I Wore A Suit To The Brownlow (“Gownlow”)


Suits worn by myself and Liam were designed, made and tailored by the absolutely incredible Carl Navè. Instagram: @cnavetailor

Photography done by the extremely talented Grace Petrou. Instagram: @gracepetrou

Make-up by the exceptional face painting artist, Tess McFadden. Instagram: @tessm_makeupartist

Hair by the long hair genius, Julia Cochrane. Instagram: @hairbyjuliacochrane


Campaign for a “Bullfree Brownlow” for the Herald Sun can be seen here.

“How a woman can make a statement on the Brownlow carpet” article by Woman’s Agenda can be read here.

“10 talking points from the 2016 Brownlow Medal” by AFL.com can be seen here.

Articles also by Foxsports and The Daily Mail.

Radio interviews given for Joy FM on challenging gender bias and discrimination, 774 ABC and ABC National.

Previous post on Uncanny Annie can be read here.

The Brownlow Medal 2016


“Fashion is a visual expression of how you feel. And I feel the red carpet has been unfairly biased and cruel to women in the past.” #bullyfreebrownlow

Stella McCartney pumps. A few people were keen to criticise the fact I wore heels and not flat shoes. They didn’t understand why I would wear different shoes to Liam when I was trying to make the statement that Liam and I were dressed the same and therefore should be equally critiqued on our fashion. However, the statement was also that people attending should be able to be themselves without judgement. We both like wearing suits. I like wearing heels, Liam doesn’t. So I wore heels and he wore flat shoes. Nevertheless, I still found myself in the “worst dressed” and “fashion fails” by the “fashion police” despite no fashion critical commentary about Liam or my heels.

My attempt at posing, haha. Most of the women in attendance to the Brownlow are not models (I’m sounding like a broken record – I don’t know how many times I’ve said that now?!) Some of the women attending the Brownlow in 2016 were even about to debut in the Women’s AFL that was kicking off for the first time in 2017. That didn’t stop them from the superficial judgement either.

Pondering about the potential sh*t storm that was to come. It isn’t to be underestimated what many of the partners at events like the Brownlow go through. Though our partners have media training via the clubs they play for, we don’t. Being up for public scrutiny when you are just trying to support the achievements of your partner can leave a bitter taste in your mouth or in some cases leave partners in a depressed state. Many in the public are still quick to judge women that are with athletes. We don’t see such media hype, red carpet fashion criticism and public nastiness towards the partners of those attending events like the Walkley Awards. Many say, “Don’t go if you don’t like it” but that is ridiculous. The bulliers and sexism needs to stop, not those being bullied. Clearly there are women far worse off due to sexism in everyday life however, equality in sport has a flow on effect to equality in life.

Talking to the talented, funny and kind Carl Navè before I left. I really am indebted to Carl for understanding and supporting my ambition leading up to the event and creating our suits.

At the end of the day, this is who it was all about for me, my husband, Liam. I love him so deeply and I was so proud of him for being invited. I’m also so grateful that he stands for (almost) everything I do. We both “wear the pants” in our relationship and that is the way we like it.

My love.