Spring is in the air and with it comes New Zealand Cup and Show Week (NZCSW), the South Island’s premier Spring Festival.
And, fashion alert, if you’re looking to turn heads and bring out your inner unicorn, then it’s high time to start thinking about your headwear.
Those with a keen eye for fashion and passion for supporting local business will be impressed by the range of exquisite headpieces on offer from Christchurch sister duo, SHOW PONY Millinery.
Sisters Liv and Carrie have turned heads all over the world with SHOW PONY’S range of contemporary headpieces & hats, designed to “bring out the unicorn within”.
As we count down the days until New Zealand Cup and Show Week, running from 10 - 17 November, the sisters are beavering away behind the scenes to make sure local fashionistas can put their best face forwards – topped with eye-catching headwear.
Whether you’re planning on wowing the crowd at the Christchurch Casino New Zealand Cup Day Fashion in the Field competition at Riccarton Park, be part of the glamour at Addington Raceway’s Trotting Cup Day equivalent or unleashing your inner unicorn at the New Zealand Agricultural Show, now is the time to think about your stand out headwear – as the sisters are already run off their feet filling orders for the 2018/19 racing season.
From the Melbourne Cup to England’s Royal Ascot, Carrie notes top trends for this racing season are centred on a return to elegance and vintage styles, with a mix of soft pastels and bold, bright colours to celebrate summer.
“We saw a big nod towards classic, 1940s glam at the recent Royal wedding – even down to the choir who were in pastel pink. However, looking towards the earlier spring racing events in Australia and you’re seeing bright and bold colours – canary yellow, hot fuchsia and statement reds among others,” she says.
“There have been plenty of flower crowns at New Zealand Cup & Show Week over the past few years so we’re looking forward to seeing Cantabrians branch out a little more this time round and embrace millinery like the rest of the world – whether that’s a classic-style headpiece, an on-trend Boater or a standout crown or halo.”
Adds Liv, “As an example, one year ago we were selling halo hats to our international clients and wearing them to the track ourselves - but it’s only now, after the Duchess of Cambridge wore one to Prince Louis’ christening, that it seems New Zealand is starting to realise how great a style they are”.
“Embellishments and bejewelled pieces – from feathers, bows and veiling, to classic Baroque-style detailing – are all over the international runways, at prominent events such as the Met Gala and being translated exceptionally well in Australia’s emerging 2018 spring racing millinery trends”
“We’re looking forward to seeing some of that influence make it to Christchurch this season.”
The duo say it is almost a case of ‘anything goes’ this year, with no day of designing & handcrafting ever the same.
Carrie explains by saying that; “We are an international business, so where we might be working on cooler season styles one day, the next will be summer’s turn."
"Bespoke turbans, colourful headscarves and wide-brim hats started having their moment for our northern hemisphere clients as far back as two years ago, so we’re expecting to see them make an appearance over NZCSW."
However, the girls are also keen to point out that trends aren’t everything.
“Just like there are horses for courses, that’s the same for people and headpieces,” says Carrie. “They’re statement accessories, so they need to work in with not only your outfit, but your personality too”.
Liv adds “it can be good to check out current looks and be inspired by them, but always come back to selecting something that also reflects who you are. Unlike shoes, headpieces are generally super comfortable to wear on race day, so there’s no excuse for yours to make you feel anything less than amazing.”
And the SHOW PONY sisters who have been in business since 2016 should know, because; “We've been going to race days all over the world since before we could walk and have grown up making our hats & headpieces for both ourselves - and our friends - to wear to them,” says Carrie.
“We’ve taken our time, but we’ve definitely worked out how to create headpieces that are practical for a long day out and match our personalities!” Liv finishes.
During NZCSW when they’re not finishing off last-minute orders or dropping new stock into Lincoln’s Belleza Boutique, you’ll likely catch Carrie and Liv at watching the action at Riccarton Park, unleashing their inner zen in a class at Flow Hot Yoga, running around the hills at Victoria Park and relaxing at the end of a long week with a glass of Pegasus Bay Riesling and a platter with friends and family.