New Zealand's national fashions in the field final, The Ned Prix de Fashion, turned into a virtual competition this season due to a lockdown in Auckland forcing the cancellation of the planned event.
The competition featured 15 finalists from around the country who had each won a qualifying competition at a raceday around New Zealand over the spring / summer and went on to submit images and an optional video of their outfit (or "entry").
Our panel of eight judges from New Zealand and Australia then had the unenviable task of narrowing the field down to five grand finalists - one of whom is Anna Campbell - a small business owner who spends her days showering other peoples pups with love!
Ahead of the announcement as to who will take out the competition's Supreme Award, we had a chat with Anna to learn a little more about this lady who spends her days in farm clothes, but completes the transformation to raceday fashion darling with ease - plus we got the inside info on her sixties-inspired entry.
You always look so glamorous on a racecourse, but we hear your day job is a little different?
"My occupation is looking after people’s precious puppies with my business, Petite Paws.
I mostly live in farm clothes and slogger shoes and most of my dog owners don’t know I have another glamorous life and probably wouldn’t even recognise me!"
Was there anything unusual or unique about your outfit?
"The most unique part of my outfit is probably my horse bit handbag which, although is new, is styled on the sixties so fitted my look perfectly.
"I purchased it a while ago, but have been waiting to debut it with my completed look for the The Ned Prix de Fashion."
What inspired you for your outfit?
"My mother was a big part of my inspiration.
"As well as sewing my dress, she also wore a lot of the styles I was interested in.
"I was also a sixties baby so was sort-of there too!"
You won the first qualifying competition back in November so had a little time to pull your Top Five outfit together - how long did it take for you to plan the look and where did you get the idea from?
"I started planning my outfit as soon as I qualified on Jarden Melbourne Cup Day at Ellerslie.
"I knew I wanted a shorter hem and sixties style.
"The material was found at Spotlight and, because I wanted a lux-looking fabric and was planning for the final to be on Vodafone Derby Day, the black and silver material stood out."
What differences did you notice between entering a runway competition vs online?
"Changing from a runway to an online photo competition had its good and bad points.
"It was hard to get motivated to get dressed up just for photos, but it was good to choose a great background to complement your outfit and also do poses that you might be too embarrassed to do in public.
"It was also great to be able to look through your photos and choose your favourites amongst all the fails!
"But of course, it’s not the same atmosphere and fun as a day at the races and getting on a runway with some good music showing off your look!"
What would you say to someone who would consider entering such a competition for the first time?
"If you want to join in the fun of fashion on the field, it’s all about the homework.
"It’s all available online with lots of inspiration from other fabulous racegoers from around the world and fashion labels and icons past and present.
"My best advice would be to create your own look. Not completely copying another is really important, as well as dressing for your body shape and not following trends that don’t suit you.
"Also, once you have got your first sash or even had your first time on the runway, there’s a strong chance you will be addicted and in the near future you will be taking over the spare room or adding on the house to store all your hats, shoes, handbags and clothes!"
Anna and the four other Grand Finalists each remain in the running to be named 'Supreme Winner' of The Ned Prix de Fashion 2021 and take home the winner-takes-all $20,000 prize package from The Ned and Victoria Racing Club - plus the coveted title of being New Zealand racewear's national titleholder for the 2020/21 season.
Stay tuned for the announcement of the Supreme Winner of The Ned Prix de Fashion which will follow next week.
To see all the finalists, click here
To learn more about the judges and The Ned Prix de Fashion, click here
More Grand Finalist updates will be landing on this blog soon too!