Road to The Ned Prix de Fashion: Who, what, where, when and why?

Caitlin O'Sullivan
14 October 2020

To put it into racing terms, The Ned Prix de Fashion is a Group 1 event – it’s ‘the one’ they all want to win, with high stakes and an atmosphere to match, attracting the most fashionable fillies around.

‘Tell me more’, you say? Our friends at Ellerslie have broken down the who, what, where, when and why’s of The Ned Prix de Fashion competition…

What: The Ned Prix de Fashion is the national fashions in the field final and is the culmination of fashion events from around the country.  The woman crowned supreme wins over $20,000 worth of prizes from The Ned and Victoria Racing Club including the chance to compete in Melbourne in Flemington’s Myer Fashions on the Field, representing New Zealand, in November 2021.

Where: Ellerslie Racecourse

When: Vodafone Derby Day, 6 March 2021

Who: The event is open to women who have competed with success in qualifying fashion events at racecourses around the country (more on this shortly!).

Four lucky women can also gain a wildcard place in the competition by taking part in the Fashion Qualifiers in association with Milford Centre competition, held earlier on Vodafone Derby Day. In addition to gaining the final spots in The Ned Prix de Fashion, these four women will also receive a $1,500 voucher from Milford Centre.

The prequalified women (including the four who earned the wildcard spots earlier in the day) kick off The Ned Prix de Fashion by competing in what’s called the Regional Final.  In that, competitors take to the runway in a bid to capture the judges’ eyes – and their points.

Once the judges each anonymously submit the points they have given to each competitor, the scores are tallied up with the top five announced and sashed on the runway.

It’s then out to Ellerslie’s Birdcage Dais where the Supreme Winner is announced, sashed and given the bragging rights of being the best-dressed racegoer in New Zealand (along with a rather impressive array of prizes!).

Why: The winner of The Ned Prix de Fashion takes home $20,000+ in prizes from The Ned and Victoria Racing Club, the title of being the country’s best dressed racegoer for the season, plus that all-important sash. And who doesn’t love an excuse to dress to the nines and enjoy a day out at the races?!

Got your ears pricked? The qualifying events kick off this weekend, with Livamol Classic Day at Hawke’s Bay Racing taking place on Saturday. Last year’s winner of that competition, Katie O’Neill, went on to take out top honours at Ellerslie - so this competition is a real form-setter.

Throughout the season, we’ll catch up with those who qualify, following the road to The Ned Prix de Fashion 2021.  Stay tuned!

What about for the men? Given its Flemington prize component, The Ned Prix de Fashion is only open to women BUT you’ll find a lot of racing clubs hold menswear awards. Gents aren’t forgotten at Ellerslie either with plenty of opportunities for them to compete, including on the same runway (and day!) as The Ned Prix de Fashion.

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