With Victoria Racing Club set to announce its virtual 2021 Fashions On Your Front Lawn winners as part of their Oaks Day tomorrow, we checked in with Carena to learn a little more about THAT winning moment, her racewear trend predictions and more.
I first competed in Melbourne at Derby Day in 2018. I managed to place second which was an incredible feat for my first visit at the Melbourne Cup Carnival. Unfortunately, I had to fly home the next day so I vowed to come back in 2019 and compete again.
When I returned in 2019, I placed third on Derby Day and was so chuffed! I couldn’t believe that I’d had two placings in two consecutive Melbourne Cup Derby Day competitions!
I returned on Melbourne Cup Day and somehow clinched first prize, putting me in the running for the state final on Oaks Day.
On Oaks day I won the state final and, then up against the other state finalists, ended up winning the Grand Prize which is something I had obviously dreamed of, but never imagined actually winning!
My winning outfit was a dress that I had made out of a vintage embroidered Uzbek Suzani dress.
I would have loved to return to Melbourne this year (and last year!) as a spectator. I think my competing days are over though, I like the idea of ending on a high!
Because there are so many people entering the Fashion on the Field competitions, the entry process is very formal and if you miss the cut-off, it’s “bad luck, try next year”.
I almost missed it in 2018 as my sister in law Sarah and I were stuck in traffic in an Uber! We had to jump out of the car and jog to the track, which did not add to my nerves one bit!
Backstage it’s VERY nerve-wracking and feels very cut-throat (“If you don’t get through the heats, please exit stage right immediately” etc) but all of the competitors back there were so lovely and supportive of each other.
I think we all know how much work everyone has put in and there wasn’t a single outfit there that wasn’t polished and picture perfect!
You won’t get through heats based on outfit alone, because EVERYONE has a great outfit!