Spring Carnival. What a fantastic week it was!

The weather wasn’t so kind this year and true to Melbourne’s reputation, we really did battle four seasons in one day.

Still, the rain didn’t stop hundreds of immaculately dressed FOTF hopefuls from turning up to compete for the elusive crown and being named the Myer FOTF National Winner. You can see what our past 12 National winners wore here.

While waiting backstage after the prelims, I managed to sneak a few snaps of some of my favourite outfits from Crown Oaks Day. There were so many stunning entrants, but time was limited. And I had bubbles to drink.

As a budding designer, I always find it fascinating to hear how an outfit has come together and what designers’ people are wearing.

It takes weeks, even months, of careful planning and endless searching for the perfect accessories to compliment your look. I know the effort that goes into these outfits and I love the background stories.

Here are some familiar faces and wow outfits that I personally loved.

1. Em Scodellaro

Em never disappoints. This year was no exception and she looked fabulous wearing a soft pink dress with perfectly matched heels, pastels being a favourite of mine this season.

I love the delicate lace upper panelling covering the shoulders with a draped full sleeve. Her cream boater and mesh veiling is also very current.

I love seeing the different trends Em incorporates into her outfits. She told me about one of her outfits and how she had laminated cardboard to give the look of laser cut leather. So innovative.

She also told me how she had attended 6 race events in the last 9 days! I thought I was exhausted after 3! Now, that’s dedication.

Oaks Day 2015

  • Outift: Craig Braybrook Couture.
  • Millinery: Jack & Jill Millinery (2014 Myer Millinery Award)
  • Accessories: Clutch- Olga Berg, Shoes- Missguided, Earrings- Lovisa, Gloves- vintage
  • Inspiration: Ladylike Elegance (which I might say Em nailed!)
  • Preparation time: 7 Months in which there were 4 fittings.

2. Kelli Odell

I first met Kelli in 2013, when she was a state finalist for NSW. She wore a beautiful brightly coloured floral dress, complimented with pink millinery and Perspex pieces. She was a picture-perfect example of contemporary racing fashion. I was impressed.

This year’s outfit did it again. White on white with a pop of colour. A hint of skin (a must have this Spring Carnival).

And a variety of textures, which is important if you’re wearing predominately one colour. Veiling on the headpiece.

Oaks Day 2015

  • Outfit: Anthony Capon- Last year’s winner of the Myer Design Award
  • Millinery: The Hatmaker
  • Accessories: Shoes- Valentino, Cuff & earrings- Mimco.
  • Inspiration: Romantic/ feminine
  • Preparation time: 2 weeks prior to the cup

3. Crystal Kimber

Crystal is one of my favourite entrants to watch in FOTF. She’s always on trend and has exciting millinery.

Did anyone see that amazing orchid headpiece? Her mother sews a lot of her garments and you know she’ll be wearing something special.

She takes things to the next level, not only with her outfits, but her stage presence. This girl can walk and pose like it’s nobody’s business! Watch and learn!

Oaks Day 2015

  • Outift: Made by Crystal’s mum, designed by Crystal.
  • Millinery: Rebecca Share with added Perspex shards from a Hatmaker piece previously owned.
  • Accessories: Shoes- Chinese Laundry, Bag- Olga Berg, Earrings- Lovisa
  • Inspiration: Dior and Dolce and Gabbanna.
  • Preparation time: 1 month ago- Self Portrait dress for the top half arrived days before.

4. Deeanna McIntyre

One of my besties, who also loves the races! There is always plenty of frantic fun leading up to Spring Carnival, with hurried phone calls from change rooms and shared opinions on skirts and dresses and shoes. Everything.

I love seeing how perfectly Dee’s outfits come together, especially having gone through the thrill of the outfit chase with her weeks prior to the events.

I especially loved this navy and black ensemble with a pop of bright coral in her millinery. Turned out to be a weather-winner too, very appropriate as the rain poured and the cold wind blustered on in!

Oaks Day 2015

  • Outift: Carla Zampatti Skirt with a Side Show lace top over a Review top.
  • Millinery: Cynthia Jones Bryson who happened to win this year’s Myer Millinery award. (It was purchased from this very helpful Facebook group).
  • Accessories: Bag- Olga Berg (seems to be the bag brand of the season), Gloves- UK online, Shoes- ASOS, Ring- Colette, Earrings- Lovisa.
  • Inspiration: I found the navy skirt first, which I loved and she built on it from that.
  • Preparation time: 3 weeks of nonstop window shopping.

5. Elis Ng Crewes

Keep an eye out for Elis. She’s always wearing something totally unique and true to her style.

She loves bright, bold colours and prints and is really eye catching on stage. There are some fabulous background stories behind her outfits. She puts so much preparation and work into each one of them, they all deserve their own blog!

And I have to share something she said to describe this year’s entry, “Three different continents joined together, one purpose; to show the world what Melbourne Cup fashion is about.”

Oaks Day 2015

  • Outfit: Made by Italian designer Angela Facchini- was sent from Italy.
  • All planning and everything had to be done via Skype.
  • Millinery: Luke Song- we called it “the spider”. It was sent from United States Millinery.
  • Accessories: Bag- Olga Berg, Shoes- Alannah Hill, Pearl Earrings- Christian Dior
  • Inspiration: To look on trend, fresh and chic.
  • Preparation time: Start of this year.

6. Christine Spielmann

I first met Chrissie last year when she beat me and became the Melbourne Cup winner 2014! She looked amazing and totally deserved the win.

This year she didn’t compete on Oaks Day, instead she modelled in the Myer Millinery Competition wearing a hat by the same milliner who made the hat to match her winning outfit last year- Joanna Roberts.

The use of metal in millinery really creates an interesting clean cut shape. Paired with Chrissie’s finesse and stage presence, it was a real head-turner.