International model Lizzie Charleston is a regular at Fashions on the Field competitions. Always the epitome of style and sophistication, Lizzie talks us through some commonly asked questions and gives some tips ahead of the Ultimate Global Group Fashions on the Field at the IRT Harness Jewels 2021 where she joins the panel of judges.
How did you first get involved with the race day fashion scene?
I’ve attended the races since I was a little girl due to family being involved in the racing industry in various ways. Even at the age of five I was made aware by my mother and grandmother that there was an expectation of dressing appropriately for a day at the races and there being a dress code.
By the time I hit the age of 16 I was modelling overseas and became more involved in fashion. From there on in my interest in racing and fashion started to merge.
Can anyone enter a race day fashions on the field competition?
Absolutely anyone and everyone can enter a Fashion on the Field competition, however you do need to read over the rules. Each race course holding a FOTF will run their day differently and may have rules that have to be adhered to.
There might be separate categories for men and woman as well a children’s section but be mindful that some FOTF events have a rule that the competitor must be over the age of 18yrs for legal reasons. To avoid disappointment do make the effort to find out prior to race day what the rules and regulations are. See the Ultimate Global Group Fashions on the Field terms and conditions here.
Are there any rules when it comes to what to wear/not wear?
There are rules regarding the various seasons when it comes to race day fashion that affect woman more so than men. The Spring/Summer seasons mean you can wear strappy shoes and hats made of straw or sinamay. However when you get to the Autumn/Winter months hats need to be made of materials such as felt or fabric. Shoes must have a closed toe and there is an expectation that pantyhose are worn.
What are you looking for when judging Fashions on the Field?
I like to see competitors looking happy and comfortable in their race day attire. Life is so much more enjoyable in a well fitting outfit that is flattering to the competitors figure.
Having been involved in race day fashion competitions for quite some time as a competitor, judge and organiser I can appreciate many styles. It could be a classic look, something that is fashion forward, or even an outfit that is on point and following current trends that catches the judges' eyes.
Attention to detail is important with the overall look. Hair and makeup are important as well as the accessories used and millinery can make or break the outfit.
What I really like to see is a happy person enjoying their time in the spot light. Sometimes a genuine happy smile can make an outfit really pop when the judges are making their final decision.
What has been your favourite winter Fashions on the Field outfit ?
I have two favourite winter FOTF outfits. There was a lovely cream coloured dress that I altered by adding a fur trim to the bottom which I teamed up with a lovely MNM felt hat. It won the Style Award at Riccarton Park at their big jumps carnival and also one of the first online FOTF events held in Australia.
The dress was affectionately known as ‘The Goat’ because of the fur finish on the bottom of the dress and the handbag but also because of photoshoot for the competition in Australia that featured a goat. I’m known for having a slightly quirky sense of humour and the goat was up for it.
The other outfit was a lovely red dress (pictured above) that I designed with the help of local designer Robyn Stinson. I loved the way it walked as it would flare out with a bit of a twirl. I loved it so much that I wore it a number of times with different hats and accessories. It either won or placed on each occasion including a Top 10 finish at the Harness Jewels in Cambridge.