With Viva Prix de Fashion just around the corner (literally happening this coming Saturday!), we chatted to last year's winner, Hannah Carson, who lets us in on what it's like to win the coveted $15,000 prize package and compete in Melbourne at Myer Fashions on the Field!
Keep reading for the Q&A...
[ARC] You were last year’s winner of Viva Prix de Fashion, can you describe the day and what it was like when they announced you as the winner?
[Hannah Carson] It was my first time competing in Viva Prix de Fashion and I loved watching all of the heats, but it did make me very nervous!
The effort that goes into some of the outfits is just mind-blowing and since then I have been pretty much addicted as racing fashion is so much fun.
Backstage was really enjoyable. I liked getting to see everyone's outfits up close where I could appreciate the detailing.
When I was announced as the winner I was really shocked and it all did seem a bit surreal. I was over the moon, of course!
What was it like to compete in Melbourne's Myer Fashions on the Field?
Melbourne was beyond amazing! The whole trip was incredible and I felt very lucky to attend one of the most iconic racedays. I most definitely will be going back. Competing over there was different because of the numbers and I was just in awe of all of the beautiful outfits.
I loved watching all of the heats and picking my favourites, it's always fun to see how many you can pick that are going to make it through to the finals!
See Hannah's Myer Fashions on the Field 2017 outfit below:
How long have you been passionate about fashion and style?
I have been passionate about fashion and style since as long as I can remember.
I still remember the outfit the first day I was old enough to dress myself! It's been a fun journey taking my everyday passion for style and building on that into racing fashion. It's another creative outlet that I really enjoy. I've been attending racedays for the past ten years and choosing my outfits is secretly my favourite part of the races. I love an excuse to dress up!
What is your style philosophy?
I don't have a philosophy as such, but I do believe it is important to wear something that you feel good in. When you feel beautiful and confident it shows. I also like to have fun and experiment and at the same time keep at least one element classic, whether that is my hair or makeup or a silhouette or accessory to keep everything balanced.
Where do you find inspiration for your race day outfits?
I love looking at what everyone is wearing overseas and what international designers are doing. I love mixing current fashion trends into my outfits and often start by having a scroll on Instagram or Net-a-Porter.
As someone who’s attended a few racedays in her life, what are your go-to items you have with you on the day?
Definitely makeup to touch up, a good finely milled powder (finely milled is key so you don't get cakey) and your lipstick / lip gloss. Your phone (to take photos of your outfit!) and cash for your bets ;)
A few bobby pins and a safety pin or too can also help any outfit mishap along the way.
What are your fashion tips for people new to dressing for the races?
Find inspiration on Pinterest and Instagram and if you are thinking about entering Viva Prix de Fashion or another raceday fashion competition then it will help you out a lot if you research. See what is winning here and overseas and make sure your outfit is race-wear appropriate. Put effort into coordinating every element of your outfit as nothing goes unseen by the judges!
At the same time it is important to have fun with it, don't take it too seriously and stay true to your style.
Do you have any advice for ladies who are looking to turn their normal wardrobe into racewear?
This is so easy to do! Start with a favourite dress, skirt or pants (I'm loving pants at the moment) and build your outfit around that. Figure out a colour-theme to carry through the outfit and co-ordinate your accessories. If you don't want to wear a hat, a smaller headpiece including headbands and headscarves can add the finishing touch.
Make-up and hair are a big part of the overall outfit you put together. Do you have any tips for getting this right?
Every great outfit needs to be finished off with good hair and makeup! My biggest tip is to not leave trying something new to the day. Stick to what you know you suit or practice beforehand.
I recommend using a sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun but choose one that is good under makeup that doubles as a primer. I like the Mecca Cosmetica SPF 50+ sunscreen. Define your eyes with an eyeliner and lashes as it looks great in photos. DIY false lashes are amazing but make sure they're natural looking and soft, not the plastic version as they are too harsh for daytime.
Finish with a lipstick that complements your outfit and a setting spray can do you wonders to make sure your makeup stays in place all day and it also allows you to not use as much powder. My favourite is the Glam Glow Glowsetter setting spray. And keep in mind that even though you want to look glam, keep it appropriate for day time - less is more.
For your hair, starting off with a serum that is going to protect your hair style from Auckland's humidity will make it last much longer! My go-to is the Kérastase L'Incroyable Blow-dry serum.
Finally, what advice do you have for this year’s fashion contestants?
Try and have everything organised before the day so you can be in the moment and enjoy it without stressing! Other than that, go out and have fun. Bring a smile to the stage and remember everyone gets nervous, it's only normal. The judges are always so lovely and they want you to do well!
Have fun and good luck!!