A unique spring racing outfit for Oaks Day

Fabulous Femme is showcasing a series of unique creations to show you how it’s done in the Fashions On The Field Competitions. We also hope to inspire you to get creative for your own outfits – whether it’s for a Fashions On The Field competition, other special occasions or just for the fun of it!

Here’s another gorgeous one-off creation from Oaks Day at the Melbourne Races in Flemington.

Fabulous Femme would like to introduce you to:

Ashleigh Barri

 

oaks day raceway 2015 2016 - what will you wear?

 

How My Outfit Evolved.

It was a cold winter’s day in July last year, my designer John Van Gastel and I ran-a-muck in his fabulous studio.  We had a style board for some inspiration including the Patone Spring Colour report, photos of outfits with ruffles, ruffles and more ruffles and some lovely Wedgewood blue china. The real fun came from searching high and low for the materials to start this piece. We found the most stunning ivory lace I have seen (just enough to cover my front torso!) and the pale blue material, which was to become the bustle. We were so excited that we just had to pin the materials to my body right then and there, over my jeans and jumper, and take some very happy snaps!

Be Daring!

Although I wanted to keep with my favourite Audrey Hepburn and Victoria Beckham inspired designs, I dreamed of something a little more daring – something that challenged mainstream fashion and channeled the European runways.

Getting the right millinery to complement this number was important. Last year I teamed up with the one and only Hatmaker – Jonathan Howard in Sydney. When Jonathan uttered the words “Dior” to me on the phone, I had no doubt that he would make the perfect piece for this outfit.

Be Prepared, Look Confident

It is one thing to look good in the mirror wearing a piece like this…but a completely different thing to look good in a photo or on a stage. I simply had to practice. It might sound a little daggy, but it’s not a great feeling heading into a fashions on the field event being unprepared and then seeing a photo that doesn’t represent the true beauty of the work of all those involved.

I also couldn’t sit down in the dress. When I travelled to Sydney in October last year to compete at Randwick, the bustle was packed in a 140 litre plastic tub from Bunnings with lots of bubble wrap to help keep its shape. It ended up being my checked-in luggage. At one point, I did think of buying the dress a seat…but the airline didn’t think that was a good idea because I wouldn’t be able to secure the dress to the seat properly!!

Now my bustle has found its home on a mannequin in my room. It still brings a smile to my face when I leave for the day and come back home.

What I’ll Be Wear Next Spring – 2015 Trends

I have found inspiration for the next few outfits in different forms. I will be wearing an outfit that has been in the family for two generations. It just needs some alterations, but I already have the hat and shoes sorted! I also was lucky enough to win a beautiful copper percher from Heather McDowall earlier this year, which I am pairing with a dress by a designer that I wore in 2013. This dress also has some sentimental value as an old university friend of mine worked on the print design.

The fact that you can find inspiration from the most unusual places is one of the most fabulous things about fashion. I am always a true believer in trusting your instincts; surround yourself with people who enjoy what they do, that listen to your ideas and thoughts and who want to work as part of a team in completing a well balanced final look. After all, you are sharing some precious information with those who you choose to involve in this process, so make sure you’re sharing it with people you have full confidence and trust in.

oaks day advise - what to wear fashion at the races unique racingfashion