When this beautiful smiley faced blonde first stepped onto the stage at her local Race Day in Launceston, Tasmania, Australia, little did she know she was taking her first steps into a world of creativity, friendship and beautiful things. Working in the corporate world was far from aligned with her love of fashion and dressmaking so when she finally found a place to showcase her creative hobby it all fell into place. Since her first taste of Fashions on the Field Alice has entered and won and placed in state and national FOTF competitions. Alice loves the entire creative process, forecasting trends, drafting patterns, collecting materials from around the world, creating the outfits, working with milliners on the headpiece design and finally putting the finishing touches to the outfit with the final addition of accessories to complete the look.
What made you get into FOTF
I entered for the first time at my local races back in 2006 at the Launceston Cup. After my first experience I realised it was an amazing platform to showcase my own designs. In 2007 I entered in a dress and millinery I designed and made myself. I was awarded runner up and from then I was hooked.
Tell us about your win Oaks Day! What does that mean for your millinery and your love of FOTF?
Oaks Day was a very special day filled with emotion. There was sadness because it was the final day of the amazing trip while there was excitement for the big national Fashions on the Field final. I was very lucky to have a support crew of about 12 family and friends for the final so I had a nice little cheer squad. The national final was an incredible experience, I had an absolute ball on stage with the other finalists and made the most of every moment. When my name was announced as the third place winner I was so overwhelmed with tears of joy that my hard work was recognised by respected judges from the fashion elite. What a rush it all was.
The whole lead up and the Melbourne Cup Carnival made me appreciate Fashions on the Field even more than before. We have an amazing community of woman in our FOTF world and being able to sit back and relax and just watch and appreciate the FOTF competitions on Derby Day and Cup Day was a completely different experience for me as I am usually competing. As I wasn’t competing on Derby Day and Oaks Day, I was able to be a bit more relaxed with my designs and the millinery I wore which was great, loved to mix it up a bit.
What has been your greatest experience so far?
The national final trip to the Melbourne Cup Carnival. The trip was the most amazing experience and an absolute dream come true. I have also made friendships that will last forever along with the amazing memories I will cherish always.
Who is your favourite milliner?
There are so many wonderful milliners around and Instagram is such an amazing platform for them. In saying that, my milliner has been the same for about two years now. Sophie Allport from Allport Millinery. I first started buying her pre designed collection pieces from her online store and she made some custom additions where required to make them match my dresses perfectly. For Spring Carnival 2016 and Autumn Carnival this year I was lucky enough to have all my pieces custom made and designed to perfectly match my dress designs. The piece of hers I wore in my National final outfit was of course a huge contributor to the outfits success. I am so grateful for that.
What trends do you see on the rise for next year?
I’m still in the early phases of forecasting my trends for the season, though I see the ‘off the shoulder’ and ‘cold shoulder’ looks staying with us for another spring. I’m also loving tassel and fringing elements so you may see these come through in my designs for spring.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I get a lot of my inspiration from racing fashion itself. I simply love the style of fashion, it is such a unique style that you really cannot wear for any other occasion. For my designs I tend to always stick with my own style, what I like and what I would wear. I do a lot of fashion research and forecast a lot of trends to incorporate into my own design aesthetic.
What is something you would like milliners know about FOTF and the headwear to create?
I think it is important to be involved in the creative process of your custom made millinery. Especially for me as I design all my dresses.
What is your favourite outfit you have worn to FOTF?
I would have to say the closest one to my heart is the outfit that won 3rd place in the national Final of Myer Fashions on the Field on Oaks Day. This was my blue lace dress with collar and neck tie which I designed and made myself. I teamed this with a gorgeous gold Allport Millinery piece with blue rose clip. I wore this a total six times including the original win at the Hobart Cup State Final. I still love it to this day. I have been able to remove the blue clip from the gold millinery and wear the millinery with different dresses for a completely different look also.
What do you like seeing on Fashions on the field?
I love seeing FOTF woman support and encourage each other on stage, at events and through social media platforms. It is great that we can all be inspired by each other whilst still staying true to own unique racing style.
Advice for budding FOTF entrants?
The main point to focus on when entering Fashions on the Field is to have a fun day at the races. This will take the pressure off the competition as the work has already been done so you might as well enjoy the day. To improve your chances on stage it is also important you feel comfortable and confident in what you are wearing, this absolutely shines out on stage and will ultimately increase your chances. Finally, ensure you arrive early to socialize with the other contestants. In my experience, everyone is really nice & great fun. You will be part of the fashions community in no time.
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