 events later, the first prize alone is a whopping $100,000 worth of goods. A shiny new Lexus is the main attraction.

MYER came on board in 1983 as the major sponsor and in 2004, the introduction of the Myer State FOTF competitions brought excitement to the whole nation.

Each state held a competition for a fashionable filly to go on and represent them at the Spring Carnival at Flemington racecourse on Crown Oaks Day.

Let’s take a look at the past 17 Melbourne Cup National Winners!

And see if wearing a label from the major sponsor MYER helps secure a win, or do home made outfits reign supreme?

Let’s find out…

2020 Winner: Christine Spielmann from Darwin, NT. Wearing a self made purple linen pant suit and wide brim hat by Peacock Millinery.

Christine Spielman 2020 Myer FOTF National Winner

Image Credit: Christine Spielmann

The 2020 National Winner was Christine Spielmann. In a world of firsts- 2020 being the very first time the National FOTF competition has been held via a fully virtual format, the first time the NT was included in the National Competition, and the first time a pantsuit has won the National Title!!

The very talented Christine made her own purple linen wide leg pants, button front top and brown leather belt. She enlisted the help of famous Darwin milliner, Peacock Millinery to create her wide brim hat with singular pheasant feather.

Christine was the NT representative who went on to win the National Virtual Title.

2019 Winner: Carena West from New Zealand. Wearing a remodelled traditional Uzbek Suzani dress and Claire Hahn Millinery.

Embed from Getty Images

The 2019 National Win was taken out by our international FOTF loving neighbour, Carena West from Auckland, New Zealand.

Carena found a traditional Uzbek Suzani dress online. A suzani is a type of needlework to create embroidered and decorative tribal textiles made in Uzbekistan. She cleverly remodelled the dress by draping it on her mannequin to get the desired look and silhouette.

She worked with Claire Hahn Millinery to create an Audrey Hepburn inspired rear facing green hat with floating feathers- a very on trend shape!
Carena finished her look with a green top handle bag and clear heels.

After winning the Melbourne Cup Day sash, Carena went on to be the Victorian representative, thus winning the National Title on Oaks Day.
Click here to read Carena’s interview and learn about her life both on and away from the track.

2018 Winner: Carle Rutledge from Victoria. Wearing the on-trend brand Roksanda and self made millinery.

myer fashions on the field winner 2018 carle

Image credit: flemington.com.au

The 2018 National Winner was the lovely Carle Rutledge, in a maroon, navy and yellow Roksanda dress from Myer. Carle made her own millinery, a boater with an interesting brim feature and flower embellishments.

Carle accessorised her look with yellow suede pumps from MNG, gloves from Best Dressed Accessories, clutch from Bag Queen, jewellery from Mimco and finished the look with a yellow belt she sprayed herself.

Carle won the QLD State Title in October, that was held for the very first time via the new format, a digital competition.

Click here to read Carle’s interview and learn about her life both on and away from the track.

2017 Winner: Crystal Kimber from Victoria, 28. Wearing her grandmother’s skirt, recreated into a dress by her mum.

2017 fashions on the field national winner

Image credit: Myer Blog

Crystal Kimber, an entrant whose style is always impeccable and who I love to follow, has finally taken out the National Title.

Crystal has competed in FOTF since she was 16. She and her talented seamstress mum, Gail, have fun creating race day looks together.

Crystal took out the NSW State Final in October held at the Coogee Pavilion. This year she decided it was time to pull out her Grandma’s multicolour floral raffia embellished skirt that was handed down to her, to recreate into a shift dress with asymmetrical pink and blue straps.

Her very on trend millinery, a pink sinamay turban, was made by a friend and Crystal embellished it with hand made raffia flowers.

She completed her look with pink, green and gold jewelled earrings and a pink ring bag from Bag Queen Karen.

Click here to read Crystal’s interview and the story behind her national winning outfit.

2016 Winner: Courtney Moore from Victoria, 23. Wearing an Alice McCall geo