Since 2007, Judith Penak Couture (formally know as Black Rose) has been involved in the Melbourne Cup's Fashion on the Field event.
The Melbourne Cup is Australia's major thoroughbred horse race
Marketed as "the race that stops a nation", the Melbourne Cup was first held in 1861 and is one of the richest turf races in the world.
Fashions On The Field' is a major focus of the day, with substantial prizes awarded for the best-dressed man and woman. The requirement for elegant hats, and more recently the alternative of a fascinator, almost single-handedly keeps Melbourne's milliners in business.
Raceday fashion has occasionally drawn almost as much attention as the race itself. Flowers, especially roses are an important component of the week's racing at Flemington. The racecourse has around 12,000 roses within its large expanse.
The Victoria Racing Club’s (VRC) Fashions on the Field competition was instigated in 1962 and forms part of the Club's ‘Fashions, Flowers and Favourites’ promotion to ‘woo more women to the races’.
Fashions on the Field has quickly captured the imagination of the public. It is covered extensively in the press and has grown rapidly in popularity.
Little did the VRC organising committee realise at the time that its new marketing initiative would change the nature of racing forever.
~Written by Lynette Pater, Fashion Stylist