Your Style Guide To Spy Fashion On The Field: With Ricardo Simich

By Marilynn McLachlan
17th Feb 2016

polo 2016, fashion in the field, spy fashion in the field, what to wear, style guide, ricardo simich

It’s one of the most anticipated and stylish events of the year and this Sunday, the Land Rover New Zealand Polo Open 2016 is on in Clevedon. Dressed in their best, men and women from around Auckland will descend upon Fisher Field for a day of decadent fun. 

For the budding fashionista, entering the Spy Fashion in the Fields event is a highlight. Entrants can either register when they purchase their tickets or on the day. 

This year’s judges are ZM Mornings co-host Megan Sellers, former Fashion Quarterly editor Fiona Hawtin, Gregory's head of design Lauren Ormond and Auckland's man about town and editor of Spy, Mr Ricardo Simich. These talented judges will also be wandering the field, looking for the day's most glamourous men and women. There will be a fashion show mid-afternoon, with the winners announced early evening. 

So, to give you Listers the heads-up on what you should wear to the Land Rover New Zealand Polo Open 2016, we recently chatted to Ricardo about his love of fashion, top style tips and what he’ll be looking for. 

When did you first become interested in fashion?

My mother Ann, was a top model around New Zealand in the ’60s early ’70s. There was a suitcase packed of clippings and ads. She would cringe every time I played show-and-tell when we had visitors—I still do it. When it was clear I was not going into medicine, she gave me a book called The Fashion Conspiracy by Nicholas Coleridge and that is when I knew I wanted to start out my career in fashion. It was all about fashion from age 12.

Who was your first fashion icon and how old were you? Truth please!

Gucci was the first brand, as I got to know it in ’70s and ’80s movies and I loved it. But around the age of 18, Giorgio Armani was the first designer and fashion I related to naturally—after many, many bad experiments in my teens.

What do you love about fashion?

It’s a cyclic industry, but for me it always had the redeeming feature of being the first industry to set and reset trends that end up showing up in all walks of life from furnishings to devices—the perfect wheel of consumerism.

Where do you find inspiration? 

Instagram these days.

What’s the difference between dressing for the races and dressing for the polo for guys?

Simple for a man: the races is suit and tie and an accessory or two, if you wish. The Kiwi polo traditionally has been an open shirt, tucked-in shirt and dare I say chinos. There is a new generation of guys turning themselves out with smart jackets etc, so men’s fashion at the polo is evolving.

Which New Zealand designers do you recommend for girls when choosing an outfit for the polo?

Anyone that is simple, the classic Sloane Ranger style is always cool. Yes, by all means rock out a hot frock, but just do one wow factor piece with it and keep the footwear sensible. Sexy? Yes, ok but sensible. Hailwood and Carlson do some fun looks adaptable for the polo.

What are your top style tips for women? 

Really? God!

  1. Find the three best features you think make you special—eyes, lips, great hair, curves, legs, boobs—then note and take how ‘influencers of the day’ or classic style icons project or projected their ‘weapons’. Collect the ideas and make them their own.
  2. If someone has to take you shopping three times before you get how to dress, style is not your thing. It’s usually quite an instinctual thing.
  3. Adapt.
  4. Individuality is a bonus, but classic will always be cool.
  5.  It’s ok to have a bad moment or two—that’s how style can develop.

For men? 

  1. It’s ok to compliment other men on how they look.
  2. Make your casual wear an extension of your more formal style.
  3. Adapt.
  4. Wear something once in your life that attracts attention, hopefully in a cool way and enjoy it.
  5. Don’t do the above too often.

Any advice for men who want to wear something other than a suit?

As someone that tucks a shirt out with jeans more than he tuck it’s in, I quite like the Kiwi trend, but keep it tidy and stylish. It’s not an excuse not to care.

What will most put you off someone when judging?

At the polo, there is such a thing as too much! 

What really makes you notice someone—and can it be bought?

Someone that knows they got it right. You can tell by the way they hold themselves. No, it can’t be bought.

And you? What will you be wearing? 

Huffer shorts, will buy a new shirt a few days before, visits to the gym will decide if it gets tucked in and Gucci loafers. Maybe a Fedora—my dad’s new expensive one, if he lets me.

Want to find more things to do in Auckland? Here are 50 Things You Should Have Done If You Live In Auckland.

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