Nicole Walter was sashed with the 2019 Penola Cup Best Dresed Womenswear title on Easter Sunday. We spoke with Nicole the week after her win to get to know her and her racing style a little more...
Tell us about your winning outfit. What were you wearing?
- Dress: Only One Ashley (Kate Watts - Perth Designer)
- Headpiece: Ana Bella Millinery
- Shoes: Jane Debster
- Bag: Saint Laurent
What process did you go through to plan and choose this ensemble?
I purchased the dress off the ‘Millinery and Racewear For Sale’ (Facebook group), bought the headpiece from ‘The Eternal Headonist’ website and paired the look with accessories I had in my closet.
Where did your love for racing fashion begin?
I grew up with horses and started attending the races with my family at an early age. I’ve always loved fashion and would always look forward to watching the fashion highlights from the Melbourne Cup Carnival with my mum.
What was your first racing event and how has your style evolved since?
After watching my sister enter a few Fashions on the Field competitions, I finally decided to enter my first event at Oakbank (about 7 years ago). My style has definitely evolved since then but the most significant change, has been my hair and makeup. I now have a real appreciation for how important the right hair and makeup is to complete a look.
Who are your racewear style icons?
Kate Waterhouse and Francesca Cuman have always been my favourite ladies in racing.
What are your favourite labels for racewear?
We have some fantastic designers in Australia and my favourite brands include; Bianca Spender, Dion Lee, Tony Maticevski, Only One Ashley and Self-Portrait (UK designer).
Tell us about your makeup. What look did you choose and what key products did you use?
I love getting my makeup done professionally and have developed quite a collection of Dior, Chanel and YSL products over the years. I went for a natural look with a pop of colour with the red lips. I used Dior ‘Forever’ foundation, combination of eyeshadows to create a soft gold smokey eye and to finish the look I wore bright red Chanel lipstick.
What products do you always take in your bag for a day at the races?
I try not to take too much but I’ll always have cash, bobby pins, band-aids and lipstick.
How did you choose a hairstyle? What styling process did your locks go through?
I wanted my hair to be neat but also soft, so I used a combination of hair products to create volume, a hair donut and lots of bobby pins to keep it in place.
How would you describe your personal style?
My style is usually quite classic and I try to invest in quality pieces that I can wear again.
How do you spend your time when you’re not at racing events?
I work as a HR Consultant so my job keeps me pretty busy but when I’m not at work, I love travelling, shopping, spending quality time with friends and family and looking after my animals.
Why should everyone book in a day at the races this year?
The races are a great opportunity to get dressed up and spend a fantastic day with friends and family.
What is your favourite race day to go to and why?
I've been lucky enough to attend the Dubai World Cup a couple of times and I’ve always been blown away by the amazing energy and stunning fashion.
What is the biggest mistake women make when dressing for a racing carnival?
Wearing uncomfortable shoes.
What is your style advice for first-time racegoers?
I would encourage first-time racegoers to look at popular racing fashion groups and blogs for inspiration. Some of my favourite pages include; Millinery and Racewear For Sale, It’s All About The Sash and Milano Imai Field Fashion.