The Lillian Frank AM MBE Millinery Award represents the ultimate accolade for Australia’s finest headwear designers. Make sure you are on course for Lexus Melbourne Cup Day to see these fantastical designs on show in the grand final.

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The Lillian Frank AM MBE Millinery Award is prestigious competition within Fashions on the Field that recognises Australia's finest headwear designers by providing a platform for them to showcase their craftsmanship.

This year, this award is also open to milliners globally. Entries will be viewed by a panel, including Katie Somerville, Senior Curator Fashion and Textiles of the NGV. The VRC will make a $5,000 prepaid card donation to the winning milliner in exchange for their winning piece, which will then be considered for the Fashion and Textile archive.

The winner will also get the opportunity to attend the black-tie party for NGV Gala with a guest and walk the red carpet, which, supported by the VRC, will be featured in a Vogue Australia digital article.

In total, the prize pool for this prestigious award, inclusive of cash, via prepaid card and prizes for all place-winners, will be valued at over $50,000.


On-course competition schedule



Registrations open


Photo opportunity


Registrations close




Best Dressed Preliminary Final


Best Dressed Daily Final


Emerging Designer Award


Best Suited Preliminary Final


Best Suited Daily Final




Registrations open


Photo opportunity


Registrations close




Best Dressed Preliminary Final


Best Dressed Daily Final


Lillian Frank AM MBE Millinery Award


Best Suited Preliminary Final


Best Suited Daily Final




Registrations open


Photo opportunity


Registrations close




Best Dressed Preliminary Final


Best Dressed Daily Final


Best Suited Preliminary Final


Best Suited Daily Final


Grand Final - Best Dressed


Grand Final - Best Suited


Further details

Millinery Award winner to be captured at the Gala, walking the red carpet, and amongst talented fashion designers, influencers and celebrities. In an optics led experience, the Lillian Frank AM MBE Millinery Award winner will be showcasing that Australian millinery design deserves global appreciation and acknowledgement.

First Place Prizes

  • Walk the Red Carpet and attend the Black-Tie Party for National Gallery of Victoria Gala on Saturday 2 December, and featured in article valued at over $20,790
  • Winning creation to be purchased by the VRC via a $5,000 pre paid card, with the entry considered for the Fashion and Textile archive.
  • TCL TV & Appliance Package valued at $4,000
  • Media coverage by VRC, Inside Headquarters Magazine valued at $2,850
  • Sofitel Melbourne on Collins Voucher valued at $2,950
  • A years’ supply of Schweppes valued at $500
  • Penfolds St Henri Shiraz 2019 1.5ltr valued at $310
  • Voucher valued at $1,000
  • Paramount+ 12 month Subscription valued at $119

Total First Place Prize Valued at: $37,519


Second Place Prizes

  • TCL Package valued at $2,000
  • Sofitel - Melbourne on Collins Voucher valued at $2,950
  • Voucher valued at $1,000
  • A years’ supply of Schweppes valued at $500
  • A Gift from Penfolds valued at $200
  • Paramount+ 12 Month Subscription valued at $119

Total Second Place: Valued at: $6,769


Third Place Prizes:

  • TCL TV & Appliance Package valued at $1,000
  • Sofitel - Melbourne on Collins Gift Voucher valued at $2,950
  • Voucher valued at $1,000
  • A years’ supply of Schweppes valued at $500
  • A Gift from Penfolds valued at $200
  • Paramount+ 12 Month Subscription valued at $119

Third Place Prize Valued at: $5,769

Entrants 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 VRC supports and encourages sustainability in the sourcing, manufacturing and design process and the minimisation of their impact on the environment.

To be eligible to enter the 2023 Lillian Frank Am MBE Millinery Award, applicants 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 7 November 2023.
  • 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 2022 winner of the Lillian Frank Am MBE Millinery Award.
  • Must not enter the 2023 Melbourne Cup Carnival Fashions on the Field Best Dressed or Best Suited competitions
  • 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.

Applicants who are interested in entering the 2023 Lillian Frank AM MBE Millinery Award are required to follow the submission criteria as outlined below:

  • Create and construct the headpiece you wish to enter.
  • Create a video diary outlining your creative inspiration, construction techniques and overall design process. The video is to be no longer than 5 minutes.
  • Photograph your design on either a model or mannequin head.
  • 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.  This portfolio should be one (1) PDF document.
  • Submit your photographs, portfolio and video diary via this website (below).

Lillian Frank AM MBE Millinery Award terms and conditions can be found here.

See below for additional information and frequently asked questions.

Highlights from the 2022 Competition

Photography guide for submissions

Use the below examples as a creative guide when taking your entry photos.

Be sure to upload three portrait photos with your submission, allowing clear space around the perimeter so that nothing is cut off.

Example of a close-up shot

Different angle to showcase design

Wide shot


Submissions for the 2023 Fashions on the Field Lillian Frank AM MBE Millinery Award are now closed.

Stay tuned for further updates.

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

For further eligibility detail, please refer to the published Terms & Conditions.

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 entry 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.

Once your entries are submitted and approved (you will receive notification of this), you may share your entry on social platforms.

On-course Competition and Finals

We are aiming to accommodate as many entries as practical and possible on Lexus Melbourne Cup Day, Tuesday 7 November 2023. 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 2023 MCC FOTF Lillian Frank AM MBE Millinery Award winner will be as per 2022 with an in-person showcase featuring; heats, semi-finals and a final, on Lexus Melbourne Cup Day, Tuesday 4 November, 2023.