The whispers of Cup and Show Week are starting to be heard around town, so Metropol caught up with Jackie O’Fee of Signature Style and six-time judge for Addington Raceway’s Fashion Competition to get her take on how to prepare for this year.
Signature Style is your company/brand. What do you do for your clients?
I work with them to create a look they love. I’m old school – trained in colour and body-shape analysis. I know the science behind what it takes to make my clients look fabulous.
Where are you from?
Although I was born in Auckland I grew up in Dunedin and Gore and I lived in Christchurch for seven years. I visit Christchurch often and have family there.
How did you come to be a judge?
I think initially through my work for one of the key fashion sponsors, but I loved it and I love that they have kept asking me! I’ve been lucky enough to judge/MC six times and this year will be my seventh!
What do you love most about judging?
The fashion is incredible. Where else do you have a chance to wear hats, gloves, and take an outfit to such an extreme level of detail?
What is the golden rule of race day fashion?
It’s all in the details – every single element must be considered from top to toe.
What will you be looking for on the day?
Immaculate presentation. Over the past few years judging at Addington has become so difficult as the standard has been incredibly high, which means you are eliminating finalists on the smallest of mis-steps: a scruffy shoe, a jarring note with a bag, poor finishing on a hemline etc.
What is the best way to catch the eye of the judges on the day?
Be on trend (yes, race wear also follows trends), have every part of your outfit working together and have fun up there – we want you to enjoy your day.
Local milliner Susi Meares of Seventh and Fig or Show Pony Millinery are quite popular in Christchurch. What are some NZ hat makers/milliners that you could recommend?
Monika Neuhauser is very clever, Belinda Green does beautiful work and Claire Hahn has made several of my own hats. Maria Wright is also brilliant.
How far in advance should contestants start planning their look?
I think some probably start when they are still at the track on Christchurch Casino NZ Trotting Cup Day! Given how closely the Addington Raceway’s Fashion Competition community monitors international trends I think the planning begins as we start to see looks coming through from the many international meetings like Royal Ascot, Dubai World Cup (which was won this year by New Zealander Eleanor Campbell).
Coco Chanel was quoted as saying that ‘beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself’. How can women enlist this mantra on Christchurch Casino NZ Trotting Cup Day?
I think you can tell when someone is uncomfortable in what they are wearing so it’s important to wear something that you love and feel good in.