I’ve been called ‘obsessed ‘and at times ‘addicted’, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m a Fashions on the Field competitor. No, it’s not a pageant or a beauty contest. Fashions on the Field is the opportunity for ladies and gents from all walks of life to put together an outfit and dress up in a very unique dress code called ‘race wear’. In the mundane humdrum of everyday life, there are not enough opportunities for people to dress beautifully and the racetrack offers that experience, to don your finest and show off. Fashions on the Field is the people who make their own fashion community and are drawn together for their common passion for race wear. It isn’t about the most expensive dress or hat, it is about putting together an outfit that represents your own sense of style.
As a Fashions on the Field competitor I have made sacrifices in life so that I can compete in the ‘sport of fashion’. Personally, I am useless with a needle and thread or sewing machine, however I do appreciate the craftsmanship and design elements that others have created. I love fashion in itself, so will say no to going out or spending money on other things, save my pennies and ask for money instead of presents at birthdays and Christmas so I can have that special fashion item. Working 3 jobs so that you can afford a special dress, you may say ‘crazy’, I say ‘worth it’. Parting way with previously loved wardrobe items to invest in something new, very hard but necessary to continue with your passion. I also have integrity and believe that designers are artists and that often comes at a price, but it is a price well worth paying for, especially if it is for something bespoke. The hundreds of hours spent putting an outfit together is exciting, often frustrating but so rewarding. Finding elements that to you are ‘perfect’ are a win and when all of the elements come together you are able to wear your unique creation and feel proud in what you have fashioned.
The track is an amazing place where your fashion senses are overwhelmed with beauty. The smell of freshly cut grass, the sound of hooves and the pop of champagne corks is the launch to my favourite experience. It is possible to go into a trancelike state, drinking in the high fashion, surrounded by impeccably dressed ladies and gents wearing a combination of high end, couture, high street and self-designed wares. It is overwhelming and it is exhilarating. I am envious of the beautiful creations others have put together showcasing their unique sense of style and I applaud them. Heats and finals are run and won, sashes and prizes are awarded and if you are lucky enough to be the recipient, you are taken aback and so very proud of your achievement. If you don’t win you are thrilled for those who do as you appreciate the beauty of their outfit and the hours you know they put into it, whether it be making elements themselves or the hours spent at dress fittings or scouring the internet.
You become defensive when race clubs try to take your competition away from you, as they don’t fully understand the passion you have for it or the many friendships you have developed along the way. You fight for what you love and hope that others feel the same passion. You are disappointed when others say you ‘spend too much’ or call your friends ‘serial entrants’, I say, ‘What’s wrong with being passionate about something you love?’ I’ve been called ‘fanatical’ throughout my journey, but to the knockers out there, I don’t see that sparkle in your eye I know I have. Fashion is a form of art and expression and has as much value as any hobby.
I encourage more people to join in and share my passion and grow Fashions on the Field as a fun and positive place to express your own race wear style. If you love Fashions on the Field as much as I do, please keep promoting this unique form of expression through your personal style and attitude. It makes for a fun competition we can all enjoy!
If you would like to join in the Fashions on the Field conversation, please join the ‘It’s All About the Sash‘ group on Facebook & follow @itsallaboutthesash on Instagram. Feel free to #itsallaboutthesash to be featured in the groups Instagram. Emma Scodellaro can be followed on Instagram @emscodellaro