Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I like my watches the way I like my sports: as preppy as possible.

Because especially when it comes to summer, the preppier the better. This watch by relatively new Swedish label Daniel Wellington is part of their range of simple, classic watches that feel just the right about traditional and collegiate. I put it on when I want to feel like I'm going off to "read English" or play tennis and drink Pimms (I hate Pimms) even though I'm probably just going to sit on my bed checking Instagram and trying to think of vaguely witty Twitter comments and not angst about things. So yeah, you are what you wear and at least you will be on time! It's way cooler to check your wrist for the time rather than your iPhone - insouciant and all that.

This is the Classic Oxford ladies watch - all the famous universities are represented. So you can live out those collegiate fantasies even if you're still trying to work out what you wan't to be when you grow up.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Book Club: with Kate Sylvester

A love of classic literature and respect for smart, impetuous heroines always informs Kate Sylvester's collections, and makes her collections even more appealing if (like me) you are of the bookish persuasion. It's hard to not be sartorially wooed by garments inspired by icons of my bookshelves (both childhood and adult) like Mary Lennox, the Lisbon sisters and The Radletts. All of whom are firm favourites of Sylvester - and she took the time to share with me some of her favourite books and memories, and how they have informed her work and style.

Ps: Kate Sylvester's new eyewear range is out, and one pair is (naturally) called Bolter after the infamous character from The Pursuit Of Love by Nancy Mitford.

Model Dasha reading at a recent presentation at Kate Sylvester's Britomart store.

What was the last book you read? 
I have nearly finished Great Expectations and I can’t believe it has taken me forty years to get around to reading Dickens. I love it, the language is glorious, he just loves playing with words. It followed hard on the heels of The Forrests by Emily Perkins which I also loved – definitely my favourite from her so far – I can still smell the crushed grass and salty skin of the kids in the scenes set in 70s rural NZ.
What are your favorite books? 
The books I can read over and over again include Jane Eyre, Catcher in the Rye, and Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh. Maybe, if I really, really had to pick one sentimental favourite it would be Catcher in the Rye, just because I love Holden Caulfield so much.
Do you have a preferred genre? 
Classics – if that’s a genre?
Sartorially speaking, do you have a favourite book or character? 
I have authors I love because they love clothes – Jeffrey Eugenides, Bret Easton Ellis, Sylvia Plath, Vladimir Nabokov, Simone de Beauvoir. And obviously the books that have become collections definitely struck a chord with me. I start to dress the characters in my mind and then I know something is brewing. I’m not going to reveal my newest sartorial swoon actually because I definitely want to do a collection based on her!
Are there any books that have informed your personal style? 
Love in a Cold Climate based on the Nancy Mitford memoir was the first collection where I really consciously played with the mash ups of extremes. Couture gowns with mens overcoats, homespun cardigans with tutus, jodhpurs with beaded silk tops. Its now an integral part of my design and my personal style.

Likewise with your work? 
I regularly base collections on books. We’ve done Brighton Rock by Graham Greene – all doilies, gangsters, Mods and waitresses. Preppies and iceskating for the Catcher in the Rye collection and of course this summers modern Victorians from Jane Eyre.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Short and shorter from US Vogue 1988

It's nearly the weekend! And the weather is getting super hot. So I'm really into the idea of those minuscule dresses and spaghetti straps with everything for summer evenings. Even if the reality is marginally more abstract and user-friendly. But we can all appreciate a bit of simple sex appeal from the Vogue archives.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Chelsea "Watercolours" Metcalf looks serene (as usual) in the latest Glassons campaign

We all have those friends that you are regularly in awe of, be it from their talent or their humour or being ridiculously good-looking. Chelsea Metcalf is one of mine, and has all of the above in spades. I've known Chelsea since high school, and it's been amazing to watch her ascent in the local music industry (first as part of Teacups, and now under the name Watercolours) - culminating in the recent winning of the Critics Choice Award at the VNZMA's (which I was lucky enough to dress her for). She is currently doing the honours of gracing Glassons' brand new summer campaign, alongside other musically talented young ladies - Ruby Frost and The Veronicas. Shot by New York based photographer Clement Pascal, each set of imagery reflects its subjects aesthetic and ethos. Chelsea naturally looks suitably serene and stunning, as usual.

In related news, I heard her play this song last Thursday night (among many) and it's pretty awesome so you should probably listen to it.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

White on white: Eva Herzigova by Mario Testino

Some more white on white inspo - in time for what I though was going to be more of this awesome spring weather but instead is actual thunderstorms and hail, typical. Anyway, file this away for when the weather is less likely to make your whole ensemble transparaent.

This is from a 1998 issue of French Vogue, with Eva styled by Carine Roitfeld.

Monday, November 12, 2012

New in town: Pony Professionnel

Although spending hours at the hairdressers is one of life's best indulgences (guilty as charged), busy days and busy nights mean that shorter treatments and blowdry styling are becoming increasingly more popular - with more salons opening that exclusively cater to treatments like these and carefully selected product. All of which is a smart move, not to mention freshly blowdryed hair is one of my favorite things ever and makes me feel infinitely better about life.

I visited the recently opened Pony Professionnel by Mana Dave in Newmarket a couple of weeks ago to try out what was on offer and check out the beautifully designed interior by Katie Lockhart.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Fitness inspiration because Mariel Hemingway was so damn cute.

She's about eighteen here, and the editorial documents her intense training regime for the 1982 film Personal Best. No one embodies that healthy American beauty from the late seventies and early eighties quite like Mariel (and Lauren Hutton of course). I love that even though this is a US Vogue story, all the clothing is functional and humble - predating all the high tech sportswear that is so the norm these days. 

Runaway Girl just got extra special

Karen Walker's  'Runway Girl' icon has been re-imagined by talented local jeweller Zora Bell Boyd of Wunderkammer. The one off reincarnation is made of recycled gold and silver and features citrine and both black and white diamonds. This piece also marks the beginning of Zora's sought after jewellery range being stocked in Karen Walker's stores.

Image supplied

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Guest Editorial for The Department of News #01

I got to spend Monday afternoon shooting some of my favourite pieces from the current in-store range at The Department Store with photographer Frances Carter and the gorgeous Danika from N Models. Simples, easy pieces that are perfect for the transitioning weather - and translate for weekday to weekend seamlessly.

The full editorial can be viewed at The Department of News
All pieces are in store now at Black Box, Karen Walker and Topshop.

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Dressing Room

We've discussed underwear on here before, namely bras and ones personal preference. I strictly only ever wear the soft, vintage types that are frustratingly few and far between at mainstream underwear retailers - so naturally I'm very pleased with the recent opening of The Dressing Room at The Department Store. The carefully selected range features the sought after lingerie by local designers  Ingrid Starnes, Miss Crabb, Kate Sylvester and Lonely by Lonely Hearts all in one place. It's pretty much the only place you need to go to buy lingerie. Not to mention it also stocks Surface Too Deep swimwear - just in time for summer. Lucy Marr was kind enough to answer a few questions about the appealing new addition.

What was the motivation behind The Dressing Room? 
In our industry, we tend to hear quite a bit about what people like, dislike and, in this case, can't find in fashion. A few of our clients complained about not being able to find beautiful lingerie in a good location and, personally, I was surprised at the lack of choice. The opportunity came up to extend the retail in Lucy & The Powder Room at The Department Store and we instantly knew what to put in there. 
Was it a natural decision to place The Dressing Room alongside Lucy & The Powder Room? 
Yes, absolutely. The space was designed by our long time friend and collaborator Katie Lockhart. It's light, beautiful, relaxing and indulgent. It's the perfect place for the modern girl to go alone or with friends, to enjoy a moment and spend some personal time. 

Image supplied.

The brand selection is fantastic! Is it all local labels? Was this important? 
Yes, it's all local. We have had the good fortune to work with all these brands, some of which for many years, and we're so happy that they were able to be a part of this new venture. It's fun and exciting to continue our relationship with them on a new level.
So many local fashion designers are producing their own lingerie now - do you think it is demand that has trigered this motivation, or the lingerie itself trigering the demand/trend for it? 
I think it's a bit of both. The demand from consumers is there. Women want to feel special, beautiful and have choice. They also want their lingerie to be made of refined fabrics with superior detailing; much like they do their outerwear. The idea that you could only get these kind of products off-shore is a thing of the past, with our local designers doing it so well and to the same, exceptional level as their other collections.

Annabelle from Vanity Walk by Sara Orme

Do you think women are changing their opinions and seeing the value in treating themselves to more expensive lingerie? I personally try and buy expensive nice sets when I can. 
I think some women are deciding that, with all their consumer choices, they'd rather have the beautifully made, classically elegant and timeless solution – rather than the 'quick fix' that you might get on the high street. It's a shift in consumer behavior to buy once and buy well and they believe, as I do, it's a smarter thing for your pocket and the environment in the long run.
A lot of the styles are soft cup and vintage inspired (my personal favorite) - do you think we are finally seeing a shift away from all the solid, push up bras? 
Yes, and thank goodness. It's not about size and cleavage at all. The soft cups are comfortable and are beautifully engineered. There's absolutely something stunning for any body shape and size.
Do you agree that these vintage shapes are more flattering and sit so much nicer under clothing? Not to mention are so much more appealing when a little visible. 
Yes, I do – and they're so comfortable too. There's something really lovely about having on exceptional lingerie, whether it's your own secret or you give others a little glimpse…

Snez from N Model Management by Sara Orme

It's nearly impossible to find soft cup lingerie at other stores! So The Dressing Room is a welcome change. It feels like lingerie that appeals to women themselves but is also designed to be seen now and then. I love that there are silk slip dresses from Miss Crabb alongside all the underwear. 
We love the slips and so do our customers. The colors are beautiful and once you have one, you really do find yourself wanting to collect a couple more.


And while we are on the topic of lingerie, I love these pages from 1975 issue of US Vogue. 

US Vogue March 1975 "The Most Feminine Accessories" by Deborah Turbeville
Image source: The Fashion Spot

Thursday, November 1, 2012

See the newest generation of graduating designers at AUT's Rookie show this thursday

Every year Auckland University of Technology and their Fashion Design department shows off the work of some of their top final year students in their "Rookie" show. Collections from the young designers have their privileged moment on the runway in front of local industry. Not only is it an amazing platform for there work, but it has been the launchpad for many graduates careers - Sam Hickey who showed his menswear collection in the 2010 Rookie show was snapped up by Huffer soon afterwards. I was lucky enough to be included in last years show, as were many of my close friends, and it was the most satisfying end to what is an at times arduous degree. The response from the local industry is always such an encouraging reward to both students and tutors.

Naturally I'm excited to see the work of this years students - many of whom we have helped and followed throughout their studies - a selection of whom were picked to show this Thursday night. I absolutely recommend buying tickets to this years AUT Rookie show as there are still some left. It's a valuable opportunity to see the work of the freshest crop of local talent - and designers who will surely go on to even bigger things both here and overseas. It's also a great event to attend if you're still uncertain about what you might want to study after school - showing what can be achieved with talent and determination. 

Buy your Rookie 2012 tickets here!

Below are some of my favourite collections that will be on the runway on Thursday night.

Petra Benton

Michael Murray

Paris Mitchell

Shannon Thompson

Tuhirangi Blair

All images supplied

No one does Fall dressing better than Ashley Olsen

Particularly because she dominates when it comes to coats. Be it traditional camel (and channelling the iconic Carolyn Bessette) or wearing a striped fur from The Row. It always looks so effortless. And that's the beauty of outerwear really - throw it over anything and you will always look finished and chic. 

Image Source: The Fashion Spot