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FASHION | Aleisha Mitchell on mastering summer raceday style

She’s a multiple sash winner (including winner of The Ned Prix de Fashion 2019), a self-confessed handbag addict and one of our Fashions in the Field judges at the SkyCity Boxing Day Races this year.

Ahead of the big competition, Aleisha Mitchell weighs in on what it takes to dress to impress.

What are you looking for in terms of a winning look at the SkyCity Boxing Day Races?

There is so much gorgeous colour trending for spring/summer this year - a stunning shade will always turn my head on raceday!


Aside from colour, I always appreciate someone’s ability to take current trends and translate them into an appropriate ‘raceday’ look.


Lastly, a smile will always stand out as the perfect finishing touch.

This year is a new ‘Classic Lady’ Award… What are the key tips for anyone aiming for the top in that competition?

I think it’s so wonderful that new categories are being introduced, as it allows entrants to stand out in their chosen category and be judged on specific criteria for the category.


A Classic Lady at the races will receive nods of approval and appreciation.


Her outfit must of course lean towards more traditional raceday fashion, and her decorum will complete her outfit.

There will also be a prize for millinery and accessories this year. What is the best way to pull the look together above the shoulders?


Are there any trends in millinery or accessories that you think are particularly strong?


Millinery should always complement an outfit, not detract from it.


Earrings and millinery are a balancing act so it’s important that they don’t fight against each other.


Natural fibres are being used across earrings, belts, bags.


Chunky gold link jewellery, oversized gems and freshwater pearls are all on trend for the season.

What are your tips for pulling together an outfit?

The great thing about raceday fashion is that it’s an opportunity to get creative. Your outfit doesn’t have to cost a lot and most definitely does not need to be custom made for you. There are so many great shapes and colours in local retail stores.


Mix and match a new piece with something already in your wardrobe, or head along to a fabric store and get crafty by draping, pinning, or stitching together a gorgeous piece of fabric over the top of a basic dress shape you already love in your wardrobe, belt it and don’t be afraid to spray-paint some accessories. Check out your local op shop keeping in mind most things can be spray painted to a colour that works with your outfit.

Raceday fashion isn’t just for the ladies… What are the things that catch your eye in the men’s style comp?

Stage presence!


The men always seem to have bucket loads of confidence on stage and it’s so wonderful to see, as it’s obvious that they are having so much fun and really enjoying being the centre of attention.


In terms of attire, I love to see a play with colour, along with standout accessories for the men.


Mixed textures, prints and patterns can transform a standard suit shape into a unique and personal statement.

This year's Fashions in the Field judges


Aleisha is sitting on the 2020 judging panel with:

  • Hannah Marinkovich | ARC Ambassador; winner of Prix de Fashion 2017

  • Carena West | ARC Ambassador; winner of MYER Fashions on the Field 2019

  • Sarah Stuart | Celebrity stylist, head of styling at TV3 & Prime News, make-up artist

  • Ronald Biddick | Owner, RJB Design

What next?

Fashions in the Field 2020 could not be what it is without the support from our competition partners:


© 2021 Ellerslie

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