Myer Fashions on the Field National Winner 2017 – Crystal Kimber

If you’ve been following my blog you’ll know I have been involved in racing fashion for the last two years as a judge at my local Fashions on the Field.  To be honest I don’t know an awful lot about “racing fashion” but I know what I like and it is always great fun to be part of these events.

There are so many fabulous artists attending racing events here in Australia and live sketching the fashions.  This is such an incredible skill and I’m a bit jealous truth be told.  I am dead hopeless trying to draw anything under pressure let alone in a few minutes or even half an hour.  I don’t think I’d be able to draw anything that looked even vaguely human in a few minutes!

So I’ve taken the luxury of time (its been over a month since the Melbourne Cup!) to sketch the national winner of the Myer Fashions the Field 2017: Crystal Kimber.  Crystal is a Fashions on the Field enthusiast and designer from Melbourne.  She also has a great website where you can follow her fashion adventures:  This particular outfit that won her the National title was originally her grandmother’s skirt which was refashioned into a stunning dress.

Collage_Fotor.jpgImage credit Getty images for the VRC

Girl Crush – Time For a New Victoria Secret Angel?


Dear Victoria Secret,

First off I do love your knickers.   Lets just get that out of the way.  And your runway show is a spectacular of the highest order: the music acts, the glitter, the sequins, the feathers, the crazy wings, the hair extensions … all of it!

But lately, I must confess, I have been feeling a little … well… uncomfortable about it all.  Something’s off.  Somethings missing……

4Photo credit: Elle

Things are feeling dull, repetitive, same-same-but- …. well same. I’m bored! Despite the fascinating little controversies your show manages to toss-up every year (the Native American outfit in 2012 .. whoops, the angel-wing-bitch-slap in 2014, a model with an afro 😱 in 2015,  PETA protests in 2002, no show in 2004, Gisele eating a pizza 2015! ‘unretouched’ photos in 2016 (is un-re-touched even a word… not according to my spell check.  Aren’t they just original photos?… or aren’t they just photos? … ahh my head) and then there’s Gigi with the Buddha cookie racism thing).  Ahh, so many epic moments.  I know you are trying to keep the excitement alive but ….

slapPhoto credit: Elle

…it’s just not enough.  I need more.

I think it’s time you kicked things up a notch; moved forward in to the 21st Century with the rest of us.  Recognised that we, your customers, want something more, something we can relate to.

You really do seem capable of grasping this diversity thing (black models, asian models … maybe even ageing models – I mean Adriana Lima must be like one hundred ‘model’ years old by now!) but there’s a bit more to diversity than nationality, colour or being over 30 years old.

[dih-vur-si-tee, dahy-] 

1. the state or fact of being diverse; difference; unlikeness:

diversity of opinion.
2. variety; multiformity.

3. the inclusion of individuals representing more than one national origin, color, religion, socioeconomic stratum, sexual orientation, etc.:

diversity in the workplace.
4. a point of difference.

But one step at a time.  I’m not expecting to see transsexual, biracial, octogenarians  strutting their stuff down your runway any time soon (but I do live in hope).  Baby steps.

38FA328C00000578-0-image-a-51_1475300640616Photo Credit: Stefaniamodel

This is Stefanie Ferrario.  She is not a “plus sized” model (#droptheplus).  She is an Australian size 12, fit and smoking hot.  She has just the attributes your casting director John Pfeiffer looks for in his angels, “beautiful, strong, healthy and engaging”!  Plus she’s intelligent and articulate (which might also be good attributes to start adding to your casting list).

You know and I know that it’s only a matter of time before you spice things up and get with the times.  I know you can do it.  I’m not asking you to create a new range of   lingerie.  I get that takes time, money, and requires a whole other level of engineering.  I get that you can’t just turn an A cup bra design in to a G cup.  Yes bigger cups required different design techniques I get it. But last time I checked you sold up to an XL (Australian 16) in your stores yet we don’t see those ladies not the runway … just saying … seems kinda obvious.

In closing, I am sure it’s going to happen one day soon.  You are going to fully embrace this thing called reality (sorry diversity).  You’re not just going to embrace it, you’re going to smash it out of the park!  But in the meantime I thought I would give you a little inspiration to set you on your way.  Good luck xxx


But damn if she didn’t go and dye her hair pink!  OMG Victoria Secrets new PINK Spokesmodel ….


Fashions on the Field – Part 2: “Attack of the Killer Bee!”

I mentioned a couple of posts ago that I have been busy working on a piece for the Shoalhaven Turf Club’s Melbourne Cup event.  I am pleased to say it’s finally finished!  This piece will be one of the prizes for the winning lady of the Fashions on the Field.  I am looking forward to being part of the judging panel on the day and seeing what beautiful outfits the ladies come up with.

If you are interested in knowing more about this illustration and seeing some progress photos please keep reading below (or just scan through it and look at the pictures! 😉)


Fashion illustration of fashions on the field Nowra Cup 2017

Fashions on the Field – illustrated

Around this time last year my husband and I went to our local Melbourne Cup race meeting at the Archer Racecourse.  It was a great chance to dress up and watch Australia’s most prestigious horse race (albeit on the big screen!).  Even though we are a long way from Melbourne there were plenty of stylish ladies strutting their stuff.  I have always had a desire to draw fashionable street-style people but am never game enough to approach them to take their photo!  Hence my illustrated street style plans have never come to fruition.

At this particular meet there was an absolutely gorgeous woman who appeared to be the head judge for the fashions on the field.  I remember she was wearing the most stunning fascinator and just oozed elegance.  This is somewhat of a rarity where I live.  Classic race day dress standards are little more … lets say “relaxed” in this part of the country!.    I eventually plucked up the courage to introduce myself (after much cajoling from my husband) and asked if I could take her photo.  She very graciously obliged.


The following week I finished my racing-street-style illustration (admittedly it wasn’t very good).  On posting my illustration to Instagram I thought I’d better tag the lovely lady in question.  To my surprise I discovered that she was Brooke Strahan a talented artist – illustrating fashion to boot!  Not only that, but Brooke is a fashions on the field guru AND author (talk about over achiever!). Check out Brooke’s fabulous blog here.  From there we struck up a bit of a “Insta-friendship”.

From little things big things grow!

Brooke got in contact with me earlier this year and asked if I would provide a prize, and be a judge, for the Shoalhaven Turf Club’s – Nowra Cup – ‘Girls Day Out’ Fashions on the Field event.  Of course I jumped at the chance!  Who wouldn’t want to judge fashions on the field!

Initially I just wanted to draw a horse and a woman in a fabulous head-piece.  I chose this Phillip Treacy piece as Treacy is the king of British millinery and you can’t go past roses on race day!.  It turned out to be a really “organic” piece, starting off with the horse and the woman but grew to include the Shoalhaven Archer raceway in the background and some roses in the foreground.  I hadn’t draw a horse since I was probably 11 years old and surprised myself how well it turned out. I remember a time when horses were all I drew! I actually think the horse is much better than the girl in this one.  Maybe I need to go back to drawing horses.

Fashion illustration of fashions on the field Nowra Cup 2017

The event was wonderful.  The Shoalhaven Turf Club put on a fabulous day and my husband and I were treated to some fantastic hospitality.  It was such fun to judge the beautiful fashions on the field and I was so impressed at the effort the ladies (and gents) put in to their outfits.  Lucky me also got to wear a beautiful head-piece courtesy of fellow fashions on the field judge Pink Millinery.

Judges at fashions on the field - Nowra Cup 2017

.. and grow

Brooke got in contact with me a few months ago to once again illustrate something for the winner of Shoalhaven Turf Club’s Melbourne Cup Fashions on the Field and once again be part of the judging panel.  Yes.  Yes. Yes.

I jumped straight in and started on another Philip Treacy fascinator.  Alas sometimes things don’t turn out quite as planned.  The image in my head for this gouache and pencil piece was sooo much better than the reality.  I liked it at the time but now I feel a little bit underwhelmed by it, which is kind of annoying because that netting took me forever!  I’ve decided to attempt something a little more ambitious (or at least ambitious for me).  Now I fear I have bitten off more than I can chew and its only 3 weeks to race day!