As a hairdresser, make-up artist and fashion stylist, Viva Prix de Fashion judge, Tracey Dalton knows her stuff.
She's also been on the judging panel of Viva Prix de Fashion for a number of years so has seen trends change and evolve, plus she knows what it takes to win the coveted prize package valued at $20,000.
We sat down with Tracey and chatted to her about fashion, style, beauty and what it takes to catch the eyes of those on the judging panel.
[ARC] How long have you been passionate about fashion and style, and how long have you enjoyed attending the races?
[Tracey Dalton] I have loved clothes since I was a little girl and have followed that passion into my line of work - quite accidentally - firstly by becoming a hairdresser, then a makeup artist and then a fashion stylist. Now I'm lucky to combine all three in the work I do.
As children we would attend country races with my parents, grandparents, aunties, uncles and cousins in the South Island and I have great memories of those days.
My mother grew up in Wingatui and her father worked with horses and my dad's mum was a keen races follower so I guess it's in my blood a little bit.
What is your style philosophy?
Know who you are and how you want to look and don't be afraid to be different!
You have been a fashion judge before for Viva Prix de Fashion, what do you look out for when judging the contestants?
A complete well put together and fashion-forward ensemble from head to toe - including the hair, makeup, nail polish and, of course, the accessories.
How has racing fashion changed over the years? Any trends you’d like to see make a return or any that you’re pleased have faded away?
I am pleased things have become more classic again, there was a period where fashion took over too much and maxi dresses were quite a big thing - more suited to a pool party than the races. A bit like in the sixties when mini length dresses made an appearance - not really races style. I think over the past few years we have seen a hark back to the classic classy 40's and 50's which I love.
What are your favourite fashion trends from this summer? Are there any you’d like to see make the transition to racewear?
I have loved the amount of colour that has been around this summer and I think that has definitely been shown at race meets so far this season. I also love a good jumpsuit and love that they have been back in fashion for the past few years - but to be a winning races outfit - well lets just say it would have to be outstandingly put together...
What advice do you have for this year’s fashion contestants?
Think about your entire outfit, we don't just want a fabulous hat or a fabulous dress - the entire outfit must be fabulous - just don't over-accessorise.
Most importantly own your outfit and wear it with confidence
Thanks to Victoria Racing Club, our Viva Prix de Fashion Supreme Winner is lucky enough to compete over in Australia at Myers Fashions on the Field as part of the 2018 Melbourne Cup Carnival. What are your three top tips for our Kiwi contestants to compete with the best over the ditch?
1.) Do your homework - look at what has been winning their regional competitions. Try to be different but don't go crazy
2.) They still love classic racewear. A winning outfit has to have that extra something that will catch the judges' eyes
3.) You also have to be very confident on the catwalk
Make-up and hair are a big part of an overall raceday look. Do you have any tips for getting this right?
Makeup should not be too over the top - it's a day event, not a night out. A great lip colour can really make an outfit.
Hair should be neat and tidy and not take away from your hat or headpiece. The races are all about the headwear.
Headpieces are a large part of racewear. If a traditional fascinator isn’t your thing, what do you suggest wearing as a headpiece to add that extra touch?
I really love a proper hat or headpiece, but if it's not your thing, make a fabulous piece out of flowers if this will suit your outfit. Smaller decorative head bands can also work, but then you have to put a lot of effort into fabulous hair if the band is small.
What are your must-have items to bring with you on the day, and why?
Lipstick and powder for touch-ups, cash so I can place a few bets and water - its always hot.
I also usually have a couple of safety pins and hair bobby pins in my bag too.