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Canberra's fashion on the fields fashionistas ahead of the pack

Canberra's biggest race day Black Opal Stakes is still more than six weeks away, but those competing off the track are well and truly in preparation mode.

Competing in fashions on the field has become a bit of a hobby sport for some, with many expected to travel from interstate for the Myer Fashions on the Field at Black Opal on March 6 at Thoroughbred Park.

Keen for a win: Fashions in the field hopefuls (From left) Steph Davies, Jade Sargent, Kate Speldewinde, Christine ...
Keen for a win: Fashions in the field hopefuls (From left) Steph Davies, Jade Sargent, Kate Speldewinde, Christine Waring, Alice Anderson and Cynthia Jones-Bryson.  Photo: Rohan Thomson

But Canberra milliners Christine Waring, Jade Sargent and Cynthia Jones-Bryson are all hoping a local comes out on top.

This year's fashions on the field will have a ladies, mens and millinery category with around $10,000 in cash and prizes up for grabs. The judges are still yet to be announced.

Jade Sargent, who designs under the label Sovata, has had a design come second at both Melbourne Cup race day in Canberra and Black Opal Stakes last year, and is keen for a win.

While she won't reveal anything about this year's creations, she said she's looking to the Melbourne Cup and Magic Millions fashion for inspiration.

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"It seems to be the fuller vintage skirt, and black and white seem to be still big. But I think very much colour is in for the millinery. My play on it is vintage styling with a Sovata twist which brings it into the 21st century," she said.

Waring, who has been a milliner since the late '80s will also have a few clients on the catwalks wearing her designs.

She's no stranger to a big win, with Sarah Kelly becoming the first Canberran to win fashions on the field at the Melbourne Cup back in 2009, wearing a Christine Waring Designer Millinery hat.

While she's also tight-lipped about her creations, she said to expect, "very bright colours. The bigger the better it's really trending at the moment so I'm looking at felts of course and leather and maybe a bit of lace".

Jones-Bryson is still buzzing after becoming the first Canberran ever to take out the National Millinery Award at Oaks Day in November 2015.

Together with Jones-Bryson, model Alice Anderson has been the one to take out fashions on the field for the past two years at Black Opal Stakes.

Her tips for creating a winning look this year?

"Ensure your outfit is polished from head to toe. Don't neglect the smaller details such as your hair, make-up and nails," said Anderson.

"For autumn racing, felt, leather or feather millinery is a must. Closed in shoes and gloves complete the autumn look."