Celebrating the Melbourne Cup | Hannah Marinkovich on fashions in the field, Aussie style

Every time she sets foot on the racecourse, all eyes are drawn to Hannah Marinkovich and her impeccable style.

Each raceday she arrives in some effortlessly stylish outfit and so it's no surprise that in only her second fashions in the field start, she took out the national final - winning 2017's edition of Prix de Fashion.

There's something about Hannah - she makes racewear look so easy | Photo copyright ATR

From there, Hannah went on to compete in Melbourne as part of Victoria Racing Club's prize in our competition and returned again the following the year as a spectator as part of a sponsored trip. It was later announced that she would be joining Carena West as one of our style ambassadors.

Hannah was going to be joining us here at Ellerslie on Tuesday but instead, like the rest of us Kiwis, will be enjoying the thrills of Flemington at home - either via social media or VRC's new & free platform, Immersive.

We had a chat to one of our favourite people about her experiences, tips and more ahead of the fashion and colour of the 2021 Melbourne Cup Carnival.

Tell us about your experience competing in Melbourne?

I competed in Melbourne in 2017 and had the best time! I didn’t place but if I went back (which I am planning on doing when we can), I would have a completely different approach.

Each contestant is viewed for only a couple of seconds so you need a unique outfit that really makes an impact.

I was also still very fresh at racing fashion back then as it was only the third competition I entered and since then I feel that I have learned so much so I would love to give it another go.

What did you wear?

I wore a lemon yellow dress with statement sleeves that I customised, and I worked with a Melbourne milliner to create a leather percher.

Hannah enjoying a moment with fellow Kiwi, Olivia Moor, in 2017 at Flemington | Photo c/- Hannah Marinkovich

Were you going to head over to Melbourne this year, travel permitting and if so, in a competitor or spectator capacity?

I was going to celebrate at Ellerslie this year but I would love to start planning for 2022!

Did you notice many differences between the Australian racewear competition process and New Zealand's?

It is completely different, and here in New Zealand we really are lucky that the judges have time to get a good look at our outfits.

Hannah taking time to check out the detail on the Fashions in the Field runway at the SkyCity Boxing Day Races 2020 here at Ellerslie | Photo copyright ATR

It is mainly different on the scale side of things and it happens much faster because there are so many entrants.

I remember I got to skip the heats (from qualifying via my Prix de Fashion win at Ellerslie) and I was popped on the end of the semi-finals in place 67 or 68. You walk out and are viewed for a couple of seconds and it’s all over!

Backstage is such a fun environment - all the entrants are so lovely and supportive of one another and it’s a treat to get to see all the outfits up close and in detail.

There are so many talented contestants that hand make so many different aspects of their outfits.

Is there anything you felt you needed to do differently while in Melbourne in order to catch the judges' eyes?

Whilst I think the actual judging may be similar in Melbourne and New Zealand, you do have to make that extra effort in Melbourne to stand out amongst the number of contestants - so you need something very different.