A New Zealand woman wearing a wedding dress bought on sale and re-styled in Te Awamutu has won the biggest fashion prize on the Australian racing calendar.
Eleanor Campbell has been named the winner of the 2023 Best Dressed competition, the culmination of a week of Fashion on Course events centered around the Melbourne Cup at Flemington Racecourse on Thursday.
The 28-year-old from Waikato said it was a “crazy” experience, especially as she entered the competition to support her mother Anna, who was a finalist in the Most Fit category.
“I went in as my mom’s plus one and then I stole her thunder,” Campbell said.
She won the fashion competition on Derby Day, where contestants had to dress in black or white, guaranteeing a place in the final. Despite being a finalist in 2022, winning the grand prize yesterday was completely unexpected, she said.
“I was a little nervous… but I did it! I’m at a loss for words.”
Campbell said she found her mother’s white Solace London dress on sale a few months ago.
“We thought it might be a wedding dress because it was floor-length, so we lifted it up and then put the bottom part around our neck.”
The reshaping was done by “a local lady in Te Awamutu”, while her hat was created by Pirongia milliner Monika Neuhauser. Black heels and clutch bag completed the look.
“They say you can never win on a colored field, black or white, but mine was so simple and classic, it stood out because I was so plain,” Campbell said.
“Less is more, I guess.”
His prize pool from the Flemington win includes $48,000 in cash and “a lot of other nice things.”
Campbell, who runs a dog grooming business with her mother in Mystery Creek, near Cambridge, has been competing in fashion racing events for a decade. He will judge the Fashion in the Field event at Riccarton racecourse in Christchurch next week.
First, Campbell said she was looking forward to getting dressed after a week of high fashion.
“After a week in heels, my feet are killing me. I can’t wait to put on old clothes.”
by Lucy Corry rnz.co.nz