2020. Wow. What a strange one! It will forever be remembered as the year we saw a pandemic sweep through the entire world, shutting down businesses and borders, hibernating humans, creating toilet paper aisle chaos, and cancelling our much-loved and anticipated racing events.

One by one came the announcements of canceled race days across the country, across the world, leaving race wear fanatics in horror at the realization- no Fashions on the Field competitions!

This meant no where to wear those outfits we’d spent so much time and money on, dressmakers had their orders cancelled, milliners suffered an immediate halt on sales and small boutiques had to close or move online.

The chatter in the racing fashion community started to grow louder and it was hard to ignore. Something had to be done to keep our spirits up and our community thriving.

It didn’t take long at all before Viera Macikova from Get Racy started posting about hosting a Virtual FOTF competition on her Facebook Page.

At the same time Bethany Braj from ‘Best Dressed Access’ contacted Em Scodellaro from ‘It’s All About the Sash’ and myself to organise a virtual FOTF competition. Hooray! It felt like we were back in action.

I actually had already organized a few virtual FOTF competitions in my Facebook Group ‘The Field Fashion Community’ three years ago. The thought had crossed my mind to do another one, but knowing the amount of work involved (and it’s A LOT of work for just one person) the thought stayed as just that……a passing thought.

Who remembers these?

When Bethy reached out to me to get involved and run the event together, I was more than happy! Em mentioned that Viera had already voiced her idea to do a Virtual event and Bethy got in contact with her.

A team of racing enthusiasts coming together to create an EPIC Virtual FOTF competition was thrilling and bound to be something really special.

A group chat began with Viera, Bethy, Em, Angela (from On Track on Trend) and I to discuss ideas and get the ball rolling. We decided Viera, Bethy and I would run the event with Em and Angela helping to promote it across their social media channels.

Getting Started

The competition came together in a matter of days and we quickly settled on the title, ‘Virtual FOTF’. Bethy’s husband created the website. We discussed how the competition would be run, how it would be judged and the timeframe. Viera wrote the competition rules and guidelines and we were off and running!

As predicted, there was A LOT to do. Luckily for us, Viera has a background as a project manager and we had a clear direction of what needed to be done and when.

The competition was set to run over five weeks with four weekly rounds and then a Supreme Winner chosen from the four weekly winners.

We got an Instagram account and Facebook Page soon after. It was all coming together but of course there was one thing missing. No FOTF competition is complete without some fun prizes!!

Over $16,000 in Prizes

We each posted a call out call for sponsors and donations.

We were blown away as the offers just kept rolling in!! Vouchers for millinery, dressmakers, cash prizes, style sessions, jewellery prize packs, race day tickets, magazine subscriptions, fashion illustrations, high tea vouchers, amazing skin care packages, fashion books, TAB vouchers and more!

We received over $16,000 in prizes!!!

To see the full list of prizes click here 

Originally, we were just going to have a prize for the weekly winner of each round, but due to the generosity of interested sponsors, we had enough going around to offer first, second and third each week. Plus, the Supreme Winner prize!

The Ultimate Judging Panel

A super fun part of this competition was choosing our judging panel. We wanted industry experts, ladies and men who had extensive knowledge on racing fashion, but who also had a mix of styles and interpretation. Milliners, stylists, photographers, bloggers, past national and state winners made up our esteemed judging panels.

We needed five rounds of judges. There were three womenswear rounds, one menswear round and a Supreme panel. Recognise some of these people?

The Round One judging panel included Kash O’Hara, Peter Bell, Millicent Van Der Velde and Claire Hahn.