A Chat with Crystal Kimber

The Races - Caitlin O'Sullivan
13 February 2020
When it comes to raceday fashion, few have the flair of Australia’s Crystal Kimber. Crystal is no stranger to the Fashion in the Field stage, winning her first competition at 16  years old and picking up many sashes since. 
In 2017, Crystal won the biggest of them all - the prestigious Myer Fashions on the Field National Final at Flemington Racecourse. Crystal has continued her strong association with the Victoria Racing Club, sitting on the judging panel for the 2018 Myer Fashions on the Field National Final and being appointed the Myer Fashions on the Field Ambassador in 2019. 
Later this month, Crystal will travel to New Zealand to sit on the judging panel of The Ned Prix de Fashion, New Zealand’s national Fashion in the Field final, where one lucky winner will take home more than $20,000 in prizes. 
We sat down with Crystal to chat all things racing, fashion and Ellerslie’s upcoming Auckland Cup Week®. 
Talk us through your first New Zealand racing experience?  What stood out and made you want to return? 
I had so much fun at the Auckland Cup in 2018, everyone was so welcoming! I made new friends and I loved seeing the fashion. I’m excited to do it again this year and judge The Ned Prix De Fashion competition at Vodafone Derby Day on 29 February.
What do you love most about raceday fashion?
For me, it is the opportunity to dress up and feel your best self. As you get older, you have less occasions so it’s really nice to plan an outfit head to toe and have fun with your friends.
What was it like hearing your name called as the winner of the 2017 MYER Fashions on the Field competition?
I absolutely couldn’t believe it and even now I still don’t. I just remember screaming in disbelief and wanted my mum on stage with me celebrating. Every year the competition gets better and just to be in the final is so special!
How does New Zealand’s Fashion in the Field shape up against the Australian competitions?
The New Zealand raceday fashion is so competitive, the girls keep raising the bar every year so it is definitely making it hard for us Australian’s to keep up! Each year, more New Zealand girls make the trip over to the Melbourne Cup Carnival and are consistently taking out the top places.  I always remember getting nervous when I would see the girls lining up as I knew they would do well!
As a judge for the upcoming Ned Prix De Fashion, what will you be looking for on stage?
I will be looking for an overall look that is unique and reflects their personality whilst also remaining on-trend. A big thing for me is confidence, when you feel amazing it shows to the judges so definitely make sure you are wearing a smile!
Do you have any tips you are willing to share for nailing a winning look?
I think for me it’s about looking effortless and not too matching.  The key is picking out one or two colours from the dress to accessorise with, using one colour in the headpiece and the other in the shoe.
Fashion aside, what are you most looking forward to this Auckland Cup Week®?
For me, it’s about experiencing an overseas raceday and one of the biggest on the calendar in New Zealand. I love witnessing world-class racing, the energy of the crowd and the hospitality around the track. I’m also looking forward to catching up with some of the friends that I have made through the years at the Melbourne Cup Carnival!
For more information about Vodafone Derby Day and The Classics Carnival, visit loveracing.nz/theclassics.

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