Boasting 11,500 members on social media, It's All About The Sash (IAATS) was created by Em Scodellaro in 2011 to bring racing fashion and Fashion On The Field events from across Australia to one location.
An avid Fashion On The Field entrant herself, Em has turned to fashion judging and consultancy in recent times, but we had the opportunity to talk through the continuing interest in IAATS and fashion on social media.
How did It’s All about The Sash come about?
My greatest personal achievement in FOTF is the development of ‘It’s All About The Sash’ back in 2011. The name of the group came about from a saying that I used as a motivational tool to keep persisting when FOTF wins were just a dream. I believed that it was really hard to win at FOTF and if you did, the sash was a beautiful reminder of that experience.
The group was founded around the ethos that it be ‘a positive support & resource networking page for all involved in Fashions on the Field, promoting new friendships, ideas and where photos of FOTF competitions worldwide are shared’. It has since developed to actively promote and contribute to the development of FOTF events not only in Australia, but also worldwide. The group now has a combined total membership of over 11,500 across our two social media platforms; Facebook & Instagram.
The group is purely a passion project, aiming to promote FOTF by educating and informing competitors and clubs. Unlike other FOTF social media forums, the group has no corporate, business or club associations and aims to promote all events equally.
Did you expect the page to grow as big as it has?
When IAATS as first started, the FOTF community was much smaller, as was the use of social media. Since the rise of social media, I have witnessed a huge growth in the interest in FOTF, as the great thing about social media is how visible it makes everything, from upcoming competitions to winners photos and everything in between.
I am overwhelmed at how popular FOTF and the group has become, and am proud of how active our members are, from using our hashtags, sharing, commenting & participating in online discussions. I am also so proud of members who now give back in some way to the FOTF community, by offering their services as committee members, judges, hosts, seeking sponsors, taking photos – the list is endless!!
How did you come across racing fashion/FOTF?
After growing up as a passionate lover of all things fashion, I discovered that a good friend had been learning millinery. This lead to me approaching her to make a hat to match my outfit for my first Caulfield Cup in 2009, being my second ever race meet. She suggested I enter Fashions on the Field and I thought ‘why not!’
Although I did not final during my first Fashions on the Field experience, I received a lot of positive feedback and had an extremely enjoyable day, so decided to attend several other race days, both city and country.
Along the journey I picked up many tips and decided to tackle FOTF competitions more seriously the following year. I then began to research FOTF more widely online, along with researching local & overseas fashion designers & milliners. Before long, Fashions on the Field became a huge part of my life and an outlet to display my interest in fashion and styling!
What would you say is the key to FOTF remaining so popular?
I believe that FOTF offers the everyday person the opportunity to put together an outfit and wear it to a fun event, where friendships are made and good times are had. The chance to win a sash and a prize it the ultimate cherry on top!
FOTF is inclusive as it is simply judging the ‘best dressed’ on a day, so is open to any age, gender, size & ethnicity. You don’t need to be a supermodel to walk the stage, nor is FOTF a beauty contest, so it gives participants self-confidence and a sense of achievement, even if it isn’t their day to win a sash.
Participants are constantly learning more about FOTF, what fashions suits them personally and developing their own unique sense of style, which is always wonderful in the pursuit of lifelong learning and personal growth!
Check out some of the looks Em has created below.
Upcoming FATR events
Streaky Bay Cup – Saturday 26 March
Mount Gambier Cup – Friday 1 April
Oakbank – Saturday 16 April
Clare - Saturday 16 April