Fenella Barker won the 2019 Oakbank Easter Racing Carnival Best Dresed Womenswear sash on Easter Saturday. We asked her some questions the week after her win to get to know her and her racing style a little more...
Tell us about your winning outfit. What were you wearing?
ASOS Edition dress, Public Desire shoes, Millinery from Simply by Lou Lou, Piper bag, gloves and earrings from fascinators.net.
What process did you go through to plan and choose this ensemble?
I fell in love with the dress then had to find everything else to match - there were so many colours that it wasn’t an easy task! I decided to pick out a mustard colour in the dress and use that for my accessories as it was more Autumn. Louise from Simply by Lou Lou designed my millinery with this in mind as well. The bag was a last minute buy from Myer and the earrings I thankfully stumbled upon as they were perfectly matched to the dress!
Where did your love for racing fashion begin?
Watching my sister and friends compete at Strathalbyn races a couple of years ago. I loved all the elegant dresses and how everyone seemed to have a lot of fun with their outfits.
What was your first racing event and how has your style evolved since?
Although I have been to many race meets before this was my first time competing in Fashion At The Races. I’m excited to see how it will evolve over time though!
Who are your racewear style icons?
Milano Imai and Alex Hecker.
What are your favourite labels for racewear?
I don’t have any particular favourites as I am more of a fan of pieces I think no one else has seen before. I like to keep it interesting and be unique.
Tell us about your makeup. What look did you choose and what key products did you use?
There was already a lot going on with the outfit so I tried to keep it simple with dusty dark pink eyes, winged eyeliner, and a nude pink liquid lipstick.
What products do you always take in your bag for a day at the races?
Lipstick, sunscreen, water, sunglasses and money.
How did you choose a hairstyle? What styling process did your locks go through?
I just wanted something simple that would balance the millinery that sat quite high on my head. So I picked a bun that sat about mid height. I was planing on doing it with some loose curls, however after finding out how windy it was going to be I opted to have it all pulled tightly back to keep it out of the way.
How would you describe your personal style?
Elegant, powerful, feminine, unique and daring.
How do you spend your time when you’re not at racing events?
Working as an Equine Veterinarian at Horsemed SA in Echunga takes up most of my time. Riding and competing on my own horses takes up my remaining time.
Why should everyone book in a day at the races this year?
It’s a great excuse to dress up, catch up with friends, drink a little wine during the day and to watch some amazing thoroughbreds race.
What is your favourite race day to go to and why?
Oakbank! Probably because I won Fashion At The Races. However, I also had a really great day with great friends.
What is the biggest mistake women make when dressing for a racing carnival?
Not dressing for the weather. I believe it’s important to dress according to the season, however, Australia’s weather doesn’t always play by the rules. If you're wearing heavy layers and fabrics for an Autumn meet yet it is 28 degrees you will not be comfortable and you cannot enjoy the day if you’re not comfortable!
What is your style advice for first-time racegoers?
Just have fun, follow your instincts and don’t take it too seriously. There are also lots of great ladies to ask advice from, just join some of the very supportive Facebook groups.