Over the years I’ve worn so many great pieces from milliner extraordinaire Nerida Winter to the races. You can always rely on one of her pieces to make a statement trackside. As spring racing season ramps up and Melbourne Cup is just around the corner I asked Nerida for some insider tips on top racewear trends to look out for plus how to pull together a perfect outfit.
How did you establish such a successful name as a milliner?
A lot of continuous hard work and dedication – I think family upbringing has a lot to do with it too – I grew up with a creative father who taught me to think outside the square and that a spade was not necessarily a spade, it could be anything I wanted it to be. My mum and grandmother were always teaching me some form of arts and crafts, so it was a very colourful house!
What is the most important style advice you have ever received?
Follow your own look and not others .
Who inspires you?
Vivienne Westwood has inspired me for decades – I adore her fearlessness and her punk-like qualities.
What trends will we see for the racing season this year?
There is something for everyone this season. I love the idea of mixing in some 70s glam and the 80s’ strong structural dresses could be a lot of fun to wear [to the races]. The modern take on tailoring is understated and elegant and I think the Victorian style dresses are incredible and I can’t wait to see how girls interpret those for the track.
What colours, textures and styles will we see for headwear this year?
My favourites are the pleats, lace, ruffles, florals – femme heaven! I’m also loving all the pinks, reds and there is still a bit of sparkle about. Monochrome looks are Derby Day essentials – from sculptural wide brimmed shapes to smaller florals.
What are your tips for putting together the perfect racing outfit?
Investing in good craftsmanship and quality of design will allow you to wear the pieces more than once. The power of tailoring is often underestimated.
What dressing mistakes should women avoid?
Don’t let your headwear be an afterthought – it’s the piece that makes the day so special.
When dressing for the races, be careful not to overdo it – I like to focus on one piece, whether that is the hat, the dress, shoe or bag and build the outfit around that. Too many times you see the accessories competing with the outfit and it can look really forced and costume like.
It’s a long day on your feet, so wearing your shoes in a little first is wise (I learnt the hard way).
Do you have an all time favourite head piece?
Absolutely – I have had a lifetime love of all things punk rock, so my feathered mohawks have been a staple in my wardrobe.