New Zealand’s finest racewear competitors were out in force at Auckland Racing Club’s TV3 Derby Day for the final of the Prix de Fashion competition.

Long regarded as the Kiwi equivalent to VRC’s Fashions on the Field competition, the Prix de Fashion event pits finalists who have previously been selected at best dressed events around the country against “wildcard” entrants who are chosen by judges on the final day. From this fashionable selection, five grand finalists are chosen before the winner is selected by the Derby Day judging panel. Entry is open to both men and women and there is only one category, ensuring a difficult time for judges when it comes to choosing between the sexes.

Just some of the semi-finalists in this year's Prix de Fashion.

Just some of the semi-finalists in this year’s Prix de Fashion.

This year’s competition also had close ties to Flemington’s event, as last year’s national Fashions on the Field winner Chloe Moo travelled to Auckland to head up the judging panel, which also consisted of Tracey Dalton, head of styling and make-up for TV3, and Megan Robinson, owner and editor of thread.co.nz.

Chloe Moo at TV3 Derby Day.

Chloe Moo at TV3 Derby Day.

The other connection Prix de Fashion shares with Flemington was offered in the NZ$30,000 prize package. Along with receiving jewellery, gift cards, bespoke millinery, hair care and luggage, the victor of Prix de Fashion wins a four-night trip to the 2014 Melbourne Cup Carnival, where they will attend Melbourne Cup and Oaks Days, and will even be fast-tracked into a final round of the Fashions on the Field competition on Oaks Day. One has to wonder if this will later become a ticket to the national final, thus turning the competition into an international affair. We certainly hope so!

Tynille Catanzariti from the VRC with Chloe Moo and designer Natalie Chan at the Prix de Fashion lunch, held before the competition.

Tynille Catanzariti from the VRC with Chloe Moo and designer Natalie Chan at the Prix de Fashion lunch, held before the competition.

Back to the 2014 competition, where the large number of well-dressed semi-finalists were whittled down to a lucky final five. This minimal shortlist included sisters Charlotte and Olivia Moor, who have both won the event previously and are well-known in NZ racing fashion circles for their multiple victories in best dressed events. The siblings are always assisted by their mother, Alison, who sometimes sews up their outfits but always creates their millinery.

2014 Prix de Fashion finalists, from left: Kody Okeby, Carina West, Charlotte Moor, Stevie-Lee Bartle and Olivia Moor.

2014 Prix de Fashion finalists, from left: Kody Okeby, Carina West, Charlotte Moor, Stevie-Lee Bartle and Olivia Moor.

In a situation bound to elicit some sibling rivalry, younger sister Olivia was crowned the 2014 Prix de Fashion winner. Wearing classic Derby black and white comprising a slim black pencil skirt, a white silk blouse with scarf detail, and a dome-shaped woven leather hat made by mum, Olivia scooped the major prize pool for a second time and earned herself a pass into Flemington’s Oaks Day competition. Question is, will Charlotte accompany Olivia to Australia, and will we see the duo compete against each other in the finals there? Given their success to date, I won’t be betting against it.

Winner Olivia Moor will now travel to Melbourne to compete in Fashions on the Field on Oaks Day.

Winner Olivia Moor will now travel to Melbourne to compete in Fashions on the Field on Oaks Day.

Photos: all from Ellerslie Facebook page.

By Lisa Tan