By Kelly Yates
IT was back to back wins for the fashionistas who took home the Most Elegant Lady and Most Mature Elegant Lady titles in Fashions on the Field at last weekend’s Devine Communities Pakenham Cup Day.
Pakenham’s Marlene Burhop and 20-year-old Breanne Fanning both won the same categories at Pakenham Cup Day last year.
Ms Burhop, wearing a bold black and tangerine racewear outfit, battled it out on the catwalk on Sunday against 10 other contestants in the Most Mature Elegant Lady event.
Black and navy knee-length dresses with a splash of colour or print were a popular choice for the mature women on the weekend.
Ms Burhop told the Gazette her unique creation, teamed with an oversized hat and a black patent leather clutch and shoes, stemmed from the vibrant colour of the classic-style dress.
“I bought the dress because I loved the colour and everything just fell into place after that,” she said.
Ms Burhop said she was surprised at winning the fashion event for the second year in a row.
“I like dressing up for the local race day and have been interested in fashion for many years,” she said.
Celebrity Fashions on the Field judge Sallyanne Marshall, a track rider turned catwalk model, and fellow judges Michelle Tones, the former sales and events co-ordinator for the Pakenham Racing Club, and John Wallin from Bonny and Clyde’s Urban Wear had the task on the day of looking for contestants with style and an understanding of the latest fashion trends.
Ms Marshall, who was named the first fashion ambassador for Country Racing Victoria back in 2008, said the Most Elegant Lady final was a hard one to judge because all of the women looked “fantastic.”
“Attention to detail from head to toe is the key,” she said.
Fifteen women paraded up the catwalk for the Most Elegant Lady, with neutral tones, Audrey Hepburn inspired black and white numbers and sky-high stilettos some of the hot looks.
Accessories such as clutches, gloves, umbrellas and pearls added a touch of glamour to the racewear outfits.
Ms Fanning said she was pleased to win Most Elegant Lady for the second time running.
The Newborough resident chose to mix navy and cream with vivid red accessories to create the winning look.
Ms Fanning believed her red hat, designed and made by her aunt who is a milliner, was the key piece.
She also had a matching red clutch, an umbrella and rounded-toe court shoes.
“I’ve always liked the navy blue and cream combination,” she said.
“And adding the red just gives it something different.”
Ms Fanning is contemplating competing in the same outfit at one of Melbourne’s race days this season.
“I got lots of feedback from the crowd saying they thought I would win.”
All of the winners in Fashions on the Field shared in a total prize pool of almost $12,000.
By Kelly Yates