The coldest Melbourne Cup Carnival did not deter any lover of the Myer Fashions On The Field competitors. The lure of a brand-new Lexus was just too hard to hard to resist! For some, the price of entering these FOTF competitions has surpassed any value of the prizes. The addiction is real. The chase for the sash must continue until it is hanging around their fashionable body.
For some, their wins have been very financially rewarding, along with having the satisfaction of dominating in the fashion stakes! Sherlon Garbo is someone who is swimming in winnings right now. He took out the Best Suited title in the FOTF competition on Oaks Day in a skirt that he made! Two years ago, Sherlon won this competition, wearing his self-made suit, when it was an online one! Yep, two brand-new Lexus in three years! Sherlon winning two times proves that you don’t have to spend a fortune on your outfits to impress the judges!
Bernadette May is a regular FOTF entrant. Her lady-like style has seen her win some sashes and has landed her a place in the national FOTF finals at Flemington (representing WA) a few years back. Unfortunately, Bernadette did not make the top three that year. Since then, Bernadette has elevated her fashion game. Her digital photo entries were gorgeous but were not successful. It would seem that she played her fashion cards right and saved the best outfit for the track.
I asked Sherlon Garbo and Bernadette May to tell me the inspiration behind their outfits. An insight into their winning style might help you with your future looks.
Sherlon Garbo – Winner of Best Suited 2022
“The competition for this year’s Myers FOTF was very challenging compared to the previous years. This year, the categories were changed to Best Dressed and Best Suited, making the competition more gender-neutral.
When my digital photo entry was not picked for the finals, I went back to all the entries to see what I needed to consider to be on the finals and reviewed the criteria again. I have realized that they are looking for an entrant who expresses individual creativity and embraces the current trends. I knew I needed to step up and be different if I wanted to be in the finals. I knew I would be competing against the ladies, which made it especially challenging.
I took the idea of my ensemble with the trend in Hollywood where male stars on the red carpet wear skirts, like Brad Pitt, Harry Styles, Timothy Chalamet and others. So I searched the clothing brands that make a skirt, and that is where I got my inspiration in choosing the colour and cuts with Thom Browne and Jean Paul Gaultier.
I knew while making this skirt that wearing this on track would attract comments. At the end of the day, it’s all about my choice and preference of style. Whether I win or lose, I am very proud of what I have accomplished.
Bernadette May – Winner of Best Dressed
“The dress is Bambah which is a Dubai label. I found it a few months ago. It was going to be my fourth online entry. However, when I photographed it, the metallic sheen in the fabric didn’t translate well in pictures, so I put it to one side.
By the time I decided to wear it to Flemington in person, most milliners were booked out, so I bought the gold and black Peacock Millinery piece second-hand. I think this influenced the choice of bag and heels. If I had ordered a custom-made hat, I would have requested a lilac or pink piece, and then the bag and heels might have also been the same colour.
The striped bag is from an Australian label called Respiro Studio. I almost didn’t go with it, as it was a bit of a risk doing the pattern clash. I loved it personally. A few comments from friends had me doubting my decision. In the end, I went with it because I loved it.
The Christie Nicolaides gold and black snake earrings were a last-minute purchase. I had some pink and gold ones, but they felt too soft for the overall look and didn’t gel with the millinery. I jokingly called the ensemble my ‘Snake in the Grass’ outfit to my friends”.
So there you have it. Spending a lot of money does not guarantee a win. Take time to research what is trending. Wear what you love and what suits you. Most importantly, have fun!
Your love of fashion will shine bright and you could be the proud owner of a new Lexus!