Friday, March 1, 2024

Lott on Style

Victoria Gunthorp, Sarah Melville-Smith and Val Lott

Having been a part of the fashion and beauty pageant industry for over 40 years, Val Lott, loves keeping up to date with fashion, as much as she enjoys travelling and hosting garden tours of her beautiful garden.

Talking about making a fashion statement she says, “I love to dress with style. It makes me feel good about myself. My mother always looked smart and stylish. I think it’s in your genes.”

Val also loves designing outfits for herself. “I made most of my outfits until I was in my 40s. I don’t spend a lot of money on fashion, but I do have a good eye for bargains,” says Val.

The trick is to rotate your wardrobe often and take out anything that you haven’t worn for a year.

“I donate to Op shops or to friends. I don’t hang onto outfits that have dated,” says the style maven who was the brain behind Miss Howick Pageant. She mentored hundreds of young Howick girls in poise and confidence that went beyond the catwalk. After 17 years with Miss Howick, Val took over and directed Miss Auckland, Miss Counties, Miss
North Harbour and Miss Universe New Zealand for five years before retiring.

“Being in the fashion and beauty pageant business for 40 years, meant I was in the know, and many designers gifted me lovely outfits as they saw me as a great advertisement for them.”

She points out that wearing the right shoes and accessories can make an outfit.

“It enhances what you’re wearing.

“One year my Miss Universe New Zealand contestants said to me, ‘Val you are like Elizabeth Taylor. You always look amazing’ I felt so flattered. I was respected and loved by my girls.

“Over the years, I came to understand, it was a gift that I could encourage so many young women, empowering them to also feel good about themselves,” she says with pride of her protégés — former beauty queens, now all well-heeled women of substance.

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