The Gentlemans’ Gentleman

Last week I had the pleasure of judging Fashions on the Field at the Geelong Cup alongside Dom Bagnato. Not only is he a dapper gent and lovely to boot, his range of suits has any girl swooning if her man wears one.rebeccashare

Judging alongside Dom, milliner Rebecca Share, GT Fashions Editor Renee Enright, Nina O’Brien from Track Mode and Joanne from Pret a Porter designer dress rental.

With the Spring Racing Carnival in full swing and the main days just a week away, it’s a timely reminder to the gents out there that ‘any old suit’ from the back of the wardrobe just won’t cut it at Fashions on the Field – or in the eyes of your lady friend.

Dom has some suggestions for any man purchasing a suit for the 2015 carnival, and you’d be hard pressed to get advice from anyone so well educated on the matter.

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“You do not want to see any lines, wrinkles, pulling or bunching on your jacket or trousers, anyone of these means the suit is too big or too small. Your movement should not be restricted at all. When you try on a suit, you’re looking for a good fit in what’s called your natural stance, where your stand up straight with your arms at your side, “ says Dom.

No one wants to see boring or unflattering suits at Flemington, so make sure you heed Dom’s advice and take note of the little things. Your shirt and tie – the finer details! – are just as important.

Dom suggests experimenting with colours and patterns, otherwise you’ll look as though you have dressed for the office and if you are opting for a printed shirt, ensure your tie is more plain and vice versa. Clashing is not always the best idea.

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Pocket Squares should feature elements of colour from your shirt or tie and tie pins highlight an attention to detail – it will be noticed if you are vying for a the title of best dressed at the track!

The season’s featured colours include a palette of beautiful blues – slate, royal, teal and navy with mint, rose and orange shirting and ties adding dynamic colour highlights.

“Above all be daring,” says Dom.

You heard him boys!

Daily News – Spring Racing Millinery

Yesterday I attended the Myer Spring Fashion Lunch at Flemington and host Samantha Armytage was wearing an awesome fascinator. Or, headpiece, if you will.

Sam ArmytageSamantha Amytage wears Ann Shoebridge headpiece and Alex Perry dress. Image thanks to Donna Demaio

It took me several Instagram searches and a bit of googling to track down who had created said headpiece, before discovering it was made by milliner Ann Shoebridge.

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I ask you to admire this piece of millinery and its cleverness, playfulness and style, ahead of the Spring Racing Carnival, where no doubt many will not bother with headwear, or find something at a department store.

This bespoke piece is genius – and any who would like to donate to my Spring Racing Fund are welcome to help me pay for it.

Oaks Day

One for the ladies, Oaks Day was humid and overcast as I made my way to Flemington for the third day of the Cup Carnival. Wearing the girliest of all outfits (my cousin has dubbed me a ‘forest fairy;), I was hopeful the rain would hold off until our work was done, and that we’d have plenty of time post shift to enjoy the hospitality of the Birdcage.

Sarah Kempson SchweppesLeft: At home before heading to the races, wearing Morgan and Taylor floral headband, Target dress (Psst! It’s on sale!!) and Sachi shoes.
Right: In the Schweppes Bar, looking rather windswept and tired at the end of the day! 

Oaks Day is all about the fashions, with the National winner for Womens Racewear at Myer Fashions on the Field being crowned. Representing Victoria, 19 year old Chloe took out the sash, with oodles of prizes including a $95k Lexus, a holiday, a Myer shopping spree, multiple TVs, luggage and whole stack more. Chloe has a serious dedication to the clothes – hailing from the Northern Territory, Chloe flew to Melbourne on Tuesday, won the Cup Day fashion competition, headed home for an exam before jetting back to Flemington for Thursdays final. Just wow!!

Chloe Moo LexusNational Fashions on the Field 2013 Winner, Chloe, is awarded the Lexus!

Speaking of exhausted, I didn’t think I was but an embarrassing little fainting spell says otherwise. In the manner of shoeless drunk girls on the lawn at the end of the day, I collapsed before lunch, smack into a lineup of fashion contestants waiting to go onstage. A bruised knee and a bruised ego, the team at MSS security and St Johns ambulance, as well as my MiNC colleagues, were all wonderful in making sure I was all ok before I resumed my position on the VIP door. Time for an iron levels check up I think (I promise I’d eaten breakfast and all that jazz!!).

Jeff Banks and Sarah KempsonWith Fashions on the Field host and man about town, London suit designer Jeff Banks.

Following the end of a freezing shift on the door, Olivia and I headed to the Birdcage for a somewhat more subdued experience than I had planned! We arrived at Bar Schweppes – presented by Broadsheet – looking for a seat, a heater, and some food. Schweppes had all three, and the food was amazing. Morsels cooked up by Melbourne’s best eateries (and cocktails from our most talented bartenders!!) were served and consumed immediately and I was thrilled to note the table menus also listed which of the items were gluten free! HUGE thumbs up to these guys and a massive thanks for the corn chip encrusted chicken and chips, really hitting the spot at the end of the day.

Sarah Kempson, Olivia Nunn, Emma BoggiL-R: Sarah, Emma and Olivia. Emma wears Manning Cartell; Olivia wears Rodeo Show with Adorn Collection Millinery.

Three days down and one to go – sadly the weather for Stakes Day is looking less than pleasant so an outfit change is in order!

Turnbull Stakes Day

It’s finally here. Spring Racing has started for 2013 with a spectacular day out for Turnbull Stakes last Saturday, and many more (hopefully!) to come!

Flemington Turnbull Stakes

A few spots of rain on the way to the tram were not to dampen the spirits of those who headed to the track for the Melbourne Cup preview day, especially the girl whose shoe had broken at Flinders Street Station! Kudos to her girlfriends who, in MacGyver-esque fashion, saved her shoe with a safety pin and bandaids.

Sarah Kempson Sol Hermana

On arrival, we headed to the Flemington Fling Bar, presented by Schweppes, where DJ Andy Murphy was in residence to make music, while behind the bar, mixologists created the original races cocktail, the Flemington Fling. Nail technicians were on hand to pamper the hands of racegoers with nailart designed by Helen Thurley.

Flemington Fling

Samantha Wills and Flemington FlingA gorgeous Samantha Wills ring, and a Flemington Fling mani!

The cocktails went down easily whilst we got our groove on early, before crossing the track to the Yellowglen marquee to enjoy some time in the sun with a glass of bubbles. Jewellery designer Samantha Wills had her fanciest cocktail rings on display and I thoroughly enjoyed sipping sparkling and trading racing tips with Phoebe of Lady Melbourne, Kyra of Pybus PR and Jan Breen Burns of Voxfrock. Note: we didn’t win!

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Sarah Kempson Turnbull Stakes

A massive thanks to Sol Hermana for my Turnbull Stakes Day dress – a gorgeous polka dot number (which also has a matching blazer!) My headpiece is from Target (only $40!) and shoes are eBay (presumably fake) Manolo Blahnik.

Style GallvinatorL-R Me, Miranda (Style Gallivanter), Phoebe (Lady Melbourne), Erica (Melbgirl) and Charisma at the Flemington Fling Bar. Image thanks to

Visit the Schweppes Flemington Fling Bar at all four racedays at Flemington, on Level 1 of the Hill Stand. Expected to host over 2,000 racegoers throughout the Carnival, you can make your own at home by visiting