Gosh what a busy few weeks it has been! I'm sure my fellow Fashions on the Field Enthusiasts can vouch for the slight exhaustion felt after 5-6 consecutive weeks of getting dolled up, collating outfits and putting your best fashion foot forward! To some even reading this might some exhausting and just far too much effort.... though to the crazy one's, we just simply love it!
After months of planning and saving, collecting ideas, numerous sketches, sourcing fabrics, meetings with milliner's, a multitude of picture messages and phone calls, a new love affair started with my postman and the reassurance that each races day's theme was met, the winter races finally stormed around!! Tedious? I think not, THAT is the fun part!
The first event that kicked off the season officially/unofficially was the Prime Minister's Cup held on the Gold Coast Turf Club on 7th May. With sunny Queensland never disappointing, a gorgeous clear 30 degree day would never have given away the fact that it was late Autumn! The Gold Coast is renowned for bringing out the best in bright, fun and a little 'out of the box' fashion! This was the perfect time to finally use a gorgeous stained glass printed fabric that was sourced a couple of years ago and was just waiting to make it's debut!
Being inspired by the 'regal' fall collection by Dolce & Gabbana's and also drawing inspiration from Camilla with Love's Runway show at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, left room for something bold and different!
To make the print in the skirt 'pop', mum & I decided that a cherry red was the most complimentary colour for the outfit. We opted for a longer length sleeved, boat neck top with a slit opening mid arm to bring a bit of flow to quite a structured outfit and symmetrical print. This flow was also continued throughout with a fish-tail like addition at the back of the skirt in place of where a traditional split would be. It added a feature and a point of difference that can sometimes be the deciding factor between podium placings.
The outfit was complete with a vintage fedora that had the addition of black veiling added to it to bring a bit of modern flair. Accessories included a gorgeous pair of regal gold crucifix earrings, gold clutch and jewellery complete with a faithful pair of patent black heels. I didn't come away with a sash that day though was the lucky recipient of the Bruce Lynton Jaguar competition! Such a nice surprise, so stay tuned for my next blog when I can bring you a stylish and fashionable Jaguar weekend driving experience!
UBET BTC CUP Day
The following weekend was the official start of Brisbane Racing Club's Seven Sin's Winter Racing Carnival! The first day of the Indooroopilly Shopping Centre's Fashion on the Field competition kicked off the carnival was the inaugural 'Bold Colour' theme at UBET BTC Cup Day. Having the perfect outfit for this theme, I committed to what some may say is the fashions on the field cardinal rule, I outfit repeated! Yes I did it! Though when you have the perfect outfit that simply just works, it's sometimes a sheer waste to just wear it to one event. So a bit of a change to the styling and accessories and it was ready to hit the track!
JAMES BOAG’S PREMIUM DOOMBEN 10,000 DAY
The next day of the carnival I attended was the James Boag's Premium Doomben 10,000 Day. This was the last of the carnival being held at the Doomben track and again another killer autumn's day. The sun was out and was just the perfect temperature to be frocked up and sipping on champagne! The day is themed with a touch of metallic, which saw a field of gold and glistening glamours!
For this particular outfit I had picked up a very different fabric that was sourced from The Fabric Store here in Brisbane a few months ago. It caught my eye, though being a cream, black and teal sequined chiffon it needed to have a specific style to utilise it. Having the right fabric for the style of your outfit is paramount, though being able to utilise mum's expertise you can sometimes think outside the box. Wanting a bit of a different flair and also after falling in love with a dress by Jonathon Simkhai had in his fall collection, we drew inspiration to a mid-length gored skirt complete with a 3/4 sleeve with a bell detail.
Again having a prominent geometric pattern like a houndstooth, bringing flow to the outfit allows it to work harmoniously. As the accent colour I wanted to play up was the gorgeous teal colour, we found the perfect cotton ponte at The Fabric Store again and also a matte chiffon. The combination of these fabrics worked really well as ponte doesn't always have the best finish for an outfit so using that as a lining and layering the two chiffons over it allowed the design to have the weight required and also the fit. The clear sequins that covered the houndstooth pattern gave a sheen and metallic feel to the outfit.
I had envisioned this outfit with a wide brim hat or headpiece though also wasn't completely sure about the style, as it had just happened Jill at Jill & Jack Millinery had just made a ready to wear piece that was just perfect! A slightly asymmetrical deep crown, wide brim hat in a winter cream felt finished with a balck feathered band. The outfit was styled to have complimentary patent black Dior inspired sling back heels from Jessica Buurman, a matching Olga Berg bag, blakc palm gloves and gunmetal silver jewellery.
TREASURY CASINO & HOTEL LADIES’ OAKS DAY
Well, from one extreme to another, the first race day of winter up until this week we had some fantastic weather! Though with the Queensland extremities the weekend's forecast for the grand opening of Eagle Farm's Racecourse 18 month renovation was looking pretty grim! I was also fortunate enough to have my parents flying in for the weekend and a planned fun day at Ladies Day! Torrential rain, flooding, high tides and the rest of the craziness that comes with a large low sitting over SEQ, the horse races were cancelled, though all of the events and fashions on the field was to go ahead! Some call us crazy though rain, hail or shine we were prepared to go! The biggest styling feat was to figure out how to incorporate ponchos into your outfit!
Traditionally, Ladies' Oak Day is themed to be feminine, floaty and pastel colour palettes. Keeping this in mind I had been on the hunt for a few good months to find a suitable fabric to bring my idea together. Inspired by 70's style balloon sleeve, Zimmermann's AW collection and even possibly a little bit of Game of Thrones, I opted for a floaty A-line silhoutte with sheer sleeves. The Fabric Store had just gotten a shipment of Liberty of London prints in and this was where I found a gorgeous merlot coloured print in a chiffon and a lightweight faile. I could see the potential with the colour palette to incorporate the pastels and rose gold hues that I had in mind from the accent tones in the print of the fabric. Utilising the contrast of the different denier's of the fabric can ensure that you aren't left with an outfit that has an overall dark feel to it.
This outfit for me was the hardest of all to plan what style of headpiece would be appropriate though most importantly compliment the look. I had already made arrangements to have an appointment with the ever talented Sophie of Allport Millinery for a custom piece so after a good chat about colours, textures and possible designs the gorgeous rose gold crown was conjured!
This by far is one of my most FAVOURITE millinery pieces yet! This was the first of a crown like this that Sophie had made and her workmanship is just exceptional! The detailing of each hand tooled leaf and rose petal is to die for! Like anything that is new or done for the first time there is certainly a risk, it can quickly be a love or hate as far as personal preference goes as I do know a few counterparts of male gender that just 'didn't get what was going on'! That is the beauty about fashion and styling! It's open for interpretation though most importantly it's personal preference and expression of your personality! It is as simple as feeling confident in what you have put together!
The outfit was detailed with rose gold and pastel jewellery from Lovisa, pastel pink half gloves a rose gold Olga Berg clutch and the bling was carried to the shoes by Nine West's latest range of winter pumps.
AAMI Stradbroke Day
Traditional Black, White and a touch of Red is the theme for the last and biggest day of the Brisbane Racing Club Seven Sins Winter Carnival. Since the racing had been cancelled from the weekend before, this was set to be the biggest race day prize pool in Queensland that year, though also a super fun day to finally let your hair down for the close of the carnival though more importantly Brisbane Racing Club's chance to show off the new and improved Eagle Farm Racecourse!
This outfit started a little differently to the others, I had no idea what design I wanted nor style preference. I purchased this geometric black lace again from The Fabric Store some months ago and decided to play up to the edgyness of the fabric though lace can sometimes be a little difficult to start with. So knowing that I wanted to key the geometeric diamond feature in the overall edgy look that I had in mind, I called upon Sophie who worked her talented hands once again on making this gorgeous diamond percher headpiece to tie the clean lines into this outfit. Having a monochrome theme though adding the fire engine red roses for 'the touch of red' really allowed this shape to dynamically hit the mark. Having a custom piece for your wardrobe or millinery collection (as I now refer to mine) is nothing short of amazing! Between you and the master of their special craft you are creating something special and most times beautiful friendships will be made, from this I am also so very grateful to call this talented lady a friend.
So the millinery was sorted though I was still at a loss as to what the design would be. Having mum down the weekend before she actually sewed it while she was here for the weekend! A little different to the usual parcel delivered by Jeff my trusty delivery man the week prior!
Being well and truly in winter, we opted for a long sheer sleeved, mid length dress. What started off as a round neck didn't quite give the right lines to the structure of the dress pattern and lace so a few modifications and the dress quickly become a v neck. When having quite a repetitive pattern and busy fabric it's important to be conscious about closing up the neckline too much. Also when using a dense or busy lace or sheer fabric, try using a complimentary lighter colour to allow the integrity of the pattern to remain as the true feature. The decision to use the white lining rather then the black allowed this to happen though also ticked the theme boxes of black and white.
The overall look was finished a wide Cue black and jeweled waist belt which allowed the lace to be broken up and also compliments my silhouette. Continuing that edginess a black satin choker was added along with a pair of black Zara ankle tie heels, black gloves and nails and a black patent rectangular clutch.
Tattersall's club tiara race day
The very last day of the winter carnival here in Brisbane was the Tattersall's Club Tiara Race Day with the Wintergarden's Fashions on the Field competition. Wearing the gorgeous teal number with a few styling changes in accessories it was a fantastic way to finish off the Brisbane winter race fashions.
When seeing the same familiar faces week after week, all sharing the same passion for fashion, innovating new and wonderful takes on racing fashion and bringing their very best in personal style there is no doubt that some truly wonderful friendships are made. Though it is a competition with some fabulous prizes on offer, you truly never know what the judges will be looking for. The supportive environment and genuineness expressed to fellow fashioinista's when they do come away with a sash is a testament to women simple supporting other women in their quest to express themselves! Truly one of my favourite things about racing fashion and fashions on the field competitions!!
For now, the next few months will be spent frantically planning for the Spring Carnival! Though stay posted for the next blog post giving you a few tips tricks and just something to read while you're having a cup of tea!