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Racing fashion impresses industry greats

On a day when punters dressed in blue to watch Winx win, it was a black and white Yves Saint Laurent-inspired look that won the Fashion Chute judges’ hearts.

Sydney designer and stylist Kash O’Hara beat 500 entrants to claim the top prize at Randwick on day two of The Championships with her white, knee-length Ellery dress, black YSL heels and black leather turban by milliner Jane Stoddart.

She takes home more than $26,000 in prizes including return flights to Europe and a Vogue styling session.

Judge and Vogue editor-in-chief Edwina McCann was impressed by the effort all finalists put into their outfits from head to toe.

“Racing and maybe the day we get married are probably the two events where we really think about every single element of our outfit in such a detailed manner and with such planning,” she said.

While none of the finalists wore Australian label Ginger & Smart, fellow judges Alexandra and Genevieve Smart didn’t hold it against them.

“What I’m loving, seeing everybody dressed today, is how individual everyone is – bringing their own feel, their own confidence, their own look,” Alexandra said.

Her sister Genevieve said she tends to pick outfits based on her mood.

“Often fashion is quite an emotional thing so it’s how you’re feeling on the day. It’s so much about how you want to present yourself, where you’re at,” she said.

In a surprising move from tradition, judges awarded Neil Carpenter the millinery prize for his black Strand Hatters hat.

Earlier in the day jewellery designer Olivia Moor won the prize for elegance, taking home a coveted Longines conquest classic diamond bezel watch.

“It’s just the most beautiful thing ever, it’s so amazing. I feel really honoured and very excited,” she said.

“I have such an appreciation for timepieces and I know how hard they are to create.

“I work within industry – we do mostly engagement rings – so timepieces are a total kettle of fish and it’s such an intricate art.”

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