The Ned Prix de Fashion 2023 | Sartorial smarts from our judges

25 Apr 2023
Auckland Thoroughbred Racing

With 2023’s edition of The Ned Prix de Fashion underway, we took five minutes to chat to some of our judges about all things fashion.

These women are known for their sartorial smarts and we look forward to seeing who they select as the Supreme Winner of The Ned Prix de Fashion for 2023!

L to R: Sarah Stuart, Crystal Kimber-Peters, Hannah Marinkovich, Aleisha Mitchell and Carena West

What recent runway trends do you think could translate well into fashions in the fields (or have already)?

Carena: I think a really interesting thing is happening at the moment in fashion with the popularity of “quiet luxury” – lots of understated looks with exquisite fabric and cut – it will be interesting to see if this translates over to entries or whether it skews the opposite way completely!

Crystal: Currently, we’re seeing a lot of rosettes and big ruffles coming through the latest runways along with dresses featuring large prints that almost look like a work of art transposed onto a garment. I think we can expect to see those trends come through into fashions on the field and we’ll continue to see the long glove trend this season, as it looks so chic!

Hannah: I think that international runway trends should be looked at for inspiration and thought about before translating into raceday fashion. The recent return of naughties boho for example would not translate well – however, I would love to be proven wrong! In fashion in the fields we’ve recently seen a lot of Valentino-inspired hot pink, and the return of elbow-length gloves. Moving forward, I would love to see skirt suits in gorgeous fabrics make a comeback like we have recently seen by the likes of Gucci and L’Agence. Trending colours are always something that can translate well into racewear too, like this season’s lime green or candyfloss pink.

What raceday in the world would you love to attend?

Carena: Most probably Royal Ascot into the Royal Enclosure, it’s on my bucket list!

Crystal: I would love to attend the Dubai World Cup, as it’s such an iconic event, especially for Fashions on the Field enthusiasts. In 2015, I was fortunate to attend Royal Ascot which was a dream come true so I would love to tick Dubai off my list next.

Hannah: It would be a dream to attend the Royal Ascot! Just as much for the people watching as the racing – and the fashion of course.

Royal Ascot is the raceday destination of choice for our judges


We’ve seen some kiwi racing fashion success on the world stage lately. Kiwi, Deb Lambie, just won the Best Dressed Lady at the Dubai World Cup and Eleanor and Laura Campbell (past Prix de Fashion winners) both did extremely well at the latest VRC Melbourne Cup Carnival. What do you think it is about NZ looks that make them stand out from the rest?

Carena: New Zealanders have a really uncanny ability to create unique looks that stand out from the crowd, whether it be use of colour, shape or gorgeous millinery. I think our no.8 wire mentality comes out – we love to try new things!

Crystal: I love how much effort NZ entrants put in and they really spend the time to research trends, DIY at home and create something that is truly unique. In Australia, a lot of contestants rely heavily on designer fashion and less about DIY which is why I feel NZ constants are doing so well.

Hannah: How awesome was that, go Deb! I think Kiwis aren’t afraid to take a risk and we have carved out our own style. It’s not so cookie-cutter and I love that everyone gives things a go. Our clever local milliners also give us an edge. The attention to detail is 100% there too.

Deborah Lambie after her win in the 2023 Style Stakes in Dubai. Image credit: Dubai Racing Club


Who do you look to for fashion inspiration, both on and off the track?

Carena: Generally, I find my inspiration in film, tv and runway shows, so not so much individuals. I also find that what I come up with represents how I’m feeling at the time – whether it be daring, classic or experimental (my dress resembled a bath poof one Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup Day!)

Crystal: I mainly look to the latest runways for fashion inspiration; however, I also follow Blair Eadie on Instagram who is my go-to for bright, bold, and fun fashion ideas. Her looks often translate to racewear, and I love that she opts to wear fabulous hats for everyday life!

Hannah: I’ve recently observed that my fashion ‘icons’ change – I don’t know if it’s to do with my own style evolving or a mood! I’m really late to the Harley Bieber bandwagon, but lately, I’ve been loving her effortless street style and she also knows how to do glam. On track, I love to get inspiration from milliners, we have some incredible local ones and I love to see what they’re working on and draw an outfit from that. As for my favourite Australian milliner, I’m very lucky to be judging alongside her again this year! Jill’s work is just stunning.

Carena’s “bath poof” ensemble on Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup Day


What is your biggest ‘ick’ when it comes to racing fashion?

Carena: Strapless dresses that are falling down – but that is probably an ick outside of racing fashion too!

Crystal: For me, it’s when someone is wearing an outfit that they clearly don’t feel comfortable or their best in. Racing fashion allows people to dress up and feel their best and as we get older, we have less occasions to dress up. I love seeing people being able to showcase their style and wear something that they love, rather than wearing something they think the judges will select.

Hannah: Stickers left on the bottom of shoes!

What’s your favourite raceday look you’ve ever worn?

Carena: Definitely the outfit that I won the National Fashion in the Field competition in Australia wearing. I almost wish I had an excuse to wear it again!

Crystal: When I reflect on my favourite outfits over the years, there seems to be a consistent trend; tweed and the classic Derby Day look. One of my original favourites, was a strapless high shine leather Alex Perry Dress that I layered over a sheer blouse my mum made, however, last year’s Derby Day look might be my new favourite.

Hannah: I think it would have to be Vodafone Derby Day 2020, when I also happened to be judging The Ned Prix de Fashion. I wore a broderie anglaise Ganni dress with a leather beret. Really simple but still fun – I’d still wear it tomorrow!


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