Millinery Award: Submission Guide

Millinery Award: Submission Guide

There is no other occasion where hat-wearing plays such an important role than the races - it's the Milliners time to shine. The Lillian Frank AM MBE Millinery Award is the ultimate accolade for Australia’s finest headwear designers. 

Fashions on the Field 19 June 2024

It's time to prepare your Lillian Frank AM MBE Millinery Award submission!

How do I enter?

If you are interested in entering the 2024 Lillian Frank AM MBE Millinery Award you are required to follow the submission criteria as outlined below:

  • Create and construct the millinery design you wish to enter.
  • Photograph your completed outfit on either a model or mannequin - use well-executed shots to highlight your outfit. Please review our photo submission guide below.
  • Create a video diary outlining your creative inspiration, construction techniques and overall design process.  Please review our video submission guide below.
  • Produce a portfolio outlining your design style, your background (including education and/or work experience) and a suite of images showcasing your work. If applicable, please include any PR and media exposure received or links to websites or social media accounts. Please find an example of a portfolio submission below.
  • Submit your photographs, portfolio and video diary via the Lillian Frank AM MBE Millinery Award Entry Form.
  • Ensure you have read the entry eligibility and judging criteria for the 2024 Lillian Frank AM MBE Millinery Award. Don't miss a critical detail, to ensure you are eligible!

Photo submission guide

The submission form asks for three portrait photos. We recommend the following: 

  1. Close up shot to show off the design
  2. Additional close up shot of a different angle 
  3. Wide shot

Use the below examples as a creative guide to demonstrate the do's and don'ts when taking your entry photos. Remember, the focus of the photos is your design, not the outfit.

Find an example submission from Wendy Scully, 2023 Lillian Frank AM MBE Millinery Award here.

Close up shot

Different angle to showcase the design

Wide shot

Video diary submission

  • To ensure your video diary is of the best possible quality for judging, please keep in mind the following:
    Ensure your lens is clean – a microfibre cloth is best.
  • Always face your subject towards the light. Avoid having the light behind them.
  • Use a tripod (if possible) or use both hands to hold your phone in landscape orientation (the screen is wider than it is tall). To ensure the video recording is stable, tuck both your elbows into your body to provide support.
  • Try to avoid using the zoom feature as this will diminish the video quality.
  • Always lock your focus and exposure.
  • Mobiles – whenever your subject is in the frame, hold your finger on the subject to adjust the level of light and exposure.
  • Remember you need to ensure the camera setting is on video and press the red button to start and finish recording.
  • Video diaries must be in landscape format and be no longer than 5 minutes in duration.

Please watch the below Video Diary example by Ali Rauf, 2023 Lillian Frank AM MBE Millinery Award Finalist.

Portfolio Submission Guide

Please see the below portfolio example by Belinda Osborne, 2023 Lillian Frank AM MBE Millinery Award Finalist.

What is the entry eligibility Lillian Frank Am MBE Millinery Award?

To be eligible to enter the 2024 Lillian Frank AM MBE Millinery Award, designers must fulfil and agree to abide by the criteria specified in the Competition Terms and Conditions, which includes (but is not limited to) the following:

  • Entrants and their models (if applicable) must be 18 years of age or more as at the day of final judging, Tuesday 5 November 2024.
  • Accompanying outfit is not permitted to promote commercially a brand, store or designer.
  • Must not receive any compensation from a third party for participating in this competition.
  • Must not be 2023 winner of the Lillian Frank AM MBE Millinery Award.
  • Must not enter the 2024 Melbourne Cup Carnival Fashions on the Field Best Dressed or Best Suited competitions
  • Must not be a current or previous employee or representative of the promoter (including model if applicable)
  • Physical attendance will be required for the successful finalists
  • Any item of clothing, headwear or accessory that appears in the Emerging Designer Award is not permitted in the Millinery Award.
  • Entrants are not permitted to alter or add to their design in any way from the beginning until the end of the competition.
  • Unless stated otherwise, all prizes awarded to the entrant must remain the property of the entrant and are not transferable, exchangeable, or redeemable for cash.

How do the judges decide who is a finalist?

Designer will be judged based on the following criteria

  • Creative design and fashion innovation
  • Originality and unique style
  • Excellence in manufacturing and technique
  • Appropriateness of the design for the occasion.

The Victoria Racing Club supports and encourages sustainability in the sourcing, manufacturing and design process and the minimisation of their impact on the environment.


No, you do not need to be a resident of Australia to enter the competition.

By entering the competition, the entrant acknowledges the Terms are governed by the laws of Victoria, Australia. Each Entrant submits to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts exercising jurisdiction there in connection with matters concerning these Terms and waives any rights to claim that those courts are an inconvenient forum.

The opportunity to describe the outfit in mind to match the vision is optional. This is seen as an opportunity to further describe the milliner’s vision for how the piece is to be worn, but it’s not mandatory.

Submission Queries

The video diary will need to be submitted at the point of entering your submission.

After the judging, images may be used on official VRC media channels and in some instances to promote future Millinery Awards and/or the MCC Fashions on the Field Competition, Melbourne Cup Carnival or other VRC owned events.

On-Course Competition and Finals

We are aiming to accommodate as many entries as practical and possible on Lexus Melbourne Cup Day, Tuesday 5 November 2024. The final number will be determined according to quality of entries and ability to represent on the day.

Yes, if invited, you must be trackside to present your millinery design, especially if you make to the grand final for broadcast purposes.

No, it is the outfit design that is being judged, hence the design must not change. You can use a different model.

The trackside format of the Millinery Award showcase and the announcement of the top finalists and 2024 Melbourne Cup Carnival Fashions on the Field Lillian Frank AM MBE Millinery Award winner will be as per 2023 with an in-person showcase featuring; heats, semi-finals and a final, on Lexus Melbourne Cup Day.

Full Terms and Conditions to be announced.