Darwin Cup was first introduced to me by name by one of Australia's best event managers 'Zen'. When Racing Fashion started 5 years ago, we were planning a fabulous launch to celebrate although, I did end up preferring to have my business now company known by effort and product rather than advertising and it has paid off.

I have always been told about the fantastic event skills of this region and know as my brother lived in Darwin how welcoming and relaxed the atmosphere is. In saying relaxing, I am not saying for a minute these ladies do not know their fashion, in fact, ladies in Southern states, you know they come from the North and they Conquer. Not to be reckoned with.

With my beautiful Paris Kyne going missing on Monday to be found dead on Tuesday morning, the news was shocking and horrifying. Grim Melbourne weather and reporters and friends all ringing and sending condolences, I stuck to my plans into action and heading to Darwin to honour my commitments. It was not an easy decision, but Paris's family made it quite clear they wanted to do 'everything' and there was nothing for me to do. I was still mortified and upset, but I thought there is nothing like warm weather and heading to the tropics and sunshine. It was only in Darwin or the Top end I would be able to begin to heal.

The ladies and gentlemen of Darwin were very mindful of my situation and I was blessed to meet some of the nicest people I have met in Racing for a very long time. These people are no longer Facebook friends far away or mere acquaintances, they are dear close friends. I will never forget the warmth and love they shared with me and allowed me my tears in private times and during public times they were there as great support. I thank all the milliners from Darwin and Helen you were such a back bone for me, Thank you.

The 'Pearl Galleria' made sure that I felt special with every event we would load myself up with the most beautiful pearls and feel fantastic. Pearls are the most beautiful thing to have against your skin and the Pearl Galleria offers such unique beautiful pearls and amazing pieces. I have even purchased something myself from the Pearl Galleria.

Taking my mind to other places I was taken straight from my flight to Parliament house to be introduced to the Darwin Jockey Club Associates, Sponsors and Northern Territory Dignitaries. The wonderful Darwin Sunset which has to be seen to be believed was spectacular. I enjoyed meeting with local milliners and designers who also held Paris Kyne close to their heart. We dined on fabulous Greek food and shared stories of hats and travels with hats. Amazeballs. x

Having a day off and enjoying the heat and wondering around aimlessly I soaked up the sunshine and watched children play at the waterfront in the wave pool. The local seafood has totally ruined me for any other seafood in the world. Beyond fresh!

That evening, 'The Pearl Galleria' invited myself and Joh Bailey as well as a few others to dinner where they opened the restaurant especially for us. Again adorned in Pearls and sipping Champagne, I chose the Pommery from the selection even though others were pointing at Dom Perignion Vintage, $600 per bottle, I think the Pommery is fine at $120, thank you very much darling. (Approx $30 per sip! for Dom) Delicious food that was simply spectacular at EVOO, the Darwin Casino. Thank you Gaynor from the 'Pearl Galleria'.

The Darwin Ball, everyone had fun and in true Paris Kyne form I moved to the front of the stage and screamed my lungs out. When talking to my husband in the morning, I had lost my voice and told him, “I am sure 'Human Nature' needed my help singing 'The Supreme's' with them.”(Stop in the name of Love)

Then came the fireworks, Oh Paris Darling,

I know this was more that fireworks and the display rivals 'Melbourne and Sydney' New Years Eve, Paris was most certainly having word to God saying that the 'Angels Wings', could do with a bit more beading and he was just the person to do it. Bless our Pairs. X

OOHHHH! I have not even started at the races, which no doubt you would have heard the tragic news of the beautiful masterful rider Simone Montgomerie falling to her death with the sport she adored. This put a terrible dampener on the meeting after the fashion had finished and I think it puts Fashion in perspective in the Racing World. We have lost two legends in Australia, not to mention the Irish Race caller passing just on the Monday in Ireland. Such a sad week for the Racing Industry.

In saying about the fashion, this was before the tragic fall of Simone, I thoroughly enjoyed talking to all the contestants. Fashions on the Field in Darwin is not traditionally like other states, although I love this. All ladies and gentlemen looked fantastic and brought forward their own sense of style. This has to be applauded and you have the chance to be looked at as individuals rather that against other contestants. Please a reminder, this was difficult judging. We had a total of 6 judges on the panel and I am opinionated as were others. I wanted someone to win and Joh Bailey and I had to do allot of compromising. The young lady who won, was gorgeous and a delight, but really was Joh's choice. I chose a spectacular leather hat with a red dress that was just amazing. I was recently telling the milliners the night I arrived that leather is not my favourite fabric for millinery personally , although the lines and structure were brilliant. This hat had come from Adelaide and was worn beautifully. There was allot of croc leather, which I thought was wonderful for the area, and they are not bad eating as I am not a vegetarian.

The colour and happiness of Darwin is something to behold. Spectacular, I cannot wait to come again. The leather hat was going to win 'Best Hat', although in fairness to all competitors we thought if you had become top 3 in one section, it was only fair to give other competitors a chance to win in other sections.

There was allot of talk about the winners, the finalists and all who entered. But this is fashion, but what really matters?

What really matters is that we can come together and enjoy a sport. We come together as a community and share our time and love or Australia and Racing together. Some think it is about the honour of being deemed most fashionable on that particular day. I disagree,

The most important thing is community and friendship. Every lady and gentleman that I had the pleasure to talk to gave me the opportunity to meet new people and see different perspectives. This is a blessing. I had painfully lost a friend who will always be perched on my heart.

Fashion is just another aspect to the community of Racing and what we love about the day.

Unfortunately the truth of racing came to us when we saw the dreaded fall of Simone Montgomerie. This is what brings truth into our hearts. It does not matter what hat we are wearing or the flavour of our bubbles, it does not matter that your hair did not work the way you wanted it to.

What matters is that people were brought together for fun and a sense of community for a day. We all felt the loss ,shock and despair and suddenly your fashion does not seem important.

I have learnt so much from my trip to Darwin and it has been a journey. I have shared special times with beautiful people.

Two judges who were in the members area before this untimely accident were ostracised for the decision of the judges, judging fashions on the field and left. This is a disgrace on the entrants level who said such nasty thing to people who are doing a very difficult job.

Thank you again Darwin and for the mindful people you have in your city. A beautiful city with beautiful people. Condolences to the family, friends and loved ones of Simone Montgomerie.




Simone Montgomerie Tribute Race Day & Top End Racing Awards Night to be held Saturday 21 September 2013

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