A Country Rose Rises: Farm Girl Turned Fashionista Trots onto Melbourne Cup Catwalk

Country Rose
source: Anna Campbell

The Fashion Field is Set for a Country Rose

A rare bloom is about to blossom amidst the thundering hoofbeats and gamboling fillies at the Melbourne Cup this year. Anna Campbell, a doggy daycare owner more accustomed to muddy paws than pristine fascinators, will trot onto the manicured turf of Flemington Racecourse in an outfit sure to turn heads. This country rose is no wilting damsel, having snapped up ‘Best Suited – International’ in the pre-race digital fashion contest with her powder blue power suit.

Campbell, who resides in the bucolic surrounds of Mystery Creek, has crafted her race day look around a Country Road three-piece which proves style need not hemorrhage one’s bank account. She has cleverly complemented the suit with oyster heels by Diavolina and a fedora from the House of Monika Neuhauser, a celebrated milliner in nearby Pirongia. A vintage Gucci bag adds a touch of timeless glamour.

Country Rose
source: Anna Campbell

While Campbell confides her everyday attire runs more to practical farm garb, come Melbourne Cup she undergoes a true sartorial transformation. This creative soul relishes the opportunity to complement equine elegance with her own. As she quips, “It’s lovely to get the odd prize over the fillies, just to keep them on their toes.”

She originally planned to unveil this sophisticated ensemble at another race day, the Everest in Sydney last month. Yet on a whim she decided to capture some impromptu photographs in her driveway and enter the Fashion on the Field digital contest. Luck seemed to shine on Campbell, as the backdrop of weathered brick and gentle greenery lent her pictures a romantic, pastoral beauty.

Next week she joins other digital darlings from Australia and America, as well as race-goers chosen on the day. On November 9th, Oaks Day, all will sashay down the runway in the Grand Finale. The stakes are high, as the total prize pool exceeds $350,000 in value.

While this is Campbell’s debut on Australian turf, she is no stranger to winner’s circles. Over the past decade she and daughter Eleanor have proven fierce competitors, often seizing the checkered flag of best dressed. In fact, Eleanor took third place last year, winning Campbell the vouchers she used to purchase this power suit. As she remarks fondly, “this is not our first rodeo.”

Beyond catwalk contests, Campbell also shares in the thrill of the thoroughbred. She is part owner of three fillies, including two with a syndicate of like-minded ladies. This offers a prime opportunity to blend fashion with the Sport of Kings, and her eyes twinkle describing a hot pink dress to match the pink silks of their breast cancer charity horse.

So gather round for a glimpse of this “veteran mare” from the Waikato, though Campbell shows no sign of hanging up her handbag. She brings a breath of fresh country air to the slick world of fashion with her signature coordination, playful personality, and wise motto of “less is more.” Roses may wilt in the Melbourne heat, but this flower looks ready to bloom under the international spotlight. Stay tuned to see if Anna Campbell carries off the coveted sash when the fashion field charges forth!

Bianca Fernandes
Bianca Fernandes
Bianca Fernandes is a rising fashion and lifestyle blogger making waves in the industry. On her blog 'Bianca's Style File', she shares her passion for all things chic and glamorous. With a background in fashion journalism, Bianca has her finger firmly on the pulse when it comes to the latest trends and must-have items. Her keen eye for style and knack for mixing high-end and high-street pieces has garnered her a loyal following. When she's not blogging, you can find Bianca at fashion shows scoping out next season's collections, discovering up-and-coming designers, and rubbing shoulders with fashion insiders to get the inside scoop for her readers. Bianca's style savviness and infectious enthusiasm for fashion shines through in her writing.

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