Doing your research for the 2016 Myer Fashions on the Field events? Well, we've got all you need to know about 2015's competitions right here... STATE FINAL 1: QueenslandEvent date: Saturday, January 10.State finalist: Previous state winner and Brisbane local Lauren Walker once again stole the sash in a hotly contested competition at the Magic Millions Carnival on the Gold Coast.Outfit details: Lauren wore a multicoloured kaleidoscope print neoprene dress by Clover Canyon, a vibrant feathered and veiled headpiece made by her mum, Desley Walker, cropped black leather gloves, fuchsia strappy sandals and a matching clutch by Lulu and Lipstick.Prizes: The incredibly long list of prizes includes a 10-night trip to the Melbourne Cup Carnival and automatic entry into the women's national FOTF final on Oaks Day (of course), $2,500 to spend at Myer, a 2-night luxury getaway at the Marriott, a Calleija diamond necklace valued at over $17k, an Antler luggage pack and a methuselah (that's 6L!) of Moët & Chandon.Runners-up: Emily Dibden in a modern floral print sheath with apricot sandals, perspex clutch and pastel flower headpiece, and Jessica Thei in a raspberry and nude Three Floor dress, black pumps and clutch, and a sweeping raspberry straw disc hat.National final placing: QLD remains unplaced since the shift to the Magic Millions carnival, proving once again it's hard to plan a relevant Spring Carnival outfit that far in advance.STATE FINAL 2: TasmaniaEvent date: Monday, February 9.State finalist: In a first for the state, an actual Tasmanian took the title with Bernadette House prevailing at the Hobart Cup meeting. Bernadette is no stranger to Fashions on the Field competitions, having virtually cleaned up at every major event around the state (Launceston Cup, Devonport Cup - twice - and now Hobart Cup).Outfit details: In what might be the biggest bargain and rarest find in FOTF history (big call, but...), Bernadette's neutral-hued polkadot dress comes from Noni B (gasp!) and was previously worn to victory at the Launceston Cup, where she scored a trip for two to Paris. Her sculptural millinery was created by local Tasmanian milliner Susan McArthur, and she completed her look with metallic-toed tan pumps, a tan clutch and cream gloves.Prizes: The total prize pool was worth over $13k, including that all-important trip to the Melbourne Cup Carnival to represent Tasmania in the national final.Runners-up: In stark contrast to the winner, both runners-up wore brightly-coloured looks. First runner-up Maddelyn Veronese sported a bold blue and white flower print dress with matching royal blue shoes and headpiece, while second runner-up Brooke Walter wore a fuchsia, black and white ensemble comprising a fluted sleeve blouse, abstract floral print skirt and a headpiece which encompassed her full colour palette.National final placing: Despite Bernadette's vintage-style outfit setting her apart from the other more modernly-dressed finalists, she was unplaced in the final.NZ SEMI-FINAL: EllerslieEvent date: Saturday, February 28.Semi-finalist: As New Zealand is still yet to be inducted into the (inter)national Myer Fashions on the Field final (something we'd like to see rectified), the supreme winner of the Viva Prix de Fashion event at Auckland Derby Day receives a direct entry into the Melbourne Cup Day preliminary final. We thought it was worth mentioning this winner in our list, as the victor is no stranger to the Flemington competition - Charlotte Moor, who was the Oaks Day daily finalist last year and placed first runner-up in the Victorian state final, behind overall winner Brodie Worrell.You may also remember Olivia, Charlotte's younger sister, winning the same Ellerslie event last year and securing a place in the top 40 on Victoria Derby Day. She also lost out on being the daily finalist to Brodie Worrell - by one single vote - that day, but this year there's no Brodie to stop the sisters progressing through the competition. Watch out.Outfit details: Dressed in traditional Derby Day black-and-white, Charlotte shone in a 50s-style pleated skirt by Myer designer Arthur Galan, a fitted black and white top and sculptural headpiece made by her mother, black and clear PVC stilettoes, vintage gloves and a fan-shaped clutch by Kate Spade.Prizes: Valued at over $30k, the hefty prize pool includes a three-month lease on a BMW convertible, two bespoke millinery pieces, and a four-night trip to the Melbourne Cup Carnival with automatic entry into the top 40 on Melbourne Cup Day Myer Fashions on the Field.Runners-up: There were no runners-up in this competition, but Charlotte was chosen from a shortlist of five finalists, with Julie Barbour, Eleanor Campbell, Emma Stroud and Alisha Maxwell rounding out the list. All wore classic monochrome, except Emma Stroud, who opted for a bright, geometric painted dress and matching colourful headpiece.Daily final placing: In a remarkable turn of events, Charlotte placed second in the daily finals on both Melbourne Cup and Derby Days (in different outfits to the one shown here). Surely it's only a matter of time before one of the Moor sisters breaks through for a win in the Victorian final?STATE FINAL 3: South AustraliaEvent date: Monday, March 9.State finalist: Gabriellea De Ieso had a major case of beginner's luck, taking the coveted Fashions on the Field crown as a first-time entrant in a particularly strong field at the Adelaide Cup meeting. The Adelaide local wasn't event sure she was going to enter, having only put her outfit together the night before, and being convinced to enter on the day by her friend.Outfit details: There was no bypassing Gabriella's stunning, sheer panelled, navy lace dress by British-based Self Portrait (which Lisa's had her eye on for, like, months). She teamed it with a simple navy sinamay disc headpiece with a bountiful bronze bow (made by her clever mum the night before!), thin nude strappy sandals and a completely complementary white, navy and bronze clutch. Gabriella's make-up is also worthy of a mention - the soft, smoky eye with the bold plum lip is a big winner in our book and a nice way to acknowledge the shift into autumn.Prizes: Gabriella took home the majority of a $13k prize pool, including a $1000 to spend at Myer, $700 worth of Antler luggage and the all-important 10-night trip to the Melbourne Cup Carnival.Runners-up: In what looked to be a tight contest, Melissa Barnes and Jen Marsh came second and third respectively. Milliner Melissa wore a structured, 50s-style bright floral frock and gets extra props for her beautiful teardrop-shaped headpiece in matching hues which, just from looking at, we know took many, many hours to create. Meanwhile, Jen, who was the South Australian representative in 2013, proved green is not an unlucky colour to wear to the racecourse by wearing a vivid, retro-style print dress with a delicate white lace headpiece and gorgeous matching stilettoes.National final placing: Congratulations to newcomer Gabriella on her third placing in the national final. It's exactly how Angela started her Myer FOTF "career" and we all know how that ended... It was also fortunate for Gabriella that Myer happened to pick up Self Portrait just in time for spring, where it became the "it" brand of the Carnival.NORTHERN TERRITORY SEMI-FINAL: DarwinEvent date: Monday, August 3.Semi-finalist: This is the first year the Northern Territory has been included in the nation-wide hunt for the best-dressed lady in racing, and given there have been past winners (national in 2013, and daily in 2014) in the Flemington competition hailing from Darwin, the local showing was expected to be strong. Alas, it wasn't to be for a hometown hero, with Gold Coaster Lisa March taking home honours after securing the Over 40s category earlier on Darwin Cup day. Like the New Zealand representative, Lisa will make her Flemington entrance in the top 40 on Cup Day.Outfit details: Lisa wore a hot pink and white 50s-style floral dress with a nude kimono sleeve wrap jacket, nude clutch and pumps, hot pink leather gloves and a Dior-inspired hot pink feather coolie hat by Meredith McMaster. It is not known whether Lisa will be required to wear the same winning outfit at Flemington in November.Prizes: a $500 Casuarina Square voucher, $200 hospitality voucher for the Precinct and automatic entry into the preliminary finals of the Myer Fashions on the Field competition on Emirates Melbourne Cup Day including flights, accommodation and a Victoria Racing Club hospitality package.Runners-up: The inaugural Casuarina Square Carnival Fashions on the Field competition played out across the month-long Darwin Cup Carnival showcasing fashion on all eight Carnival race days for the first time. The finalists from the other competition days were Alana Brown (Day 1), Danielle Brown (Day 2), Brooke Prince (Day 3), Vivienne Blandy (Day 4), Jenny Mitchell (Day 5), Sally-Anne Ryan (Day 6), Natasha Kidd (Day 7), Jalaine Beard and Jordan Beard (other Day 8 finalists, winners of the Under 25s and Over 25s categories).Daily final placing: Unlike her NZ counterpart, Lisa wore the same outfit but unfortunately did not progress through to the daily final.STATE FINAL 4: New South WalesEvent date: Saturday, October 10. State finalist: In what must be the fashion story of the Carnival, Whitney Berry triumphed over her best friend, Chantelle Buckley, in a dress borrowed from Chantelle. A first-time entrant in the competition (but not to the races), no one can begrudge Whitney of her beginner's luck: she lost her champion jockey husband Nathan unexpectedly to a rare form of epilepsy after only two months of marriage in 2014.Outfit details: Self Portrait reigned supreme at this state final, with all three winners wearing dresses from the brand, which is sold by Myer. Whitney wore a burgundy lace dress with black detailing, a black and tan leather headpiece by Meka Millinery, nude pumps and a clutch she picked up in Mykonos.Prizes: Whitney took home an enormous prize pool, including shopping vouchers to spend at Myer, Antler luggage, Moët & Chandon and the all-important 10-night trip to the Melbourne Cup Carnival.Runners-up: Whitney's best friend, Chantelle Buckley was named runner-up, while Regina Thei placed second runner-up. All three winners wore distinctive Self Portrait dresses.National final placing: Cementing Self Portrait's status as the go-to label for racewear, Whitney placed second in the national final.STATE FINAL 5: Western AustraliaEvent date: Saturday, October 17. State finalist: Long-time FOTF entrant Mildred Elwood took honours in Perth, in a final won completely by interstate residents. Mildred spends most of her days on mine sites and can usually be found in steel-cap boots and high-vis vests rather than dainty stilettoes and elegant hats.Outfit details: Mildred shone in a digital print Peter Pilotto dress (also a brand stocked by Myer), Christian Louboutin pumps and a wide-brimmed sunshine yellow hat trimmed with a quirky skull motif.Prizes: Mildred took home a prize pool including shopping vouchers to spend at Myer, Antler luggage and the all-important 10-night trip to the Melbourne Cup Carnival.Runners-up: Last year's Melbourne Cup Day winner, Christine Spielmann, came runner-up in a self-made outfit, while NSW runner-up dropped a place to third in yet another Self Portrait dress.National final placing: Sadly Mildred's bold and punchy outfit didn't impress the judges enough to place.
During the Melbourne Cup Carnival at Flemington, we uploaded images from Myer Fashions on the Field to our Instagram and Facebook pages, giving a live commentary of the event. These are some of the images we took of contestants, judges and celebrities from the Womens's Racewear competition on Derby Day.
Last Sunday I attended the Ballarat Cup, getting one last spring carnival fashion fix in before the season was over. It certainly didn't feel like spring though, with temperatures dipping into territory that would be acceptable in the middle of winter and smatterings of rain throughout the afternoon. Thankfully though the dicey weather didn't deter patrons from heading to the Ballarat Cup and putting on their best outfits for Myer Fashions on the Field.The competition was held at the back of the course, well and truly behind the grandstand and a little removed from the horses. It was clear that those gathered were there for one purpose only- to be watch or be involved in the fashions on the field competition. As the ladies and gents signed up at registration desk collecting numbers, it wasn't too long before the action began with the heats. During the heats numbers were read out and contestants quickly learned their fate and if they were to line up again for the finals. First up was the millinery award, with many ladies having made their own millinery for the day. Next to take their turn on the stage was the men, which I was told had less numbers than previous years. Never mind, the standard of the entrants was quite good with obvious effort and thought put into each outfit.Then it was over to the locals with the local lady of the day category. There was a large number of local ladies entered which was great to see. Last up on stage was the lady of the day heats, the most hotly contested category with the largest number of entrants. During the heats contestants quickly learnt their fate as the finalists were announced as contestants were on stage. After a short break for the races and a bit of rain from the sky the five judges (including Alex Hecker Country Racing Ambassador, Myer Ambassador Lauren Phillips and Alicia Thomas from The Courier) sat at their table and the finals began. The winner of the Myer Millinery Award was Elis Crewes, a regular fashions on the field competitor who always surprises me with her fresh, fashionable and interesting outfits. She was wearing a stunning piece of millinery by Mandy Murphy. The runner up was Brodie Worrell. Chic and on trend in black and white accessories paired with a green dress she was wearing Felicity Northeast Millinery.The winner of the Myer Man of the Day was Hunter Pool. He took a youthful and on trend approach to his racing look and wore a blazer and pant combination. He confessed to wearing an old school tie to take out his win. Runner up was Ben Carbonaro a regular at the races and FOTF enthusiast. He had a pop of spring in his outfit with a pale green tie and classic look with attention to detail.The winner of the Myer Local Lady of the Day was Louise McCartin in an ensemble she purchased in Ballarat with self made millinery. Runner up went to Robyn Titheridge in stunning cobalt blue.The final fashions sashes of the day went to Myer Lady of the Day Brodie Worrell. She was double sashed with a first and second for the day! Runner up went to the lovely Rikki-Lee Hull in a modern Cue dress and Sass and Bide cape with leather Jill and Jack Millinery.Congratulations to all the winners and competitors. There were a number of great outfits that could have easily won or placed in the competition. Overall the standard was high, and given the weather many women (and men) had adapted their outfits successfully to suit the conditions. I wore a cream silk dress I had previously worn to Magic Millions a few years ago with my trusty off white raincoat trench.Attempting to keep me warm was a vintage fur cape. My millinery was a late change to diamante studded flowers to suit the weather- my original selection wouldn't have coped with getting wet. Although I had been warned by my dad to rug up, I still froze as my hotdog and jam doughnuts failed to warm me up and I couldn't hang on until the last races. My legs throughout the afternoon had turned a peculiar shade of purple and I couldn't feel my fingers. I still had a great day out at the Ballarat Cup and being such an easy drive from Melbourne I hope to go again next year.
By Angela Menz