If there’s one thing that’s important as the horses at Flemington during the Melbourne Cup Carnival, it’s what people are wearing.
Fashions on the Field has become synonymous with the race that stops a nation.
Introduced in 1962 to encourage more women to attend the Cup, the competition has become a drawing card in its own right, inspiring both men and women to get creative with their attire and even attracting some of the world’s best fashion design talent.
There are big prizes on offer, the competitions are often televised nationally as part of the racing coverage and Fashions on the Field will also have internationally-renowned ambassadors in the form of models, actresses and artists representing the event.
About Fashions on the Field
While the race itself on Melbourne Cup Day draws most of the attention, the fashion can be said to steal the limelight from time to time, specifically for the Myer Fashions on the Field competition.
There are two main categories in the Fashions on the Field event including:
- Women’s Racewear – National Competition
- Men’s Racewear
There are also two invitation-only categories including:
- The Design Award
- The Millinery Award
The winners of the Fashions on the Field categories are determined during the Melbourne Cup Carnival but it can be said that the women’s category is a year-long event as every State holds its own competition throughout the year in order to determine the entrants of the final.
2018 Fashions on the Field dates
- NSW Myer FOTF State Final, Mrs Sippy (37 Bay St, Double Bay), Saturday 6th October.
- WA Myer FOTF State Final, Crown Perth Opening Day, Ascot Racecourse, Saturday 20th October.
- QLD Myer FOTF State Final, St. Rita’s College Caulfield Cup Day, Doomben Racecourse, Saturday 20th October.
- SA Myer FOTF State Final, Carlton Draught Murray Bridge Gold Cup, Murray Bridge Racecourse, Friday 19th October.
- TAS Myer FOTF State Final, THA Caulfield Cup Day, Elwick Racecourse Hobart, Saturday 20th October.
Final competition days:
- Derby Day, Flemington Racecourse, Saturday 3rd November (black and white theme).
- Melbourne Cup Day, Flemington Racecourse, Tuesday 6th November.
- Oaks Day, Flemington Racecourse, Thursday 8th November.
Men & women’s racewear competition & criteria
- Over the year and up until November, the Myer Fashions on the Field State Finals (Women’s racewear only) are held in every State (except Victoria, which we will detail below) in order to determine the finalists for the Myer Fashions on the Field National Final at Flemington on Crown Oaks Day.
To determine who competes for Victoria, the daily winners of the Women’s Racewear competitions at Flemington held on the Emirates Melbourne Cup Day, the AAMI Victoria Derby Day and the Crown Oaks Day all compete against one another and the winner is crowned the Victorian finalist. She then advances to the Myer Fashions on the Field National Final.
The criteria that judges base their decisions on for each state finalist include:
- Has style and originality
- Is appropriate for the Melbourne Cup Carnival and the individual
- Has paid attention to detail with accessories
- Has included current fashion trends
- In 2001, men, in an obvious attempt to gain the attention of the opposite sex, began to up their fashion game and gained their own category in Men’s Racewear within the Myer Fashions on the Field.
The Men’s Raceway category is held on the AAMI Victoria Derby Day and anyone can register and compete.
The criteria for the men include:
- Style and originality
- The outfit is appropriate for the Melbourne Cup Carnival and the individual
- Accessories, such as a hat, lapel flower
- The inclusion of current fashion trends
The Design Award and the Millinery Award were introduced in 2005 and 2006, respectively.
The Design Award focuses on designers and their creations, while the Millinery Award focuses primarily on the hat or headpiece.
Once again, if you were to place a bet, we would suggest relying on the criteria with the Design Award featuring the following:
- Inclusion of modern fashion trends
- A millinery component
While relying on the criteria for the Millinery Award, which includes:
- Concept of the design theme
If betting becomes available for the Fashions on the Field, we would also recommend looking up what’s hot with Myer’s 2015 Spring/Summer launch and base your pick for the women’s category on the State finalist that have similar style to what was on the runway.
Additionally, learning about the popular styles may help you pick a winner in the other categories if you are on the same page as the judges.