From bold sunnies to bootleg jeans, tonnes of unique fashion is on display in Rockhampton, with thousands of people streaming through the gates of Beef Australia 2021.
Born and bred in the ‘Beef Capital’, Charni Finnegan, was stopped several times for her pink reflective, faux-diamond encrusted sunglasses.
“I bought them online for $2, so [I thought] yeah, might as well wear them out – show my style here in Rocky,” she said.
“Everything is kind of colour coordinated, got the pink boots, pink shirt, pink belt, everything else matches – so it’s great.
“Any chance I get, I always have something very unique on.”
Even without a single cow to her name, the 27-year-old is all about embracing Beef 2021 fashion.
“I try to go every time it’s on,” she said.
“I have a weird obsession with cows. I just love cows, [even] growing up, so might as well join in.”
‘A hat is an extension of somebody’
Central Queensland artist Jules Holland embroidered her first hat while working in Cape York as a ranger about two years ago.
“I just looked over at my old beaten-up Akubra, and I thought I might put some flowers on it, and I didn’t think anything about it,” she said.
“Then everybody kept asking me who had made my hat and where they could get one, so I started making them, and within six months, I’d quit my job and I was doing it full time.”
The Emu Park woman said her work had sustained her through the coronavirus pandemic.
“It was challenging, as a small business that’s just starting out, that was quite a scary time,” she said.
“But. my business, Beltera just went from strength to strength, and it’s connected with people. People are really loving what I’m doing and what I’m creating.
“I have ladies that will send me an old Akubra and they will say, ‘Jules, I’d really like this flower to represent my mother and this flower to reference my grandfather’, and I can create something really, really beautiful.”
Ms Holland said hats were more than a simple fashion statement.
“I love to see people that wear their hats to an inch of their lives, I think it says a lot,” she said.
“I think a hat is more of an extension of somebody – it’s part of them.
“It’s part of their character.”
Boots and dresses
Jack Harrington, 6, lives on a cattle farm in Richmond. He said he normally wore his boots in the cattle yards.
“They’re fancy – brown, black and white,” he said.
Rockhampton local Lilli Molloy went for a dress rather than the mainstream jeans.
“I chose the dress because I was a bit worried I would get too hot,” she said.
“It’s a green mini dress with white polka dots and it wraps at the waist, and I’ve got my Akubra on because I wanted to fit in – and sun safety.
“The earrings, they’re little hand-blown glass grapes from a lady who makes them down in Adelaide.”