The Chadstone Fashion Stakes at Caulfield Guineas got serious on the weekend with two of three categories in the competition holding their finals. The two finals with sashes and prizes awarded held were for the over 40 Stylish Ladies and the Stylish Gentleman categories. Three more finalists were also selected in the under 40 Stylish Ladies category with the grand final taking place next weekend at the Caulfield Cup. With heats and finals staggered throughout the afternoon it was a fashions on the field enthusiasts dream- made even better with plenty of seating and shade to watch the competition on stage and on the big screen. Not forgetting the event was held at the races, the competition was structured around the races with breaks for the races and coverage on the screens switching over the horses during the races. Melanie Villego from Winners & Losers was host for the afternoon and judges for the day included Designer Jenny Bannister, Stylist Phillip Boon, David Jones Ambassador Emma Freedman and Jess and Stef from How Two Live.

For the over 40 Stylish Ladies section there were two heats held with three finalists selected from each heat to progress to the grand final. This section had quite a mix of looks moving from quirky through to classic racewear. I was extra excited to see this section as my mother was visiting me from Canberra and I had successfully convinced her to enter fashions on the field. Mum did this FOTF obsessed daughter proud and walked the stage with confidence. It was tough competition though and she didn’t make the grand final, but I was very happy she had a go. In the grand final there were nine women with Amanda Macor from Cairns taking home the winners sash. Her outfit was a one off made by Michalenko by Appointment and a self made hat. She had her swagger on and owned her outfit with a fabulous pair of sunnies that made a statement!

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The Stylish Gentlemen brought some of the most diverse looks I’ve seen for a while in mens fashions on the field events. There was quite a few different perspectives on mens racewear and it was great to see some more exciting things happening! Some of the men had obviously spent quite a bit of time perfecting their stage routines so the mens heats were quite a lively affair. My father a regular racegoer and fashions on the field entrant made his first ever visit to Caulfield and wore a navy suit and boater hat for the occasion. He didn’t make the final, but there were nine who did with the winner Ramis Issac taking home the sash in a three piece suit and strong attention to detail with gloves, an umbrella, hat and pocket watch completing his look.

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In the under 40 Stylish Ladies section there were three heats held with a daily final. After a late night sewing my look comprised of a bright pink silk dress with a gathered check bodice and bustle. The judges didn’t deem my look worthy of the next round, but not to worry there’s always another raceday! The daily final was like the other sections a mix of very different and diverse looks. Although I didn’t agree with all the daily finalists I think the judges got it right with the chosen three. Lisa Xu of Lady of Leisure Millinery, Pinup Miss Lily and Melissa Buchanan will move on to the grand final and return in the same outfits next weekend.

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Whilst there wasn’t much luck for myself or my parents at the fashion stage, I did manage to back a winner in the afternoon and had a great day out at Caulfield

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By Angela Menz