Spring is in the air trackside at the Cairns Amateurs Carnival, with blooming colour and bold florals emerging as key trends ahead of this year’s QT Port Douglas Fashions on the Field (FOTF) showcase.
With the region’s pinnacle racing carnival just weeks away, members of the esteemed judging panel have shared their tips for creating a look that is guaranteed to turn heads for all the right reasons at the signature fashion event.
This year’s two-day carnival is held at Cannon Park race course in the heart of the Far North on Friday 1 and Saturday 2 September.
The region’s style-set are pulling out all stops to ensure this year’s catwalk parades create the ultimate distraction to the thrilling on-track action with FOTF staged on the Fashions Lawn of the General Admissions Area for all to see and enjoy, The judging panel includes Cairns Amateurs ambassador and fashion designer Angela Menz, media personality Damien Anthony Rossi – aka “Mr Hollywood in Oz”, couture milliner Carole Maher, and publisher Cathryn Meredith of Ladies in RACING, with guest milliner Kerrie Stanley to MC the hotly contested event.
According to judges, spring racing in Cairns is an occasion for fashionistas and fashionable fellas to flirt with colour, showing off that cheeky blend of glamour and fun for which the tropics are renowned worldwide.
Ms Menz, former national winner of the Myer FOTF at the Melbourne Cup Carnival, encouraged contestants to embrace the full spectrum of colour in line with this year’s Carnival theme, ‘Colours of the Reef’. “The ladies and gentlemen of Cairns always put their best fashion foot forward at the track and as a lover of colour I’m always so happy seeing all the stunning outfits come together at Fashions on the Field,” Ms Menz said.
Trending colours for racewear in 2017 include shades of pinks and reds, while yellows are an iconic choice for the ‘Sunshine State’, and frocks featuring vivid prints and large florals are also on-point this season.
Mr Rossi, entertainment reporter for Channel 7’s popular lifestyle program, The Great Day Out, said social media and fashion blogs were an excellent resource for contestants seeking inspiration.
“Contestants need to be aware of the guidelines for the category they are entering, as well as current trends in spring racewear,” Mr Rossi said.
“Spring racing is traditionally an opportunity for contestants to push the boundaries while maintaining that classy look that is central to race wear. Bright or pastel colours, striking and even clashing prints can all look fantastic when worn with finesse to suit the occasion and also the personality.”
Ms Meredith, the founder and managing editor of Ladies in RACING magazine, said contestants should consider the proud history of horse racing when planning their outfit, which could be elegant without adhering to strict rules.
As a prelude to spring racing carnivals around the country, fashion watchers will turn to Cairns to see popular styles in millinery, which could range from contemporary halo styles, to jewelled or floral pieces, or a statement turbo, among so many other creative choices. “You can usually tell the standouts as soon as you see them. There is just something about the whole overall look that pops!” Ms Meredith said.
Each year, FOTF appoints judges from the Australian fashion and media industries to cast their expert eyes over entrants, ensuring the event is a true reflection of contemporary trends, style and elegance. The competition comprises six categories across two days, on Friday 1 September and Saturday 2 September, and will see more than 150 local and interstate competitors vie for winning titles and an impressive prize pool valued at more than $80,000, including the top prize of two return flights to Singapore.
Contestants styled to reflect the event’s theme, ‘Colours of the Reef’, have the chance to win an overnight stay for two at Green Island resort, including return transfers, accommodation in an island suite and buffet breakfast. Judging criteria is based on style and originality, interpretation of latest trends, appropriateness of race wear for a spring carnival in Cairns, attention to detail, style, design and quality of workmanship of millinery, grooming and deportment.
Now in its 59th anniversary year, Cairns Amateurs Carnival is vying to beat last year’s pleasing attendance of 18,000 race goers with a refreshed and glamorous blend of tropical fun, fashion and racing over three days, from Thursday 31 August to Saturday 2 September 2017.
For further information and to buy tickets, click here Cairns Amateurs Carnival Tickets.
QT PORT DOUGLAS FASHIONS ON THE FIELD 2017 PROGRAM
LADIES DAY – FRIDAY 1 SEPTEMBER
• Gold Class Ladies’ Racewear
• Open Ladies’ Racewear
AMATEUR CUP DAY – SATURDAY 2 SEPTEMBER
• Best Dressed Couple
• Open Ladies’ Classic Racewear
• Open Men’s Racewear
• Ladies 30 and Under