Friday, 26 October 2012

'Fashions on the Field', 'Eyes on the Road Rhonda!'

We Show Dog, we Show Cats, we Show Horses and we Show Ourselves.

What should be an opportunity to feel fantastic and embrace our right to showcase beautiful racewear is being questioned.
No matter what our hobby is, if it is gardening, cars or collecting biscuit tins, the right to be individual and spend our money remains the right of anyone.

When I hear that legal action will be taken today in regard to Fashions on the Field, this is saddening. I showed horses for much of my life. There were two coveted turnout events in Melbourne, one being a turnout class where every item on the horse and rider was to be the property of the rider/owner. The other being the 'Garryowen', in which the turnout is measured on your body and the details of impeccable grooming are scrutinised to the e nth degree. The 'Garryownen' turnout, you can beg, borrow or steal if you don't have the correct attire or saddlery. Is this where 'Fashions on the Field' is heading and how do we police this?

If we are going to rattle on about how much people spend on outfits, hats, shoes, how about we look at any 'Showing' industry, where saddlery, boots, lessons, horse floating, not to mention the upkeep and feed of the animal, do we have the right to say how much someone should be spending on an outfit???

This is taking away our rights living in a free country, and tea drinkers don't have to like coffee. You may like a different brand of beer or lets say CHAMPAGNE!!! haha.

'Racing Fashion' and 'Racing Fashion TV''s main objective is give women the right to feel fantastic in what they wear. To put on beautiful garments and look fantastic.
When I attend the races we see beautiful celebrities, but they are all styled and able to choose from a few garments, but really not given creative freedom to show their personality. Be it wrong/right or whatever we see, I believe every woman in Australia has the right to stand on stage with a camera on her and feel fabulous. You have the right to be there.

We are coming into grey area's where 'Designer Categories' and 'Amateur' are coming under question. One year, when I was picking up my wedding gown, I saw on the designer rack a beautiful racing outfit that I purchased from the designer. I will not tell you the cost, as it is not pertinent. Everyone assumed as I was younger, that I was a model for the designer, going into the amateur competition, but they did not know, I had just loved the outfit so much that I purchased it and had no idea that it had been in the 'designer category' the year before.

If we insist on having classifications on where people come from, this will detract from international competitors which we welcome such as the lady who won from NZ and Martha who won on Derby Day from Ireland. They are women with the right to showcase their style. Are Melbournians only allowed to enter during Melbourne Cup Carnival over 3 days. Imagine on all the fabulous fashion we would not see. I say NO to that!

I take nothing away from 'Winners' as they have been chosen by judges as the best on the day. The designer category is also incredibly tough as well and the chosen designers to compete excite us with their creative talents. I believe the people that are questioning the rules and regulations have very high morals and see themselves on a different level, they have every right to question, but not rule. This is the right of every individual to question. But it is not the right to accuse and point fingers. It may seem unfair and with such a fantastic array of prizes, but I believe this will make competitors strive harder to gain their result. You may see that others are taking the easier route, but it is an opinion, not specified in the rules, stand on a higher ground and just see yourself as the better person within yourself. Sometimes the 'Sash' or 'Prize' is not the Prize. My prize is to feel fantastic about myself and be a role model and have happy children and husband.

If you don't like the rules, just don't sign up. Make your own competition.

I do like the fact there is a people's choice award also, but as we found in 'country racing' in Victoria last year, it was simply a matter of 'Who had the most Facebook friends?' This competition had 3 changed end dates to my knowledge. They would announce a day for a winner and it was put off twice.

Most of the ladies in 'Fashions on the Field' are friendly, happy to be there, and talk about gorgeous clothes, hats and shoes and is somewhat a family. People are more competitive than others, and that is our nature, but our nature is not to all agree with the same thing. Instead of pointing fingers, I would prefer that we all just enjoyed fashion. What if there were no prizes???? Would you still do it??? I know a majority would say 'Yes'. This to me is what 'Racing Fashion' is about.   

Designer Winner last year.  'Racing Fashion Fabulous'

International and Interstate competitors bring this competition to the biggest and best level. 

'Racing Fashion' welcomes the international competitors like Martha, I believe she blocked this hat a Torb & Reiner.

Erderm Dress won last week at Caulfield costing $3700.  It was not out of our pockets so who cares?

'Racing Fashion' loves that Jaydee Paino won in a $17 dress, from Nashville.  Pre loved

A winner in Gucci I believe.

Racing Fashion wonders if we will be taking the opportunity away from Student Designers?

Some photos courtesy of 'Myer' 'Fox' and  Lucas Dawson Photography

From Today's SMH. Click Here
By Rachael Wells

THE Victoria Racing Club is facing growing calls to ban professionals from its popular fashions on the field competition because of allegations that commercial designers are snatching lucrative prizes from ordinary racegoers.
Some of Australia's leading designers have joined frustrated fashion competitors in calling for a ban on so-called professionals from the competition, which is sponsored by Myer and has a prize pool of more than $400,000.
The calls come as the VRC prepares to celebrate 50 years of the competition and in the wake of a social media campaign - now the centre of legal action - against a Queensland entrant who will compete in this year's final at the Melbourne Cup Carnival. It has been alleged the entrant is acting as a ''model'' for her grandmother whose hats are sold commercially. Those allegations have been denied.
While the VRC has separate categories for professional designers and milliners, fashion industry insiders and regular fashionistas allege some professional designers - including last year's winner - are cheating the system by entering the public competition themselves or by dressing ''attractive family and friends'' in their designs.
Under the rules, entrants are forbidden from entering on behalf of a third party such as a designer, to receive payment from a third party, or to promote a brand or designer. However, with lucrative prizes - including cars, jewellery, plasma TVs and holidays - now up for grabs, entrants say the event is getting increasingly competitive, even ''nasty''.
The Melbourne designer Helen Manuell, who regularly enters the professional Design Award, singled out last year's winner, Angela Menz - who has previously entered the professional category, and the 2011 Melbourne Cup Day winner, Sarah Schofield - who has worked as a designer for Nina Ricci in Paris and is the co-founder of Assk Clothing, as examples of designers who are entering the public competition unfairly.
''How can you call yourself a professional designer one year and then enter the amateur competition the next,'' said Ms Manuell.
Ms Menz, a fashion store manager, who last year won about $100,000 worth of prizes and claimed to only make ''pocket money'' from her ''hobby fashion business'' will not compete this year. Instead, she has been invited to judge.
Ms Schofield, who recently applied to join the Millinery Association so she could enter the professional Millinery Award, will enter the public competition again this year, after her application was declined.
Fellow designer Craig Braybrook, said anyone who has previously entered the design award should ''absolutely be banned'' from the public competition.
Regular fashions on the field entrant, Em Bodinar, said the infiltration of professionals into the competition creates an ''unfair playing field''.
''It's a very expensive hobby and as you can imagine it's really hard to compete against girls who are professionals or models or don't have to pay for their outfits,'' said the school teacher, who spends about $20,000 a year on her competition racewear.


  1. I'm going to be completely honest and put forward what I think could be part of the issue with this whole problem and this is from something I have experience myself. I am a fashion designer (with tertiary education) who has crossed over into Millinery after many years of playing, experimenting and doing online courses. I now sell my pieces commercially however because I have not studied Millinery formally I cannot join the Millinery Association, which is what you need to do if you want to compete in these competitions within the professional section. I tried to join the Millinery Association but could not complete it because of their requirements, so they told me to compete in the other section. So I think this maybe where part of the problem lies, I think the requirements to compete in the professional section are too strict which leaves designers (who are not formally trained milliners) to compete in the other section with everyone else. If they relax the requirements so that anyone who sells their designs commercially must enter the professional section then this may move a lot of designers who are not 'technically' milliners able to compete in the professional section and not upset everyone else that they have to compete with in the other section. Just a thought...