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2015 Fashion in the Field Winner Carena West shares the key to her success

Bernina Northland Fashion Awards 2016

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2015 Fashion in the Field Winner Carena West shares the key to her success

fashion

Last year’s winner of the Steve Haywood Fashions in the Field event Carena West has competed in and won a number of Fashion competitions around the country so knows a thing or two when it comes to crafting an original outfit

Fashion in the Field is a competition for outfits suitable for race wear. How would you describe “race wear”?

Racewear is a fashion in a field of its own (mind the pun!) - It is lady like, beautiful and sophisticated. Hemlines should be longer and shoulders should not be bare (Strapless and spaghetti straps are a no-no). It is almost costume like, and if you think of it in that way it allows you a lot of creative freedom!

Can you tell us about your outfit for the 2016 Viva Prix de Fashion (as pictured)?

When I compete in Fashions in the Field I generally make my own outfits. I actually found the yellow fabric for my skirt almost a year before I used it, I just saw it and knew I would use it one day for something! I went for a longer length skirt (which as you can see by the other finalists is quite the fashion at the moment!) and the top was the result of some creative pattern making and a bit of experimentation (and wasn’t finished until the evening before Auckland Cup Day -which unfortunately, is normal for me.)

How important are accessories?

Accessories can make or break your outfit. It is imperative to have high quality millinery to go with your outfit - in fact it can be the one piece the clinches you the win. Claire Hahn makes many of my hats and she has such creative flair that I can show her an outfit and she will create something gorgeous to match it. Other accessories such as shoes and bags should complement your outfit (they don’t have to all be the same colour, but making sure the tones and patterns work together is really important). Gloves can be worn in they work well with your outfit (and can be a great addition if it is on the colder side) but they aren’t the be all and end all. Your outfit needs to work in harmony with the accessories, not be competing with them.

What did you purchase from Steve Haywood Master Jeweller with your Supreme Award prize voucher?

I bought an absolutely beautiful pair of diamond earrings- I wear them every day (I’m wearing them right now!) - Steve was amazing to work with and knew exactly what I was after.

Any final tips for our contestants this year?

Dress for the weather (September can still be very cold and Ruakaka Racecourse does have a bit of wind sometimes), take a friend and have some fun!

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