Grandma's op shop find wins $115,000 fashion prize

On a day when an op shop find passed on from grandmother to granddaughter won the $115,000 first prize in Myer Fashions on the Field, mum was definitely the word around Flemington on Oaks Day.

Frances Abbott, the daughter of former prime minister Tony Abbott, said her mother Margie was her greatest inspiration.

"She is a goddess, I love her. She is so strong but so soft. She is kind but firm, I credit everything I am to who she is," Ms Abbott said of her most inspirational woman, the theme of Myer's Oaks Day lunch.

Ms Abbott, wearing a white dress by Misha Collection, said she was sweating on the result of the same-sex marriage postal survey, which is expected next week.

"I'm waiting with held breath, fingers crossed that it's a 'yes' vote. If for some reason it is not a yes win, then it's not the end. This is not something that's going away ... it's really important, it's human rights," Ms Abbott said.

Ms Abbott said the family, including Mr Abbott's gay sister, Christine, didn't let their views get in the way of their personal relationships.

"I have my views, Tones has his view, aunty Chris. When we're all together we focus on the family stuff and leave the politics outside," she said.

Whether it was coincidence or design, many celebrities chose to wear suffragette white on ladies day, including Graceland's one-time monarch, Priscilla Presley.

Wearing a white Manning Cartell??? top and burgundy accessories, Ms Presley said she was very fond of horses.

"I had horses at Graceland, a quarter horse and a Tennessee Walking Horse," Ms Presley said outside the Kennedy marquee, where she was a guest. "I won't be [placing a bet] but I'm excited for today."

Around the corner, champion sprinter Usain Bolt, in a red suit and gold shoes, was making his second visit to the Mumm marquee this week.

Bolt, who partied with friends in a roped-off area, was last year's guest of honour on Oaks Day with previous sponsor Crown.

On the penultimate day of the spring carnival, the fine weather brought out some of the best fashions of the week.

Fashions on the Field winner, Crystal Kimber, won the $115,000 first prize with a multicoloured skirt she inherited from her grandmother, who in turn found it in an op shop 40 years ago.

Kimber, a serial entrant, represented NSW in the final, even though she lives in Victoria. Her winning look was created by Kimber's mother, Gail.

"I grew up with this skirt ... this year we got it out of the cupboard and I said to my mother, 'Let's do it'," she said.

Also celebrating mothers was Lavazza, which hosted several celebrities and their mothers. Guests included Nicky Brownless with daughters Ruby and Lucy, in their first outing as a trio since the breakdown of Nicky's marriage to AFL star, Billy Brownless. Mrs Brownless is currently in a relationship with former Melbourne champion and radio host Garry Lyon, who used to star with Brownless on The Footy Show.

While many stars opted for streamlined silhouettes - Jennifer Hawkins in Roland Mouret, Monika Radulovic??? in By Johnny and Jessie Murphy in Cappellazzo Couture - one exception was Robyn Lawley, who represented maximalism in a custom Con Ilio full-skirted dress covered in applique roses.

The Kennedy ambassador, who stands at 189cm tall, added a lofty turban to her look, taking her overall stature to more than two metres.

Another head-turning moment in the Birdcage was when Rachael Finch, a Myer ambassador and Channel Seven personality, arrived with an instant fringe, which she revealed to be a clip-on.

This story Grandma's op shop find wins $115,000 fashion prize first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.