FOR more than 50 years fierce fashionistas have treated racegoers to a sartorial spectacle rich in colour and whimsical fashion and Victorian Racing Club officially launched FOTF proceedings today, showcasing the state finalists that will take on Victoria in the richest fashion prize in the country, worth more than $400,000.
And while Victoria’s finalist won’t be announced until Oaks day, when a winner will be selected from the best dressed entrants from Derby Day, Cup Day and Oaks Day, they already know their competition is tough.
Fashion reporter and former FOTF judge Anna Byrne rates the state finalists according to the official judging criteria which includes:
• Style and originality: judges are looking for a unique ensemble that stands out from the crowd.
• Appropriateness of the outfit for the Melbourne Cup Carnival and the individual: hemlines, necklines and whether there is excessive flesh flashing will all be considered.
• Attention to detail with accessories: millinery is a must, shoes shouldn’t be excessively high
• Understanding and interpretation of the current fashion trends: judges will note how the trend had been translated for trackside appropriateness.
• Grooming and deportment: attention will be paid to nails, hair, posture and smiles.
NEW SOUTH WALES
NSW state finalist Shauna Dennett, 24 from Brisbane
How Anna rates her chance at winning: “Although the white and green combination and cord embellishment is striking, the leather and woollen fabric choices seem far too heavy for spring racing.”
How Shauna rates her chance at winning: “I have seen the other finalists and I certainly have some competition.”
Queensland state finalist Stephanie Martin, 30 from Brisbane
How Anna rates her chance at winning: “The lucid orange cap is a fun and modern interpretation of racing millinery. The combination of bold florals, stripes and modern millinery will make her standout from the line up.”
How Stephanie rates her chance at winning: “I believe every finalist is a worthy winner but it will depend on the judge’s decision on the day as all girls are showcasing very different trends this season.”
South Australia state finalist Michelle Boys, 24 from Cairns
How Anna rates her chance at winning: “It’s a very classic and feminine race wear look. The sleeves, knee length hemline and high neckline will impress racing purists on the judging panel while the bright floral print and plastic millinery add a contemporary flair.”
How Michelle rates her chance at winning: “I believe my chance of winning is just as good as any of the other lovely ladies in the final.”
Tasmanian state finalist Brooke Strahan, 33 from Nowra, NSW
How Anna rates her chance at winning: “The dress is very understated but has a flattering silhouette and the colour palette of white, grey, terracotta and metallics in the millinery is very on trend this season. Judges in the past have been known to reward simple over extravagant. “
How Brooke rates her chance at winning: “I feel that every finalist has an even chance.”
Western Australia state finalist Nikki Gogan 27, from Northam, WA
How Anna rates her chance at winning: “This is a stunning look. The full skirt design featuring a poppy print and hat by local WA milliner also incorporating poppies means the outfit tells a story from head to toe. The red accessories add a pop of colour. This will be hard to beat.”
How Nikki rates her chance at winning: “A one in six chance of winning isn’t bad. I feel like I’m a winner already but the Victorian state finalists are traditionally of exceptional standard. Win, lose or saw on November 6, I’ll still be smiling.”