Melbourne Cup Carnival of 2011 has not only shown us that Melbourne has embraced colour, but it has also shown us that ‘Fashions on the Field’, had now matured into not only the biggest outdoor fashion event, but shown fashion in Australia is really leading the way. I will say that Spring Carnival of 2011 has shunned the ‘More, more and more’ and gone into a very sleek, polished look with grace and elegance taking the lead. Often ladies would ‘Gag’ at the thought of clashing colours and colour blocking, but this year has shown that not only can we embrace the clash we can adapt the wrongs to make a huge right.
Angela Menz, who we are all familiar with not only deserved to win, but took so much time and effort into her garments that she would die her skirt for hours to get that brilliant zestful lime we saw on the finals day. I am sure her boyfriend missed out on many a dinner for Angela to have taken this colour to the next level of her satisfaction.
I am blessed to have been able to speak to the brilliant Jan Breen-Burns and Karen Webster whom I aspire to learn and have the ability to think about fashion in the same way. I know I am no way near being close to these fantastic mentors but I have the ability to listen and learn. I think with fashion, we are living in an era that fashion is constantly evolving and don’t have to stick to rules. Again we are taking inspiration of what is happening on the streets. At present I don’t think much in the way of endless ‘Paris Hilton’ spending is going on and in a way it make one look obscene to be spending like there is no tomorrow. We are now ‘invest dressing’.
Now I know I pretty much know I have the same figure for life leading up to my fabulous 40s, I can see what true fashion is that is going to take me through the next 10 years. I want fantastic fabrics and I now know my shape and work around it. I see some fantastic designs, but do you know what? I know what is great for me and I know my figure and I stick to the KISS theory, (Keep it simple stupid). I know the lengths that suit me best and the necklines. I know the structure of my body and know what to show off and what to hide. We all have to go in and edit what we thought we known about ourselves and get back to basics. The thought of having to shop gives me a hopeless sadness, thinking that I will have to be like some sort of clone in a shopping centre and wear all the same things that consumer fed magazines are telling me to like.
My first thing I like to do is work out during Carnivals what sort of message I will be sending to people during and by the end of carnival. When starting with big bold headwear and costume designs to make others feel that we can embrace these looks, by the end I chose to settle in a classic ‘big red’ Jonathan Howard ‘Hatmaker’ piece. I keep my unique looks and quirkiness with my accessories, but like to bring together my story at the end of carnival. I was most excited heading to Judith of Black Rose Couture to talk about a couture piece to show off a piece of my Philip Treacy Millinery and then the next day it was all about the millinery with Liza Stedman botanic couture millinery with a basic Karen Millen Halter neck.
Heading into the next season, I think we are going to be concentrating on jewel tone and the’ invest dressing’ knowing that with the economic climate, we can simply change a handbag, belt or shoes and have a new look. Many items of clothing I see on the ‘Fashions on the Field’ circuit are recycled clothes from previous seasons and there is nothing wrong with that, in fact I think it is smart. When judging, I just have to look with new eyes and remember that I feel I have to look as if it is the first time I have seen the ensemble. I think purchasing new items each season may be frivolous and never ending debt. I would rather be fashionably conscious of my requirements and not spend to stay ‘In Fashion’, but spend wisely on items of great fabric and design and hopefully, designed and made in Australia.
Images from Netaporter.com