Melbourne Cup fashion to reach new heights in Ballarat

BOLD with a splash of character – aspects that fashion judges at the Fiona Elsey Cancer Research Institute Melbourne Cup luncheon are looking for in local fillies and stallions. 

Clare Schreenan, Janine Dodds and Kirrily Parry will select the best hat, best dressed male and female at the annual charity event at Ballarat and District Trotting Club today.

The Fiona Elsey Cancer Research Institute is a non-profit organisation that depends upon donations to conduct life-saving cancer research. 

Clare Schreenan, fashion designer and founder of Clasch Designs, said she was looking for fabric, colour and confidence in competitors. 

“For Cup Day it’s all about colour,” said Ms Schreenan, who believes fashion must suit individual figures. 

Whereas architect and annual attendee Janine Dodds was looking for personality, saying that styling should say something about a person.

Country Racing fashion blogger Kirrily Parry, however, is looking at the polished outfit. 

“I like to see knee length dresses preferably,” says Ms Parry.

“You don’t get many opportunities to dress up so you might as well make the most of it while you can.”

Yet all three ladies agree that comfort is key, allowing both men and women to be confident.

“Not one thing makes an outfit,” Ms Schreenan said.

“It is related to how good you feel in it.”

The ladies note that colouring is also a vital factor when selecting an outfit, an aspect that is complemented by the finer details of styling. 

“It’s all about the finer finishes. The nails, the hair, everything,” Ms Dodds said.

“I’m pleased to see most of the ladies make a really good effort, I think it’s great.”

Ms Parry said monochrome, bold geometric prints, large hats and bold colour blocking can all be expected this racing season.

But contribution to a local charity cause that greatly benefits the community is what excites Ms Parry the most. 

“It feels really good. They’re a great bunch of people to help and what they’re doing is so innovative,” Ms Parry said.

With a Gems & Jewels pearl necklace worth $1100 awarded to first prize, the ladies were excited to pick a winner today.

JUDGES: Kirrily Parry, Clare Schreenan and Janine Dodds.

JUDGES: Kirrily Parry, Clare Schreenan and Janine Dodds.

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