She owns her own clothing boutique and has been entering fashions in the field competitions for close to a decade.
Now, in her first year of qualifying for The Ned Prix de Fashion, Yulia Marsh - who earned her place in the national final by being named one of four winners in Ellerslie's Adashiko Fashion Qualifiers - chats with us about her racewear journey.
Is this your first time qualifying? If so, how does it feel?
"This is my first time qualifying. It's so exciting to be chosen alongside an array of such stylish and gorgeous ladies."
How long have you been entering fashions in the field competitions?
"I first entered when I was a studying fashion at the Art and Design College. It was 2013 and we had a project to create an outfit including millinery to go with it, and then enter a fashion in the field competition. It was such a fun day and I have been hooked ever since.
"Since then, I have entered around 10 competitions with different outfits."
What do you enjoy most about fashions in the field competitions?
"First of all - the preparation. I really enjoy the whole process of putting an outfit together. It all comes together when completing the look with hair and make-up. It’s like feeling like a princess for the day.
"Another important point - to see all the other competitors in their glam outfits and admire them all!"
Where you get your fashions in the field inspiration from?
"I love Philip Treacy and his creations - he is one of my icons. Also, Australian milliners are a big inspiration for me.
"I follow a lot of fashion accounts on Instagram and there are a lot of talented people and amazing stylists. I would say probably Blair Eadie (Atlantic Pacific) is one of my favourites at the moment, her looks are always interesting, different and colourful.
"There are some occasions you come across a beautiful fabric or dress design and you start developing ideas in your head and can’t stop thinking about it."
What do you think makes New Zealand’s racewear scene different to anywhere else in the world?
"Local millinery, unique styles and handmade dresses."
To me, fashions in the field is…
"A chance to dress up, feel great and see the other gorgeous outfits on a raceday."
What do you do for a day job?
"I own a fashion boutique in The Tannery [mall] in Christchurch. I am working in there most of the week."
What’s one thing people might be surprised to learn about you?
"I am originally from Russia but have been living in New Zealand for 20 years. I am also a New Zealand-qualified maths teacher."
Can you give us a hint about what you might be wearing for the regional final of The Ned Prix de Fashion?
"It is something bright, feminine and vintage inspired!"
Do you follow horse racing as well, or is fashions in the field where it’s at for you on raceday?
"I bet on horses when I am at the races and can read the race book!
"We go to the races sometimes for the enjoyment of the day, even when there is no fashions in the field.
"When the kids where little we used to love to go to family friendly Motukarara races."
What has been your favourite raceday look that you’ve worn?
"My favourite raceday look was the one I qualified for The Ned Prix de Fashion with - a Zimmerman dress with Maria Wright millinery."
Do you consider yourself a trend setter or follower?
"Because I own a fashion boutique, I order new collections at least six months in advance. Therefore I would probably describe myself as more of a trendsetter."
What advice would you give to people keen to start entering fashions in the field (FITF) competitions but who aren’t quite sure where to start?
"First of all, do some researching online. Then when you have a few ideas and questions approach a FITF group on Facebook - there is a few in both New Zealand and Australia for advice if needed.
"Start planning the outfit with the dress first and then look for millinery."
Editor's note: Join our very own Fashionably Racing Facebook group to connect with some of the lovely FITF fans or check out It's All About The Sash - another popular, feel-good FITF Facebook group.
What’s one trend you’ve seen in fashions in the field competitions this year that you’ve loved?
"Big statement sleeves. I've seen so many gorgeous dresses with volume sleeves, they all look amazing."
The Ned Prix de Fashion is New Zealand's national fashions in the field final and will see one of our regional finalists take home not only that coveted sash but a prize package worth in excess of $20,000 thanks to The Ned and the Victoria Racing Club.