Fashion & Fascinators at Telecom Derby Day

DD writer Hannah McArdle frocked up and sprinkled some glitter in her fascinator for the Telecom Derby Day, the first event for Auckland Cup Week.

Approximately 11,000 people filled Ellerslie Racecourse to celebrate the first day of Auckland cup week. After a terrifying downpour early morning the sun shone for most of the afternoon giving contestants in the Mercedes Prix de Fashion optimal shine factor! Hannah notes that the late afternoon rain did not dampen Trelise Cooper’s luscious curls – she made it undercover with moments to spare!

Glitter, feathers, fascinators and mirrored heels. Matching mother and daughter garden party outfits and sun drenched champagne sipping. It was a day HRH Lady Gaga would be proud of!

Sky High Fascinator

A Young Mercedes Prix de Fashion Entrant

Hannah McArdle of Designer Direction & Editor of Thread, Megan Robinson

Fashion was the reason for many attendees with the phrase “Winner Takes All!” often announced via loudspeaker. Heats for the Mercedes Prix de Fashion were held between races with the days gorgeous MC often battling for microphone airtime with the days thoroughbreds.

Fashion Pack

Mercedes Prix de Fashion MC

After an afternoon of queuing in the sun, five contestants were chosen to represent The Telecom Derby Day in the regional final, competing against 17 other entrants who pre-qualified by winning racing fashion events around the country. Competing for a $100,000 prize package including a Mercedes Benz CLC 200K Coupe and considerable cool factor, contestants held nothing back. 

Semi-Finalists at Mercedes Prix de Fashion

Trends from the afternoon heats and regional finals saw bold summer colours take centre stage. Magenta, lime green, canary yellow and turquoise structured dresses and suits with purses and feathered fascinators to match were the most popular ensemble’s. The gentlemen of the competition (all four of them!) opted for white suits and walking canes.

Prim with a Geometric Print

Bold in Black & White

The finals took structured suits to the next level! The most coveted look of the day saw a 1950’s silhouette take centre stage on the podium as the winner was announced.

Sydney resident Kelli Odell took first place in this prestigious competition with her gorgeous ensemble – a jacquard lapppelled dress that sat elegantly on the knee. In true 50’s style Kelli accessorised with a large black satin sash around her waist with matching gloves.

Kelli Odell - Winner of Mercedes Prix De Fashion

Hannah got to catch a few words with the lovely lady of the evening between photo shoots:

How did you find the experience? Have you been planning for months?
Yes we have been planning it! Once I see a dress it just goes from there. I go to my milliner and he takes a look at it and does something with it. I usually go for the 1950’s puff out dress!

And what brings you to New Zealand? The race circuit?
I’ve always wanted to come to nz. And this event came up – I just love googling fashions in the field! I saw the prizes and iw as like “wow!”. It’s pretty surreal at the moment and I’m actually an accounting and finance student at Macquarie University! Using the other side of the brain!

What would be your number one tip for future entrants?
Definitely choose something that has the wow factor!

Kelli & Her New Mercedes!

After a day of lace, tulle and feathers this DD writer enjoyed parting with her killer heels as the night ended. Beauty comes with a price!

We will be posting a gallery of more photos from the Telecom Derby Day later this evening. Check back!

Written by: Hannah McArdle
Photographer: Winchey Zheng

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