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FASHION | The inside word from our The Ned Prix de Fashion judges

Four of The Ned Prix de Fashion judges have given us the inside word on all things fashion.


Keep reading for insight from stylist Sarah Stuart, 2020 winner Katie Flett, seasoned judge Aleisha Mitchell and milliner Jill Humphries.

Fashion judge looking at photos
Judge Sarah Stuart in deep deliberation at The Ned Prix de Fashion 2020

What are you looking for in a winning outfit?

Finishing touches can make or break your outfit

Sarah: The winning outfit for me entails someone who is style confident, has created an interesting ensemble that’s unique with killer accessories that has not been afraid to take risks. The winning outfit is usually classy and modest, classic with a modern twist. Tailored silhouettes are preferred, with careful styling that considers all details from the hair right down to the toenail polish. I am looking for an outfit that really accentuates the contestant and I’m not left thinking that the outfit is wearing them.


Katie: Something that catches my eye, and I can’t stop looking at it. If think “Gee that’s clever” or I wouldn’t have thought of putting that with that, but it works amazing! All while looking effortless!


Aleisha: I have previously said ‘something that turns my head for all the right reasons’, and this still stands. I love nothing more than seeing an outfit that makes me want to look from head to toe more than once, appreciating all the details and the effortlessly way it has been put together.


Jill: A seamless yet effortless look. The wearer has to think of all components and not be contrived with her style. I am a little over the matchy matchy look that we have seen for a while. I believe if a dress has four or five colours in it the millinery should not be the same - choose one colour as your hero and stick to that

What have been your favourite looks of the season so far?

Oversized bows are a thing

Sarah: I have loved the millinery that have come through in the last few competitions. We have seen pillbox hats, caps styles and quirky oversized bows with stunning colourways. My favourite FITF looks have been clever retro silhouettes, giving a strong nod to a classic vintage styling but making it modern by bringing it into 2021.


The play on fabrics and colour and the looks that are a little risky.


Katie: I’m loving the masculine square shapes of shirts and wide leg pants being paired back with feminine high gloss fabrics, soft hues it creates an interesting contrast. I love that dresses both midi and maxi have full hemlines allowing gorgeous floating movement when worn.


Jill: After the pandemic I am personally looking to an old school glamour vibe. I am working on headwear that in the future will be passed down through the family like a museum collection.

What advice would you give to someone who is new to entering fashions in the field competitions?


Sarah: There are so few chances to really glam up these days so seize the moment and be creative. There is one thing to think about - fab or fashion faux pas, remember it isn’t fatal. It’s more about feeling great, impressing with your creativity, and gracing us with your unique personal style.


In her first season of entering FITF competitions Soraya Gurney was onto a winner, taking out our popular Fashions In The Field competition here on Boxing Day in 2018 and winning it again in 2020

Katie: Be yourself have fun and don’t be afraid to ask the regular entrants for advice or help - they are all a great bunch!

Aleisha: Grab a friend and enter together, it’s more fun and less nerve-racking having a friend to experience the day with. Remember to smile and enjoy yourself, it will make you shine on stage.


Jill: Your smile is your best accessory - use it!

Carena and THAT outfit

How do you think New Zealand's racewear scene differs from other countries or, what sets us apart?

Sarah: Well in this current climate during this world pandemic… we are one of the few very lucky countries that can celebrate and hold racedays. As a result of this, it allows New Zealand to have the opportunity to be leaders for FITF, which I think is pretty spectacular.