Wilhelmina Shrimpton attends the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards.
She’s the fashionable force behind Newshub Late and now she’s trying her hand as the judge of FQ’s Fashion on the Field at the NZ Polo Open with the credentials to boot. Discover how pivotal fashion is for this leading lady, plus insider tips on what to wear to the Polo.
Word on the street is Wilhelmina Shrimpton is your woman to know when it comes to taking out the top prizes at the Land Rover NZ Polo Open’s FQ Fashion on the Field. With a glance of her previous Polo looks, it’s clear to see why.
From striking tailoring with a twist to off-the-shoulder floral ensembles, Shrimpton has mastered the art of the infamous Polo dress code that calls on the heritage of the races with the panache of a garden party… If you think you’re up to challenge, make sure you’re pre-registered in one of the three FQ Fashion on the Field categories: ‘Best Dressed Woman,’, ‘Best Dressed Man,’ and ‘Best Shoe.’
Whether you’re looking for the ultimate Polo fashion inspiration or interested in what makes the Newshub Late presenter and reporter tick, you’ll find it in captured in the interview below:
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What does a typical day look like for you?
As a presenter and reporter for Newshub Late, I spend three nights a week in the studio, and two nights out in the field. I start work in the afternoon so the first part of my day is free, which is great for life admin and catching up with family and friends.
The first thing I do when I wake up is check emails, and catch up on the morning’s news. Exercise is really important to me so I hit the gym most days, and with the free time during business hours I’m lucky to be able to book appointments and meetings around that. I then nip home to cook my dinner for the night, and get ready for work which usually starts at 3pm.
Once I’m in the office, I check in with the Newshub Late team and have a look at what is running on Newshub Live at 6pm. This helps us decide what our bulletin will look like. I’ll spend a few hours helping to prep the show and look for stories, then I’m downstairs in hair and make-up at 6pm, before recording our promos at 7pm. After that I’ll spend a few hours pre-reading the bulletin before it’s showtime generally around 10.30pm.
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Being in front of the camera and addressing the nation must be intimidating at times! How does fashion/your work wardrobe play a part in giving you the confidence to do your job?
I’ve been presenting for a year now and reporting for nine years, and I still get butterflies right before going on air. I think that nervous energy can be really helpful, and makes me perform better! Looking sharp helps to boost my confidence, and I’m lucky enough to have an incredibly talented styling and makeup team behind me, who help me feel good for every show.
A lot of what I wear is very tailored, with a lot of classic suiting. It can be quite traditional corporate wear, but I love that it makes me feel authoritative, trustworthy, and empowered. It certainly makes it easier to read the news when you’re feeling like a boss lady! A lot of thought goes into each outfit, and can even be decided based on what story leads the news that night. For example, when Jacinda Ardern gave birth to her daughter I made sure to wear reds and pinks, whereas if something more serious dominated headlines, I would pick a more subdued colour palette.
Wilhelmina Shrimpton attends the Ellerslie Races wearing a white tailored jumpsuit and a hat from Show Pony Milinery.
What is your earliest fashion memory?
I was fascinated with fashion from a very early age. I remember my gorgeous mum always talking about beautiful designers and fabrics, and whenever we went out shopping together I would follow her into each shop looking closely at every dress, handbag and shoe she picked out. She had a huge collection of old Vogue magazines that I would constantly flick through, lusting over the outfits. My mum was and still is a talented seamstress, so she would make a lot of my clothes as a child. She’d create these incredible dresses with matching hats, and every time I wore them I’d feel like a little princess.
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What was your first designer purchase/most momentous fashion purchase?
My first designer purchase was actually a fragrance. I remember saving up for weeks as a teenager to be able to buy myself one and was so proud when I could finally afford it. As soon as I had the money I walked straight into Smith & Caughey’s, up to the perfume counter and bought myself a bottle of Princess by Vera Wang. I still have the empty bottle today!
Who are your favourite national and international designers?
I’ve loved wearing Ruby for a number of years, Trelise Cooper is also a favourite, and Deadly Ponies for bags. I’m a big fan of Australian designers like Alice McCall, Asilio, Zimmerman and Thurley. I also love the Aussie website, Fashion Bunker. They stock some of my favourites like C/Meo Collective and Keepsake.
Wilhelmina Shrimpton attends the Land Rover NZ Polo Open in 2016, this time as a contestant, wearing Runaway the Label, Karen Walker sunglasses and heels by Tony Bianco.
Wilhelmina Shrimpton on her personal style
What is your go-to weekend outfit?
What I wear on air, and off-duty is very different. When it comes to weekends it depends on what I’m doing during the day. I spend a lot of time at the gym so i’ll often be in active wear while I’m out running errands. If I’m catching up with friends, I generally keep it simple, stylish and comfortable. You can’t go past a good pair of jeans – Levi 501 Skinnies are my favourite, or for something a little more fitted I love the ‘Jamie’ jeans from Topshop. They’re super high-waisted, and they do a 36 leg length which is perfect for tall ladies like myself. I’ll pair them with a plain or printed white tee, and some sneakers. My favourite pair at the moment are all white Superga ones. I’ll grab some sunnies, a black shoulder bag, and if it’s a little chilly a leather jacket or blazer to throw over the top.
What are your wardrobe staples?
I think it’s so important to nail the basics, and then build your wardrobe from there. A good pair of jeans, a white t-shirt, and a white shirt are essential. I love how a blazer can transform a look from casual to dressy, so a good black blazer with some gold hardware is a must. Some comfortable but stylish sneakers and a classic pair of black ankle boots are key.
Wilhelmina Shrimpton attends a wedding at the Cable Bay Vineyards wearing a silk midi slip dress.
What is the one accessory that you can’t live without?
Sunglasses – they’re the perfect way to pull an entire outfit together, almost like the icing on the cake. (They’re also sun-smart!)
What is your typical daily beauty routine? What are some of your favourite ride-or-die products?
I’m pretty strict with my daily beauty routine and always make sure I stick to it – consistency is key. I’ll use Nivea Clean Deeper Daily Wash Scrub in the morning on my face, and then Estée Lauder Advanced Night Micro Cleansing Foam in the evening. I’ll follow that up with some Nivea Refreshing Toner, and then a few dots of Trilogy No 15 Beauty Oil. An SPF is really important, so before I head out I’ll put on some Trilogy multi-shield moisturiser in SPF 15. I’ve also just started using Lancôme’s new Absolute range which smells divine. I use the Soft Cream in the morning and the Rich Cream at night. I’ll then finish off with the Lancôme Absolue Revitalising Eye Serum. I also try to drink plenty of water, and I make sure to have 1-2 scoops a day of Two Islands Co Collagen Beauty Powder.
Let’s talk about dressing for the Polo…
To you, what is the most important part about dressing up for any occasion?
The outfit isn’t just about the clothes, but everything from the top of your head down to the tip of your toes. Beautiful make-up, hair, an even tan, and manicured nails. I’m also a stickler for the condition of clothes and accessories. Any pilling, scuffs, snagging or loose threads drive me crazy!
You’re judging the Fashion in the Field at the NZ Polo Open this weekend – what will you be looking for?
The details – shoes, bags and hair accessories – all the finishing touches of an outfit. I’m also on the hunt for someone who’s perhaps breaking tradition, and doing something a little more edgy but also polo appropriate.
Wilhelmina Shrimpton attends the Land Rover NZ Polo Open in 2017 wearing Ruby.
How does the NZ Polo Open best represent New Zealand fashion?
It’s a great way to bring people together from different industries, and parts of the city. Because of that everyone has their own take on the perfect polo outfit, and you can gather inspiration from everywhere. It’s a chic summer event, which means everyone brings their A-game.
What’s your own approach to polo dressing and beauty?
Simple with a focus on the details. Great accessories, beautifully groomed hair and nails and a killer pair of sunnies to match. I also love the idea of keeping tradition with a summery colour palette, but also breaking it with a unique style of outfit like a slick suit or a jumpsuit.
Want to enter FQ Fashion on the Field for 2019?
Enter on the day or pre-register today at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and the category you’re entering. Judging will take place next to the Fashion Lawn at 2pm on Saturday 23 February.