Darwin Fashions on the Field has grown from a red carpet that has been thrown on the turf to a full stage, back drop and DJ for ladies to strut their stuff, and Racing Fashion could not be more proud of the growth that together with the Pearl Galleria has resulted in an 'A' grade event.
When heading to Darwin I knew it was going to be BIG as there were allot of ladies with fabulous big personalities heading up for the filming of Racing Fashion The Movie, and our host Gaynor Beck of the Pearl Galleria at Darwin Waterfront enjoys hosting one of the biggest festivities in Darwin for all to join in.
To say I did not get much sleep is an understatement and from the time I arrived I was wrangling film crews and recording gear. Darwin has always been one of my favourite places to go although you have to be fit to keep going through the week. The ball was amazing and traditionally I was centre front singing with the lad who takes on Elvis so well. I did refuse to have shots of Johnny Walker from the bottle. Dancing the night away and enjoying the wonderful fireworks into the moon shadows of a full moon it was time for rest.
The day before was full of interviews and shooting trying to tie in a great feature for the movie, and had turned a normal flat looking over the water into a movie set.
Onto the Fashions on the Field, and it is my favourite place to judge because I get to see and speak to contestants and feel how well rounded they are in their own skin. The way they speak and the way that they communicate gives me a good insight into how they are feeling in their fashion.
With the judges we just wanted to give everyone their moment to walk the runway feeling fantastic so everyone made the final. Everyone was feeling fabulous and the music was pumping. First of all we had the under 25 section, followed by over 25 section and then over 40 section. It was difficult because usually I would have brought back people who were in other sections (millinery), but we wanted as many people to showcase and feel good , so anyone who had gone into the finals in other sections was not eligible for millinery. There were so many amazing hats and so many amazing ladies.
Every time I come to Darwin, I don't want to judge like Melbourne or Sydney because Darwin has it's own unique identity and I love that it is the relaxed atmosphere with a certain kinship that competitors have for each other.
The main focus for the judging was a well put together look with a point of view, but again it was about people who are feeling good in their own skin and loving the way they feel.
Judging and the day went very quickly and then we were given about 12 ladies to choose a best of, who was going to be sent to Melbourne as a representative. This is where I had to judge quickly decisively and be able to justify what I love and why. Sorry, but when I have judges that just have wishy washy choices, I ask them to quickly justify their decision.
You have to know why you love something, you have to know the trends inside out, the materials of garments , the milliners and the stitching on the hats as well as the overall look. It is like looking at art where you can have emotion about it but you really have to constructively criticise everything from head to toe like there is no one standing there. I must admit I have become proficient at judging because I am always having to focus on the trends and what is happening in the racing fashion world. Be determined when you judge, but know when you may be wrong. There are plenty of other people out there that know more than you, but I have been on panels of people who have wanted “pretty” people to go through and that is not what Fashions on the Field is about. Fashions on the Field is a fashion competition and has nothing to do with modelling, it is deportment and comfort in your own skin. I know the competition is becoming more commercialised every year and it does seem that in some cases it has become a beauty competition, but beauty is only skin deep. Remember a Judge Judy says, “Smart is forever, Beauty Fades” .