The Chadstone Fashion Stakes held their last qualifying heats and grand final at Saturday’s Caulfield Cup. The biggest day on the racing and fashion calendar at the Melbourne Racing Club was a beautiful sunny spring day. The competition started early with registrations open from 10.30 in the morning and the first heat starting at 11.54. I was struggling with getting myself dressed and ready for the day so I saw the competition kick off via instagram on the train. It was quite a long day at the Chadstone Fashion Stakes with five heats held throughout the day, a daily final then the grand final at 3.21. It seemed everyone had saved their best outfits for the last day as many beautiful outfits lined up backstage ready for their owners to have their moment on stage.

The finalists were selected with three women being selected from each heat to progress to the next round. The judging panel changed throughout the day, but included Janice Breen Burns, Jess and Steph from How Two Live and Erika Heynatz. I personally dislike when the judges change throughout the competition as there tends to be a lack of consistency with the judging.

The Grand Final

The Grand Final

The Grand Final

The Grand Final

Fifteen daily finalists were whittled down to seven to go into the grand final. The seven daily finalists were then put in the grand final with the winners from previous weeks. The grand final had a total of fourteen women vying for the winners sash and prizes than included a cruise, a trip to Hayman Island, beauty products and thousands of dollars in shopping vouchers. The moment came when the winners were announced- Third place went to Lauren Vella, Second place went to Elis Crewes and First place went to Viviana Parish.

L-R Lauren 3rd, Vivana 1st, Elis 2nd

L-R Lauren 3rd, Vivana 1st, Elis 2nd

I first met Viviana when she kicked my fashion butt in Canberra taking out Fashions on the Field at the Black Opal Stakes in Canberra earlier this year in the first FOTF she had ever entered (I was third). She has caught the fashions on the field bug since then and has traveled to numerous Fashions on the Field competitions. For her winning Caulfield Cup outfit the 22 year old from Bywong purchased her dress from Cue and teamed it with shoes from David Jones and a hat and accessories made by her very excited mother, artist and milliner Deb Parish. Her overall look had a fresh and youthful feel to it and suited the warm day. I was intrigued when speaking to Deb when she said her daughters outfit included preserved real leaves.

Congratulations Viviana!

Congratulations Viviana!

Congratulations Viviana!

My look for the day had a Grecian feel to it with fabric I bought from Clear it sewn into an open back below the knee dress with my own leather and crinoline millinery. My shoes were from Mollini, bag from Target, belt from Colette and accessories from Lovisa. I also wrapped three meters of leather cord around my wrist because I felt naked without my usual bangle stack up my arm. As a rare change from my standard bun, I had my hair blow dried the night before and wore it out- a bad decision for a windy day! I remembered why I almost always wear my hair up at the races as I spent considerable time during the afternoon eating my hair. I also tried out Jennifer Hawkins new range of fake tan, so my new skin colour for the day came from J Bronze mousse in a bottle.

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Now with the 2013 Caulfield Cup Carnival over for another year there is only two weeks left to prepare your outfits for Flemington!

By Angela Menz