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.
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 15 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…
2018 Winner: Carle Rutledge from Victoria. Wearing the on-trend brand Roksanda and self made millinery.
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.
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 geometric top.
The stunning Courtney, 23, from Geelong took out the South Australian title in March. This is her fourth year entering Fashions on the Field.
She wore a white and navy Alice McCall geometric top with cap sleeves, featuring cut outs and a navy blue midi length mullet hem skirt from Ellery.
Courtney’s talented mum, Irene Moore, who took up millinery just 4 years prior, created her hand wired and hand beaded headpiece which complemented her outfit perfectly.
She accessorised her look with white half palm gloves, navy clutch from Myer and navy closed toe heels from Asos. An absolute favourite of mine from the moment I saw it!
Click here to read Courtney’s interview and find out where she got inspiration for her outfit.
2015 Winner: Emily Hunter from Victoria, 28. Wearing a dress designed and made by her mum.
Last year, 2015, we had the lovely Emily Hunter wearing a navy jacquard dress lined with pink satin that her very talented mother made (and completed the night before Cup Day).
She had won the Melbourne Cup Fashions on the Field competition just two days before and went on to win the National Finals against the other 6 state finalists.
Her millinery was a pink, yellow and navy leather and lace ensemble made by Lisa Schaefer.
Emily wanted a simple dress to compliment her fab millinery and sought inspiration from Pinterest after not being able to find anything she liked in stores.
Second and third place winners wore the brand of the season, Self Portrait, stocked by Myer.
Click here to read Emily’s interview and learn about her life on and off the track.
2014 Winner: Brodie Worrell from Victoria, 21. Wearing a Toni Maticevski Dress stocked at Myer.
Brodie was a vision in white taking out first place on Derby Day in a Toni Maticevski dress, which she purchased just days before the competition.
The “it” dress of the carnival was also donned by two other contestants on Derby Day and was worn by the Millinery award winner. This is the first time a