Black Opal Fashion Trends 2018

Published on 15 March 2018 by Jemma Mrdak - @astylishmoment

The 2018 Black Opal Stakes was a race event like no other in Canberra.

It was full of sophisticated outfits, beautiful weather, incredible Fashion’s on the Field entrants and plenty of champagne!

With many people flocking from all over Canberra and even interstate to experience Canberra’s premier race day, it was incredible to see so many Fashions on the Field entrants for the Menswear, Womenswear, Millinery and over 40’s categories.

We also saw so many other race goers get into the spirit of Autumn racing fashion.


One things for sure - there was a lot of colour at Black Opal Stakes.

From reds, to burgundy’s, purples and greens - the colours of Autumn race wear were on full display at Thoroughbred Park.

Considering the weather was more suited to summer, many racegoers stuck to the traditional Autumn race-wear rules and donned their gloves, closed in shoes, and other Autumn race-wear elements that completed their look.

When it came to the womenswear fashion, we saw a lot of thicker fabrics for the dresses, in particular wool, leather trimming and a lot of texture! In terms of silhouettes and styles of dresses, there were a lot of sleeves, both draped and ruffled, as a well as a few eye catching jumpsuits and pant suits as well, which was both different and very creative.

In terms of millinery, there were some incredible stand out pieces featuring leather trimmings, metal, lace and loads of colour. Metal crowns and headband were also plentiful as well.

For the men, we saw some very dapper outfits, and it was fantastic to see so many men focus on their attention to detail with their suits. Pocket squares and hats were in full force as well.


This year was like no other in terms of entrants in Fashions on the Field.

From plenty of colour, to prints and patterns, as well as top to toe perfection - there was plenty to see on the runway of the Canberra Centre Fashions on the Field.

The judges were looking for entrants who fit all the following Autumn raceway criteria:

– Entrants who were not afraid to wear something unique and a little different;
– Entrants that went outside of their comfort zone with their outfit, but still fit the Autumn race-wear criteria and rules (sleeves, closed in shoes, matching pieces, attention to detail);
– Entrants who’s outfit was appropriate for the climate;
– Attention to detail on accessories and the headwear; and
– Millinery, shoes, clutch and accessories that were matched back to the dress or suit.

It was a tough decision for the judges to decide on a winner and runner up for each of the categories (Womenswear, Menswear, Millinery and Over 40’s), as there were many stand out entrants who really did go above and beyond with their looks.

The womenswear winners and runners up were ladies that really focused on their attention to detail, and addressed each of the Autumn race-wear criteria perfectly from head to toe. Their outfits really were jaw dropping, and an absolute hit with the crowds as well.

The millinery winner and runner up both wore head pieces that were absolutely breathtaking. The winners headpiece featured bright red and pink tones in a feathered hat-piece, and the runner up’s piece was a wire headpiece, filled with beautiful flowers that matched perfectly with the rest of her outfit.

The menswear winner and runner up both fit the bill in terms of perfect Autumn racing menswear looks, both wearing hats, flower lapels, pocket squares and colours for the season.

Overall, it was a fantastic day of fashion at the Thoroughbred Park Black Opal Stakes, with many Canberran’s and visitors taking advantage of the incredible Autumn weather, to frock up in their very best for Canberra’s premier race day.