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Fashions on the Field a Moree picnics mainstay

WHEN it comes to Fashions on the Field, it’s a jungle out there – and while animal prints remain strong this season, would-be fashionistas best leave last season’s off-the-shoulder look at home, lest risk a real cat fight.

In 2019, two of Moree’s most stylish – Sarah Kirkby and Toy Barwick – will scout the crowds for the highly coveted Fashion on the Field competition at next weekend’s Moree picnic races.

And from behind their cat-eye sunglasses, this sharp-sighted duo will miss little.

“It’s all about the detail and dressing appropriately for the occasion,” advises Toy.

“Pick a certain style, start with one key piece and work around that.”

Animal prints, such as snake and leopard, are strong this season, with the pant suit also making a return to the winners’ circle.

And when it comes to the current western trend, fashion cowgirls will do well to heed Toy’s wise advice – “subtlety is the key, it’s not a dress-up party.”

With hair clips, headbands and bows all replacing traditional fascinators and headwear this season, Sarah says she is excited to see what looks would emerge next weekend.

“While this season’s headwear isn’t traditional, it’s reflective of fashion’s evolution – I’m looking forward to seeing some beautiful bows and clips – but they need to be obvious enough to be a feature,” Sarah said.

Toy also expressed her penchant for blazer dresses – but warned that getting the perfect length was tricky.

She strongly advises against a length at which it simply appears you forgot your pants.

Mixed prints such as floral and animal are another of the girls’ favourites, and while autumn colours always looked beautiful, they wouldn’t shy away from spring hues.

Sarah Kirkby (left) and Toy Barwick will be on the look-out for best-dresses fillies and colts at Moree picnic races on Saturday, May 25.

“European fashion is strong at the moment, and features a beautiful, soft pastel palette,” Toy said.

Likewise, playing with different textures could also score a spot on the podium, but the girls suggest leaving the beautiful silks of last season exactly there.

“While there are some gorgeous silk pieces around, autumn racing requires a heavier texture,” Toy said.

This season, sling-backs adorn well-heeled women, and the girls advise that a good block or court heel will elevate this classic silhouette into Fashions on the Field contention.

“Traditionally strappy shoes are a no-no for autumn and winter racing, but as long as toes are covered it’s a look we can’t get enough of,” Toy said.

Toy is also looking forward to individual twists on current trends, and loves a bit of fashion risk.

“The pant suit is so strong this year, but in pastel it’s truly something special,” she said.

With Fashions on the Field one of the highlights of round one of bush racing’s Golden Triangle, Sarah enthused there was always a beautiful cross-section of designers on display – and Moree race-goers were fashion-forward and enthusiastically embracing of fashion trends.

“There is definitely an element of decorum recommended for picnic racing fashions, with anything too tight, too revealing, strapless or mid-drift baring to be avoided,” Sarah said.

“Lengths should be not too short, with trousers and jumpsuits acceptable, as long as they are full length.”

Toy advised millinery or hair features were always required for the Fashions on the Field competition, but a felt and leather hat was preferred over straw.

“Keep in mind the races are a daytime event, so be wary of materials and shapes that are evening-like, such as metallic, sequined or high-shine textures,” Toy said.

And it’s not all about the fillies, with many a stallion heading in from the paddock for a groom come Saturday.

“For men, we’re looking for accessories such as a hat, pocket handkerchief, beautiful watches, cufflinks or sunglasses,” Toy said.

Again, men should avoid straw hats, and the girls said the Trilby had also run its course.

“Men can pull off some really handsomely-shaped hats – there are some lovely Akubras and the like but just don’t wear them in from the paddocks please,” Sarah said.

“Polished shoes and a matching belt also go a long way, and you just can’t go past a well-fitted suit or sports jacket – not too baggy, not too long and not too tight.”

And with a high calibre prize package befitting the quality on offer, it’s worth putting on your best, well-heeled, foot forward next Saturday, May 25.

Coveted prizes include generous packages from major sponsors, Beauty Matters and Assef’s, plus a plethora of goodies from sponsors including a pair of RM Williams boots thanks to Syngenta.

Gates to the Moree picnic races open at 12-midday, with the event also including a quality six-race line-up, marquee luncheon, calcutta and an evening marquee dinner-dance featuring The Voice’s Rennie Adams.

Tickets to the dinner-dance are currently available at www.moreepicnicraces.com.au.

Words and Image: Georgina Poole

Georgina Poole also features in a book to be launched at Moree picnic races on Saturday, May 25. Georgina has penned three feature articles for The Triangle, a book published to raise funds for Moree and District Historical Society.

Georgina writes about a subject she knows well – fashion.

She also profiles well-known bush-racing identities Sally Glynn and Ali Hunter – the Golden Triangle’s first female club presidents.

The Triangle will be available for sale at all three legs of bush racing’s Golden Triangle at Moree (Saturday, May 25), Mallawa (Saturday, June 8) and Talmoi on Saturday, June 22.