Road to The Ned Prix de Fashion: Sara Allpress

Caitlin O'Sullivan
8 January 2021

The world of fashions in the field is in the height of its season, with plenty of sashes being handed out over the past months (and giving the always-excited recipients entry into The Ned Prix de Fashion competition at Ellerslie in March!). We caught up with the winner of the fashions in the field at Te Rapa’s Waikato Cup Day, Sara Allpress, to learn a little more about her outfit... and get a few winning tips!  


Firstly, a huge congratulations on your win at Te Rapa! Can you tell me a little about your outfit? 

Thank you, it was such a fun day! I’m still in shock as the level of fashion presented on the day was top notch, everyone brought their A game.

My outfit was definitely a labour of love. The dress was made by myself. The fabric, a very textured, layered nylon reminded me of an old school coverlet when I first saw it on the roll. I quickly fell in love with it as I’m a sucker for anything pastel or pink. I worked on it for months sewing a seam here and there and chucking it back into a box thinking it wasn’t perfect. But low and behold perseverance pays off. The millinery was a custom piece made by the ever so talented Claire Hahn. I usually let Claire have full control over my millinery as I enjoy seeing her creativity flow on a piece with little restriction, and I trust her judgement as a fellow creative artist. Both the dress and millinery worked in harmony together and was complimented by an array of bits and bobs purchased here and there. 


Where do you find inspiration for your FITF looks? 

When creating a piece for a fashion on the field event, I’m often drawn to an aspect of a garment, bag, fabric or shoe and create a look around that. When creating a garment myself, I usually pick the fabric first with an idea in mind of a shape or silhouette I want to create with it. I’m often inspired by what works well on my shape and what I know I will feel confident in. Trends do play a part, but not all fashion trends are racing fashion trends. Lately I’ve been loving garments that have either a beautiful flounce, puffy sleeve (I’m a sucker for a good sleeve) intricate ruffle or a bright pop of colour, as this helps to create an element of fun to the ensemble.


You are now officially qualified for the national fashion in the field final - The Ned Prix de Fashion at Ellerslie! What are you most looking forward to come 6 March? 

The Ned Prix de Fashion is such an exhilarating day. It’s a day where everyone comes together to dress up and have fun. I’m lucky enough to have met some amazing friends from all over the country who compete in the fashion events, so I’m really looking forward to a good catch up with all of them. I love a good strut on the catwalk too!

I really enjoy the preparation that goes into turning up, all glam, on the day. Creating the outfit, picking the right shoe or bag, and getting your hair and makeup done. It’s like my wedding day all over again, but without the I do’s. 


What trends are you expecting to be big this season (and take centre stage on The Ned Prix de Fashion runway!)?

Trends are interesting at the moment, we’ve had a year of loungewear chic so I think we will see everyone stepping up their fashion game on the catwalk. But what I think will be a standout on the catwalk will be volume. A voluminous skirt, ruffle, bow or sleeve will likely take centre stage. 


What advice would you give to someone looking to enter FITF for the first time? 

I think the best thing for anyone looking at giving it a go would be just to give it a go. Do some research, come to a few competitions and have a look at what it’s all about. See if your local racecourse has a competition- this can be a great place to give your first event a go as you’ll have a great support and cheering crew.

I also think practicing your walk in your shoes and a few poses is also a fabulous idea.

Finish the sentence: No great raceday outfit is complete without...

…a signature pose, and a beautiful smile. 


Keen to learn a little more about The Ned Prix de Fashion? Check out our blog - Road to The Ned Prix de Fashion: Who, what, where, when and why?

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