Filly on the field

Mahalia Denton, last year. PICTURE: EMILY FERGUSON

Last year’s ‘Colleen of the Course’ was barely 16 years old when she donned the green winner’s sash in the ‘Fashions on the Field’ but Mahalia Denton’s style, originality and deportment had caught the judges’ eyes.

“I didn’t think I had a chance because I was against all these beautiful women,” said Mahalia.

Although it was daunting, she entered because there wasn’t a ‘Miss Teenager’ category in 2021.

Mahalia’s St Pats ensemble was based around an elegant paisley dress and red fascinator and the dress formed the foundation.

“Definitely the dress is my first go-to because I think I will always be able to find a fascinator to match,” she said.

“I look throughout the year and I save pictures.

“I’ll normally sit down with Mum and have a look at them with Mum.”

Last year, Mahalia hired her dress and fascinator online and was hoping to change the fascinator.

“But it worked, thankfully,” she said.

“Usually, the bag and shoes are last, from Sampsons.”

Mahalia recommends that entrants don’t wear something plain.

“Just wear something that you’re going to be comfortable with but always think outside the box a little bit,” she said.

“And always remember what age category you’re competing in because ‘Miss Teenager’ is very different from ‘Colleen of The Course.’”

Mahalia considers herself lucky because a family donated $1,000 for her ‘Colleen of the Course’ prize.

“My Mum made me put it all in my savings account and then I did use a little to buy a laptop for school,” she said.

‘Fashions on the Field’ is an immersive experience for Mahalia and she enjoys seeing how other people have interpreted their race day outfits.

“It’s good to have a sash and prize money and, obviously, having the sash on is the prize but it’s also about walking around and seeing what everyone else has on and feeling the adrenaline,” she said.

“It’s always such a good day.”

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