My Myer FOTF Journey by Ashleigh Ridgeway
I have always loved dressing up and going to the races with my friends and even with my two children but had never entered or watched the Myer FOTF. One day a friend of mine suggested I entered so I thought I would give it a go. It was about four months from the competition when I started planning.
I spent hours scrolling through internet feeds and joined racewear and millinery Facebook pages to get inspiration. I loved checking out photos as each state winner was announced and seeing all of the beautiful outfits. During my search I came across the Only One Ashley label and fell in love with Kate's designs. The same day my milliner, Anita Carr sent me the link to that site as she thought I would love their dresses. That combined with the fact the site almost had my name in the label made it seem like it was meant to be so I ordered my outfit online without ever having tried it on.
The next process was working with Anita Carr to design a head piece that perfectly complimented my outfit. She is always amazing to work with and so patient while we found the perfect piece. I love Anita's designs and never doubted she was going to create something incredible for me.
The shoes and bag were the last details to come together and I was still shopping in the days before the competition but thankfully it all came together for me!
On the day I was so excited and nervous, everything went by so fast! Getting ready was so much fun with my husband, a few close friends. There were so many beautiful outfits on the day, I honestly had no idea how I would do. There were a lot of stand outs, including second and third place winners, Annabel Davey and Elizabeth Winlo. I also loved Elicia Anders outfit.
I didn't know very many people in the competition, just a handful of entrants I knew from country race meets and was blown away by how kind and friendly everyone was. There is a real sense of friendship within the race community and I've made so many friends since this day.
When I first went on stage I was so nervous and had no clue what I was doing! In hindsight I probably should have given this some though! My cheer squad were awesome and gave me a quick pep talk so I was more prepared to strut my stuff for the next round. Making the top ten was incredible!
When the previous year's winner, Milly said they were looking for lots of colours and textures I thought I might be in with a chance to place. There was a lot of monochrome that year in the top ten and I was in bright, bold colours, with a very textured and layered head piece. I was so emotional when I was announced the winner as I had never expected to be chosen.
It was such a rush of excitement and I felt like a rock star being whisked away for photos and interviews! The Perth Myer team were amazing and looked after me so well. It was such an incredible day and only the beginning of what was an amazing journey where I made lifelong friends and memories!