Since her first fashion competition in Goulburn in 2015, Viera has won a number of FITF sashes. Viera’s most prominent win was when she was named the National Winner of VRC’s 2021 Fashions On Your Front Lawn. Being a horse owner and a member of 5 clubs around Australia, it is fair to say that most of Viera’s weekends are spent at the races.
In between attending racedays, Viera has a corporate job at one of the big banks, a business with racing fashion accessories (Get Racy) as well as an Instagram account that keeps people up to date with trends and FITF inspiration.
We sat down with Viera ahead of her judging stint to learn more about her FITF creds…
When taking photos, consider your best angles as well as how the outfit moves. Think about what is needed to show it in the best way, given you won’t be able to walk on the stage. I recommend also thinking about the background…you don’t want it to be too busy as you want the focus to be on the outfit, not the trees or houses.
And my friends will tell you that my number one rule when taking photos is…clean the lens!
The whole experience was quite different because we were in lockdown until just a few days before the photo submission deadline.
The outfit that I ended up winning in was put together at the last minute as my other outfit didn’t quite work out. I loved the idea of the outfit in my head but I was worried it was too simple and the quality of the state finalists was incredibly high, so I didn’t think I had a chance.
When they announced my name, I was in shock. It was completely unexpected; to be honest, I convinced myself in the lead up it was going to be someone else, so I stopped even thinking it could be me and I was just enjoying the experience. I was actually at my friend’s place having a glass of champagne, not at home, so when they called me after the announcement saying they were in front of my building with the car, there were some logistical issues to sort through!
But as you can imagine, it was very exciting and seeing so many of my friends being genuinely happy for me was really humbling. It is an experience I will treasure forever.
My first fashion competition was in 2015 however, I only started to think about the outfits ‘seriously’ in 2018. It was a very steep learning curve I have to say!
My inspiration comes from many places. I do a lot of research, whether that’s looking through Instagram or watching fashion shows online, browsing through shops or attending fashion week.
Chats with fashion-minded friends are also a good way to bounce off ideas and finding milliners and dressmakers who ‘get you’ and understand your vision is crucial to creating that perfect outfit.
Right now it is all about column dressing and rosettes. The racing fashion community is very fast to adopt new trends and we have seen these two in particular embraced and styled beautifully.
We are seeing a lot of sheer and mesh fabrics in the shops and runways and while some people might think it is not appropriate for the races, with the right styling it is possible to make it look great for the racetrack.
Another trend I think and hope will make a comeback is the skirt suit.
New Zealand has always had a special place in my heart, I have a lot of Kiwi friends and I have seen a lot of the beautiful country. During my many travels to New Zealand I noticed New Zealand fashion and it was great to see how it translated to racewear.
There is a lot of texture and creativity in New Zealand racewear while embracing unique patterns and styles. And I love that.
I will be looking for an outfit that stands out and catches my attention. One that fits well and where all elements work together. I am really looking forward to seeing a lot of creativity and originality from the New Zealand entrants, whether these are the known faces or newcomers.
I do like dressing nicely for events or going out, but I spend most of my days in active wear. I find it very comfortable and also I don’t have an excuse not to do exercise given I am already dressed for it!
Of course, any winning outfit is very special to me. But my absolute favourite race day look would have to be my Stradbroke outfit from 2021. I wore a custom-made red leather dress with big shoulders by Ruth Tate designer in Sydney and an oversized black beret made from over 300 feathers by Kathryn Lee Millinery. I remember when I got dressed and then walked into the racecourse, I felt very special. The outfit didn’t win anything but is still my favourite to date.
Just give it a go and have fun!
…a fun and creative way to express your own style, a great way to meet new people and make lifelong friends. It’s being part of a great community and an exciting industry.
Thanks so much to Viera for her time in chatting with us and for joining the judging panel. We look forward to having her perspective.
To enter the opening round of The Ned Prix de Fashion and have a chance to be a part of the national fashions in the field final, CLICK HERE.