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Get race day ready with Nerida Winter

6th October, 2016


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.



5th November, 2014


You may have seen Nerida Winter’s gorgeous creations on a recent episode of Fashion Bloggers and been in awe of how amazing they are. I can attest to the fact that she is one very talented lady! Nerida’s creations have been seen on everyone from Princess Mary to Jesinta Campbell and her work has featured in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Elle. Here I talk to Australia’s milliner extraordinaire…

Getting started in millinery…

“I studied fashion at college and fell in love with millinery straight away. I loved that you could make something really different every day.”

My first client was Barbie…

“The first hat I made was a miniature one for my Barbie as a little girl. I would always enlist the pros (my mum and grandmother) to make her look as I saw fit! Many years later I had the pleasure of making some more miniature ones for Barbie in Grazia magazine. I absolutely loved this so much – I felt like I was 5 all over again.”

My design process…

“Some hats take around 5-8  hours and some take weeks and weeks; it depends on the complexity of design and construction. It all starts with a thought and endless possibilities then the hard labour comes in.

We start with a malleable fibre and manipulate it into a shape with industrial strength steam. From there it gets treated to keep its shape and waits to dry. After that is when the fun begins – trimming can be elegant, pretty, edgy and fun and very time consuming. If we are making to order for a client, it involves fittings to achieve what the wearer has imagined.”

My inspiration comes from…

“My head is a giant melting pot of music, art, fashion and history so whatever I am loving at the time will come out in the form of headwear.”

I’d love to create a hat for…

“I would have loved to play with Anna Piaggi – her spirit and love of fashion was so inspiring, so when I think of the ultimate, it would have been her.”

My rules for race day headwear…

“Putting on a hat should make you feel fabulous. There’s a fine line between fashion and race etiquette, so finding the balance is all up to you but being respectful is a must.”

My rules for dressing for the races…

“Making daywear glamorous is a good place to start – so no miniskirts and crop tops and the all important rule: keep your shoes on no matter how much they hurt.”

How I feel when I see my ideas become a reality…

“I still get such a great buzz from seeing my pieces come alive. As they are all new creations each time, the joy is always the same. I am very fortunate to have so many incredible people to work with so I never take that for granted.”

Photography: Georgina Egan