The Land Rover NZ Polo Open is one of the most fashionable dates on the calendar.
A chance to dress in your polo best and sip on flutes of champagne while taking in all the exciting action on the field is a day not to be missed.
To celebrate this glamorous fusion of fashion and sport, Veuve Clicquot teamed up with three local designers – Huffer, Kathryn Wilson and Deadly Ponies to create a bespoke piece of polo fashion inspired by this year’s Veuve Clicquot marquee theme, Rio Carnaval, for three of New Zealand’s Olympic sports stars.
Huffer will be dressing triathlete Tony Dodds, hockey star Anita Punt will receive a pair of Kathryn Wilson heels and a one-off Deadly Ponies bag will be worn on the arm of Olympic gold medallist Lisa Carrington. The sporty trio are all currently training for the Rio Olympics later this year and will debut their new designs on the yellow carpet at the NZ Polo Open on February 21.
We asked Huffer’s Steve Dunstan for his polo dressing tips and insight into the design he created for Tony:
FQ: How did you get involved with this polo dressing concept and what made you want to be part of it?
Steve Dunstan: We were honoured to be invited to collaborate with Veuve Clicquot and design a unique one-off piece for triathlete Tony Dodds at an event like the NZ Polo Open. We enjoy bespoke design projects and working with great brands, so we were excited right from the beginning about getting involved.
Have you been to the polo before – if so, what is the vibe from a fashion point-of-view?
Yes, I’ve been a couple of times and have DJ’ed there. The fashion tends to be light on colours with pastels featuring heavily. It’s also functional as it is the peak of summer so lightweight shirts and linen for men are always a good choice.
What advice would you give to first-timers (both in a sartorial sense and a general sense!)?
Wedges or flats for the ladies – definitely not heels as you won’t enjoy the stomping of the divots. Also keep hydrated as it’s always such a hot day!
What was the inspiration behind the shirt you have designed for Tony?
We took style cues from both brands. We wanted to collaborate Huffer’s classic aesthetic and reference the unofficial appropriation of luxe brands in the late 90s and early 2000s by counter-culture and street style. We then combined these elements with the vibrancy of this year’s Veuve Clicquot marquee theme at the polo – Rio Carnaval – to create something really unique.
Did Tony feed into the design at all? How have you taken his normal everyday style and added a Huffer edge?
Given Tony’s busy training schedule, we took the lead in the design. We ended up using strikes of orange detailing and developed print work filled with a flare that was directly inspired by Rio Carnaval. This vibrant print was then subdued with a subtle opaque finishing. The shirt speaks to Tony’s day-to-day style while still staying true to the Huffer vision.