The year 2020 saw many events being postponed or cancelled around the globe including countless fashion events that would usually grace a fashionista’s social calendar. For many, these cancellations were a huge disappointment but for a few forward-thinkers, this presented an opportunity to change up tradition and to carry the torch in an entirely different way. Fashions on your Front Lawn, sponsored by Australian fashion retailer Myer, is one of these fresh new approaches.
The origins of Fashions on the Field
Australia’s race that stops a nation, otherwise known as the Melbourne Cup, takes place on the first Tuesday of November as part of the annual Spring Racing Carnival in the country. This and the many surrounding race events comprise all of the key factors which make this kind of racing thrilling, exciting and an international drawcard for both racing and fashion enthusiasts from around the world. Racing and fashion have long gone hand in hand and this was truly recognised in Australia when the Fashions on the Field competition was first launched in 1962 with an award presented to the “smartest dressed woman at the track”. The original award categories consisted of:
- Outfits that cost under 30 pounds
- Outfits 50 pounds and over
- Most elegant hat
As the years went by fashion continued to remain a solid tradition of the race along with Melbourne Cup betting and the great Australian BBQs which took place around the country while watching the televised event. Over the years, the competition continued to attract attention and has showcased the best (and sometimes the worst) in people’s ideas of fashion. Fashion retailer Myer came on board as a major sponsor in 1983 and in 2004 they introduced the competition to every state in the country as a national event.
Fashions on your Front Lawn
As the world became seized by the pandemic in 2020, major national events were beginning to be cancelled and attendance at such events became heavily restricted. This was the case at the 2020 Melbourne Cup and hence the Fashions on the Field show was unable to go on but this wasn’t going to stop the retail giant from continuing a beloved Australian tradition. And Fashions on your Front Lawn was born. As Australia continued with strict lockdown situations, Myer took their renowned fashion competition online, allowing entrants from around the country to show off their best looks by submitting photo entries. The very first Fashions on your Front Lawn was won by Christine Spielmann of the Northern Territory in Australia in her fine purple hues.
On with the 2021 competition
Entries for Fashions on your Front Lawn have been rolling in since opening for entrants with up to $300,000AUD worth of prizes up for grabs. The competition includes categories for both men’s and women’s fashion with a new wildcard category being introduced this year. With the reopening of attendance to the Melbourne Cup event, the wildcard price will be awarded for the best outfit spotted at Flemington Racecourse on the day of the big race. Lesser prize categories for 2021 will also include the emerging designer, millinery awards as well as the just for fun category.
The ultimate prize winners will be announced on Mackinnon Stakes Day which takes place on Saturday 6th November 2021.