From the monthly archives: "January 2013"


Although the word “Fascinator” may be new to you…you’d be surprised they are all around you!

Only last year, I was at home (Syracuse) visiting family and went shopping for a dress to wear to the Kentucky Derby. I vi

sited a dress store where I had gotten most of my prom dresses during high school. “Boom Babies” in Syracuse is a cute little store that carries flashy but unique jewelry, dresses for both prom and cocktail and boutique/unique clothes that you won’t find in a shopping mall. Walking around with no luck on the dress front, I came to this wall that had a bunch of fascinators! In shock, I took one down and looked at the price… $29! You’ve got to be kidding me! These things sell for $200+ during Derby time!

You don’t have to pay those Derby prices! No one understands a girl on a budget better than I do! I purposely don’t carry cash because it doesn’t last long when I do. Saving is not one of my stronger points. Anyone with the same problem??

Just because we encourage (strongly encourage) headwear for our competition, doesn’t mean we expect you to pay your month’s rent to get it! Fascinators are all around and not that hard to come by!

Milliner: a person who designs, makes,  and trims hats

Fashions on the Field has teamed up with two FABULOUS milliner’s which will be selling their gorgeous pieces at the competition and our Fashion Event  (TBA) beforehand. Polly Singer and Jenny Pfanenstiel are two very talented milliners who understand high fashion can be found in a headpiece. Polly Singer is also a local located at 3493 Lansdowne Drive, Lexington, KY 40517 and has a great line of hats/fascinators called “Kate.” You can take a look at her website or go say hi and get that perfect piece for your winning outfit!

Our other great milliner is Jenny Pfanenstiel with Forme Millinery. She is Chicago based but will be with us the day of our competition! You can visit her website and give her a call to get your perfect piece.  She will also be at Louisville Fashion Week if you are looking for a day to play hooky from work!!!

A third fabulous milliner is our friend Lisa Tan. She has graced American with the presence of her beautiful pieces from the UK overseas (not in lexington ;). We have those pieces up on our facebook page and they will be on our website as well soon! Take a look! You can also keep track of her on facebook.


If these aren’t in your budget, don’t fret! You haven’t run out of possibilities! Ebay has a ton to offer for both hats, fascinators, or everything you need to make your own! Another website, Etsy, has much to offer as well. You will need to order sooner than later so that you don’t find yourself too short on time.

If your local in the Lexington there are plenty of places to get a fab headpiece for your outfit. I was just in the mall the other day and New York & Co. had some great felt hats…affordable too! Another place to shop is the “Miss Priss” Pageant shop located in Victorian Square. They have many cute little fascinators ranging from $10-$40. Macy’s and Dillard’s usually have a few different options for head pieces, so scan that accessory section!

We are spoiled because of the racing industry here and have milliner’s right in town! Anne Sawyer (on Short Street), Broadway Hats (Broadway downtown) and Fielden Willmott (W. Sixth St) all offer unique pieces ready to wear. They are also willing (without personally speaking to them) to make pieces to match your outfit. Make sure you give them enough notice and your price will be higher as its custom.

There are plenty of milliners in the United States and all over the world! If you are on a budget, you don’t need to get discouraged. Pull out that crafty part of you and get working…or get looking online and in stores! Plenty of options for any girls budget!



The holidays are great for so many reasons…food, family, friends..and uh…presents! But don’t forget another “F” word…FASHION! The holidays give you a free pass to sparkle it up just a little more than normal or just wear PJ’s for multiple days. But which is your style??


Many peoples fashion depends on where they are and who they are with. Sometimes there is that rarity that some fashionista’s are that whereever or whomever they are spending their day with, they make sure Fabulous is in their outfit. For me? Its a little bit of both.

I’ve most definitely done the Pajamas for days trend, only to put Uggs on when I leave the house. But as I’ve gotten a bit older, I like to test my skills and play with holiday fashion a bit more. Many a Christmas is spent at my grandparents where heels are looked at as “feet crushers” and “back issue starters,” so those are out in the house but the other holiday accessories aren’t!


sweater So your the pajama type? Well step it up this year! Hard to believe but this year Pajama’s have hit the red carpet! Should they have? Well debateable, but they aren’t all bad. Instead of pairing the top and bottom together, separate them for a chic look. If your choosing the pants, pair with a light simple heel. Then pick a solid color top, either  a cashmere sweater or light blouse. If your picking the top instead, pair it with tight or skinny pants, solid colors as well. You can either wear fab heels or stylish flats with these. Flats with the PJ pant are a no, no…looks like slippers.


If your not quite pajama casual, but still want the comfort, go with a great sweater and pant combo. If you wear a solid sweater, find a fun print pant which you can either wear heels or a stylish flat. If you find a great patterned sweater, then stick with a solid bottom.  Cable-knit sweaters are always an easy go to for winter time but the pattern and bold sweaters are in and will make you stand out.


Red, Green, Blue and Sparkle are the colors of the Holidays. Unfortunately many people make the mistake of taking these so literal. Instead of evergreen, pick Emerald which is a very trendy color right now. Pair it with a black skirt and pumps or booties. Add chrome accessories to make the emerald pop. The same can be paired with a deep red shirt. Still want to add more holiday colors? Pick red satin shoes instead of the go-to black. But please…not christmas light necklaces.


Don’t feel like wearing the typical holiday colors? Instead pull your inspiration from the snowy surroundings. A chic snow bunny is a clean, fabulous look. To put this together, choose either white (or light grey) dress pants and pair with a cream or light grey top as shown in the near by photo. Accessories? Keep these clean as well. Silver or gold. Finish your party skirtlook off with a strappy heel. Quick note: White pants are tough to pull off but mostly because the wrong pair is bought. Make sure the pants are lined as in no see through pockets, underwear etc. Make sure the fit properly (please), the worst thing you can do is buy them too tight. The length needs to be tested with your heels. You want the bottom of the pants to be just above the floor, no wind flappers!  Chic Snow Bunny



Go to our facebook page to tell us what you would rather splurge on. For me and the holidays…I (as always) am in love with shoes. I would splurge on a fabulous pair of red or black velvet booties or sparkling pumps. Next why don’t we grab a great necklace to really make an entrance. Diamonds are expensive and can only be an easy go-to for some, but don’t go budget on diamonds. A visibly fake diamond necklace makes your outfit look cheap. Instead, look for those with color that is complimented by these imitators, or if you want to stay with the clear cuts, then pick BIG ones that stand out and are complimented with gold or silver chrome.




Regardless of your style during the holidays, have some fun and play with your outfits. This is elle-39-kenneth-jay-lane-melt-floral-necklace-my-wardrobe-xln-27766453-lgnelle-77-alexander-mcqueen-red-suede-bow-back-bootie-xln-lgnyour FREE PASS for too much sparkle….no judgement!





Right before Christmas, we had a chat with the fabulous milliner, Lisa Tan, to ask some questions about the racing and fashion over in Australia…Here’s what she had to say!!


1. How did you get involved with Fashions on the Field?

Lisa and Grant at the AUS Spring Carnvial


I studied fashion design when I was younger, and fell in love with racing at the same time. My mother and nanna loved dressing up for the Melbourne Cup, and I convinced them to go on a holiday there when I was 17. I found out they held this best dressed competition at Flemington, and the prizes were unbelievable, so I made an outfit, consulted a milliner and commissioned a hat, and entered. I didn’t get very far in the competition because I had no clue about racewear at that stage, and my outfit wasn’t very fashion-forward, but I was hooked and continued to enter the competitions back in Perth, and later at the Spring Carnival when I started attending it religiously.

2. Tell me about your judging experience (couple sentences)

This year was the first time I’ve judged a Fashions on the Field competition. I’ve always wanted to judge Myer Fashions on the Field because it’s such a prestigious event, and having been an entrant for so many years I always wondered what it was like on the other side of the catwalk. It’s really quite an honour to be invited. I judged the Design Award, which is restricted to professional designers who are invited by the VRC to participate. This year’s winner (Craig Braybrook) was a standout, and I think almost all the judges had him as our top selection.

3. What do you love about Spring Carnival?

It’s the atmosphere – it’s unlike any other racing carnival I’ve attended in Australia and outside of Australia. It just has this spirit, this sense of celebration that’s so unique, and so much fun. And of course, I love the fashion – the ladies in Australia put in so much effort, no matter which enclosure they’re attending. You see just as well-dressed women in general admission as you do in the members’ enclosure. That never happens in Europe – it’s very rare to see a hat in the silver ring at Royal Ascot.

4. When did you begin making hats?

I started making hats when I seriously began entering Myer Fashions on the Field. The milliner I had been commissioning to make hats for me wasn’t making what I wanted anymore, so I started dabbling with making my own. I had absolutely no training with millinery, and there were no millinery teachers in Perth so it was impossible to learn, so I applied the general skills I learned while studying fashion design, and studied a lot of images of Philip Treacy hats. It wasn’t until after I had moved to London, around 2009, that I realised I wanted to do something more creative career-wise, so I left my e-commerce job and (finally) took at short-course in millinery at Central St. Martins. I realised the set-up costs for millinery were quite low, and it was something I could do from home, so I put together a small collection of winter hats while I was interning with Siggi Hesbacher, and when I went back to Melbourne that year for the Spring Carnival, I met with Myer and showed them the collection. Though they didn’t order it, they did order from the following collection (SS11).

5. How important do you think Fashions on the Field is to creating and keeping fans for the race industry? Why?

I think it depends on where we are in the world – in Australia, yes, Fashions on the Field is important for retaining female fans in racing. It’s kind of ironic that it was introduced to entice women to the races, but it created this whole subset of attendees who now only come to the races for the fashion – they enter the competition and leave straight after – which is quite unfortunate. I know it’s only a small selection of female attendees who do this, but it just shows how important the fashion side of racing has become. In Britain, best dressed competitions aren’t important at all. I’ve heard Royal Ascot refuses to stage a best dressed competition for fear it will cheapen their brand, which seems ridiculous given Myer Fashions on the Field has only enhanced Flemington’s. Nevertheless, Royal Ascot’s attendances are always fairly high, and when enclosures do sell out it’s because of the calibre of horses running.

6. How important do you think Spring Carnival is to creating and keeping fans for the race industry? Why?

Lisa at Fashions on the Field in her own Hat


The Spring Carnival is incredibly important for creating racing fans, and keeping racing fans. The Victorian racing clubs have really done a stellar job with the marketing of the Carnival, to the extent that it’s now a major part of most people’s social calendars – and you don’t even have to understand racing to enjoy it. I feel like it’s not really ‘the sport of kings’ anymore in Australia – it belongs to the people now, whereas in Britain racing is still very much for the wealthy. Of course, in the UK it’s more about the horses than it is the fashion, or the other social activities that take place off the track. It’s a purist’s game over here and I’m not sure if that will ever change. However, they only need to look at the health and strength of Australia’s racing industry to see that, whatever they’re doing it, it’s obviously working.

You can learn more about Lisa on her website at and you can purchase her hats from our boutique! We are the only place to buy in America!!


Millinery is a huge part of racing fashion so we like to keep tabs on our Milliner’s around the world. One milliner from Chicago, IL has made her stamp in only the last couple of years by launching her headware business, appearing on BravoTV’s The Real Housewives of New Jersey, and now building a relationship with the online marketplace

Tonya Gross officially launched her millinery business in 2007. Prior to taking the artistic leap fully, Tonya went to school for business management and began working in the ‘financial services’ world. After ten years working in hedge funds, Tonya was laid off, which was more of a kick-off to start her new life.

Growing up, Tonya has always been interested in making things with her hands. She began sewing as a little girl, taught by her mother. Loving fedoras, she became interested in the art of hat-making as a teenager but had no idea how to even begin sculpting to reach that finished product. Instead, she subsidized her finances in school by making jewelry and accessories.


“From Hedge-Fund to Head-wear,” literally, Tonya dove head first into her artistic side after she was laid off and attended The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Learning the logistics of sculpting, sewing, and decorating a one-of-a-kind hat she began her ‘hobby’ business juggling other jobs to supplement her new venture. “I love what headwear does for both men and women,”…”Nowadays it takes a little bit of bravery”[ to wear hats]…[so right now,] “we just need to get hats on heads!”

Over the past 6 years, Tonya has had some wonderful business experiences. As most milliner’s dream of, she wanted to be involved with the Kentucky Derby and instead of just selling some “Derby Hats,” Tonya was reached out to by Julia Comer of Flo  the team at 21C Museum Hotel in Louisville, KY to display her hats in the museum. Next she got involved in Mercedes Benz Fashion Week by designing a hat collection for  an evening gown line by Pamella Roland. From there, she was asked to dress the ladies of the Real Housewives of New Jersey for their Garden Party Wedding (stay tuned for her take on this experience!) which then also brought her to the team at has created an Emerging Designers Program which come March 2013, will showcase a collection by Tonya Gross Millinery. The collection will consist of 5 to 10 pieces for Spring/Summer. All pieces will be hand finished and couture with a few one-off’s and limited additions included.  “ is an amazing organization,”…it’s been “unlike any experience a designer goes through to put their product in front of buyers.”

Tonya’s dream is to head toward bringing hat manufacturing to the Midwest. Adding more jobs in the fashion industry as well as increasing the awareness of millinery throughout the USA and the world. With, she is most excited to “make people aware of what wonderful quality” these handmade pieces really are.

tonya gold

In order to get her to realize her dream, Tonya has begun a profile at She is looking to raise $11,000 to get her collection off and running before Friday January 11th, 2013. She has some wonderful Thank You Prizes for your help which includes the hat design featured on Teresa Giudice from the Real Housewives of New Jersey and more.  tonya






The Eclipse Awards is for racing as the Golden Globes is for movies…fashion wise? Not as important but we are trying! In a working industry where fashion is so unimportant (not including attending the races, of course),  and practicality and comfort is more your go to, one night of the year these industry stars put on a black tie and a gorgeous gown and enjoy a night of glam!

Although the night is listed as ‘black tie optional’…it shouldn’t be! This is an Awards Ceremony where everyone should be dressed to the max! But the people didn’t dissappoint! The room was floaded with black ties, and bow ties, long gowns, and shorter cocktail dresses.  For the next coming Eclipse Awards, we would love to style these already winning folks and up the fashion game just a bit more. Then, when they walk the red carpet beforehand, we can tell the Golden Globes to take notes…Horse Racing’s Eclipse Awards are in town!

Eclipse Award Winning TrainerDale Romans
Eclipse Award Winning Trainer Dale Romans

Our Most Improved Award goes to 2012 Eclipse Award winning Trainer, Dale Romans. Hands down, he looked the best he has ever looked. Simple black three piece suit, white shirt, and a graphic tie peeking out, he looked as if he could be a contender on the show usaNetwork show ‘Suits.’ He had a wonderful speach to boot, “No matter what the New York Times says, this is still the oldest and greatest sport in America.”



Our Best Dressed Winning Group award goes to the connections to Turf Winning Male, Trinniberg. Owner Shivananda Parbhoo and his family sported black ties and colorful dresses which stood out in a somewhat LBD crowd. The little boy looking dapper in his suit and tie may have helped this win but the ladies stood out and really grabbed the trophey. Our tip for next time…leave the purses at the table! Congrats!

Trinniberg's Connections
Trinniberg’s Connections


Jimmy Bell, Jockey Buttons
Jimmy Bell, Jockey Buttons

Our Best Accessory Award goes to…now this would usually go to a woman with a fabulous purse or pair of shoes…but surprisingly…this year it goes to a male! Jimmy Bell! Where did you find those jockey silk suit buttons?! One man who doesn’t need our styling perfectly merged the ‘black tie’ attire and his industry of horse racing by having his white shirt tied together with silver silk buttons. Congrats Mr. Jimmy Bell!



Getting down to it, the Best Dressed Male and Best Dressed Female:

Best Dressed Male goes to Morton Fink, Owner of HOY Wise Dan

Morton Fink
Morton Fink

Best Dressed Female goes to TVG’s Christina Blacker in her red BCBG Gown with shoulder lace detail


Christina Blacker in BCBG
Christina Blacker in BCBG


Our Honorable mentions go to the host Jeannine Edwards looking stunning in the MaxAzria black gown, Nick Nicholoson Jr, for his well fitted and buttoned up tux (ehem everyone else that leaves their suit jacket open).

Congrats to all the FATR Eclipse Award Winners !!


Stay tuned for the ‘not-so-good’ and the tips for improvement!


Finding a fabulous piece of headwear to wear for a day at the races can be a daunting experience. Not only are you trying to grab that statement piece that makes you stand out from the crowd, but you have to match it to your outfit and also make it practical (well within reason, because looking fab isn’t always practical is it ladies) and comfortable.

One of the things that can catch many ladies out when they are so determined to get it right is not paying attention to this one very important little factor…hairstyle!! Read Full Article →

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