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FASHION: Fashions in the field judge Sarah Stuart on raceday style


As a fashion and celebrity stylist, head of news styling at TV3, PRIME News and judge of our SkyCity Boxing Day Races Fashions in the Field competition, if anyone knows how to create a ‘perfectly put together’ look it’s Sarah Stuart.

In the lead-up to the big event, we asked Sarah for some tips on making an impression on raceday.


What makes a winning raceday look?

A winner for me has thought about their finishing touches. For example, hair should be styled and sleek, and makeup should be polished, while well thought-out accessories will complete the look.


From a judge’s perspective, at this year’s SkyCity Boxing Day Races, I am on the lookout for beautifully-executed proportions, attention to detail and originality.


I also really appreciate the use of clever colourways.

Sarah on the judging panel of The Ned Prix de Fashion here in March 2020

How do you feel about the new ‘Classic Lady’ Award?

I am very happy that there’s a new award for classic styling. With some people putting a racewear spin on modern fashion and others staying true to what is usually deemed racewear, when judging I can sometimes be quite torn between the two.


The contemporary and classic split allows for more creativity and a chance for people to really showcase their chosen style.

Are there any key trends in millinery or accessories this year?

Vintage style pillbox hats are quite popular at the moment, and they give a gorgeous nod to the classics.


Large bows are still on trend along with blocked and padded headbands.


Sarah Stuart here at Ellerslie with Hannah Marinkovich, a fellow Fashions in the Field judge
Sarah here at Ellerslie with Hannah Marinkovich, a fellow Fashions in the Field judge

What advice do you have for men entering Fashions in the Field?

I love seeing what the men come up with and each year they seem to step things up.


Coordination, style and freshness are the key considerations.

The secret for a guy is to consider his accessories - hats, cane, bow tie/ tie, porchette pocket square). These extra details really make an outfit and are essential for any Boxing Day Races look.


Experiment but be relevant.


Lastly and just as importantly (but maybe the least considered!) is clean and coordinating shoes. When they're on the runway, contestants will be at the judges' eye levels so their shoes need to work with the outfit perfectly - make sure you give them a good polish.

This year's Fashions in the Field judges...


Sarah 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

  • Aleisha Mitchell | Two-time fashion in the field winner; winner of The Ned Prix de Fashion 2019

  • Ronald Biddick | Owner, RJB Design

What next?

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