Top judge reveals what's hot and what's not in Cup & Show Week fashion

Calling all fashionistas - it's time to refine your Cup Day looks ahead of this year's big day in...
Calling all fashionistas - it's time to refine your Cup Day looks ahead of this year's big day in Christchurch. Photo: NZH
One thing is for sure - there will be colour and there will be headwear of all shapes, materials and sizes.

But aside from that Nicole Rebstock says there’s no telling what competitors will turn up with at Addington Raceway tomorrow.

The top designer and The Crossing Cup Day Fashion Competition judge has outlined what she expects to see on the catwalk and what will win her vote in the iconic annual event.

“Cup and Show Week looks don’t tend to follow the trends as strongly as one might think,” she said.

“It’s more about picking a theme that fits the overall feel of the races and being true to it across your entire look.

“Of course, current fashion trends influence what people wear at the races but classic and elegant fashion etiquette has been preserved over the years, timeless beauty that really resonates with me and my brand.

“This means you’ll often see more a-line, fitted or preppy type fashion - of course, modernised by today’s trends.”

Rebstock said The Crossing Cup Day Fashion Competition is going to be “one of the most exciting and decadent we’ve ever had”.

This year there is a tent on site dedicated for the entire day to the “fashion devoted”.

Hosted by NZME broadcaster Toni Street from Coast, there will be a catwalk, long lunches and bubbles all around.

Rebstock said tickets for the tent sold out well in advance of Cup Day.

“And we know there are some really strong contestants, many of whom continue to outdo themselves year after year, so we are excited to see what they have in store for us,” she told the Herald.

“Although there is no right or wrong, there are a few trends we expect to see shining through based on current international fashion trends.

“Metallics are on trend this year, and we are likely to see the use of a lot of bold colours.

“For ladies, dramatic and feminine features such as oversized bows, vibrant silks and lace - it’s going to be a bold year.”

The Crossing Fashion Starts Here Competition had more than 300 entries last year. Photo: The...
The Crossing Fashion Starts Here Competition had more than 300 entries last year. Photo: The Crossing
So as a judge, what will Rebstock be looking for when deciding on the winning looks?

“Originality, attention to detail, consistency and of course, good shoes,” she said.

“We want contestants to pick a theme and commit to it cohesively throughout their entire look.”

Rebstock said she loved the judging process as it was a chance to “indulge” in her “favourite type of fashion” and enjoy the design work of others.

“The fashion we see at Cup Day is very harmonious with my own label,” she explained.

“The Nicole Rebstock Shoes & Accessories label is inspired by my adoration of timeless beauty and femininity and broadly speaking, that is the aim of the game on Cup Day.

“I love the consideration and attention to detail and it’s always a pleasure seeing people enjoying themselves and feeling good.

“Last year we really enjoyed listening to how contestants put their outfits together so I’m hoping we will get some of that again this year.”

Rebstock, who stepped away from a traditional career in the law to become a designer and entrepreneur, is known for her use of rich colours and “timeless” feminine silhouettes.

She said “attention to detail is core” to her ethos - but comfort was “as important as aesthetic design”.

Nicole Rebstock’s top five must-have items for Cup Day:

  1. Good shoes! Shoes make or break an outfit.
  2. Matching accessories - the devil is in the detail, and this is where you can score a lot of points
  3. A headpiece - a hat, fascinator, headband, flower, scarf etc
  4. An outfit you feel good in
  5. Cash to bet on your favourite horse

The Crossing Cup Day Fashion Competition - how to enter:

Entrants must be at least 18 years of age and a New Zealand resident and purchase a ticket to the IRT New Zealand Trotting Cup Day

For the full rules and a list of prizes click here.

The competition is open for pre-registration online - click here for a link.

You can also register and enter the competition on the day between 11am-1pm at The Crossing Fashion Marquee.

Entrants will need to present themselves between 11am-1pm on 14th November at The Crossing Fashion Marquee to walk in front of the judges.

Winners will be announced from the presentation area at 2.30pm after Race 6 on the 14th November at Addington Raceway.

There are 2 different categories this year – Best Dressed and Best Suited.

Each entrant can enter once for either Best Dressed OR Best Suited.

Judging criteria:

Entrants will be judged on the following criteria, as interpreted by the judges in their absolute discretion:

  • Style and originality
  • Attention to detail
  • Appropriateness of the outfit for race day
  • The understanding and display of style, fashion trends and individuality.
  • The use of millinery (hats, fascinators, headbands, tiaras, flower laurels, hair scarves etc)
  • Attention to detail with accessories (eg, jewellery, bag, shoes)
  • Grooming and deportment

By Anna Leask