Monday, May 23, 2011

Seconds of Style #43: Le Faire: Browsing the Virtual Racks

Online shopping is no new concept but the NZ fashion industry seemed to be a little slow of the mark in realising the potential of this retail domain. This is all about to change. Not a day goes by lately that I don't stumble across a new online boutique or see a NZ designer make the move from online lookbook to online store. Online retail in NZ is growing by the day and coming with it are slick visual online magazines, designer diaries, backstage fashion show coverage and competitions galore. A little online boutique that I stumbled across recently is Le Faire. With a host of designers like Blak, Evil Twin and Twenty Seven Names plus some online exclusives, Le Faire might be on its way to becoming a very big online boutique. Get clicking!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Seconds of Style #42: Karen Walker Raises the Flag

The flagship store has been a standard concept in international retail for years. For me, Topshop on Oxford St in Central London is the epitome of flagship - the collections are the most current, there is more to shop than just own brand and the retail experience is interactive.With the recent opening of Glassons' Flagship on Broadway and Karen Walkers fresh new Flagship store, Playpark, on Nuffield St, I am thrilled that this concept is being explored in NZ. Karen Walker opened her extended Newmarket space yesterday, it houses Karen Walker label of course, a selection of Topshop clothing, footwear and cosmetics, Hunter Wellington Boots and more. The feel is a bit boutique and a bit department store. There is plenty for the eye to wander across and although it's not quite Topshop flagship a leap has been made and for an Auckland girl, it's exciting!
My favorite Karen Walker collection to date

Seconds of Style #41: January Jones

Not only do I love her name more than I can explain but I love that January Jones' character Betty Draper in 'Mad Men' has injected femininity, charm and polish back into modern dressing.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Seconds of Style #40: Ingrid Starnes - The New Vintage

Ingrid Starnes garments are like old movies living in today, they are Film Noir heroins walking amongst us on Ponsonby Road. The vintage influence is felt strongly in her collections but her re-appropriation of the past into classic and modern pieces is what makes Ingrid a little bit special. My respect for Ingrid Starnes goes beyond our friendship - her creativity as an artist and her ability to stay true to herself and her style in a heavily trend driven industry, gives her label substance and credibility as one of my generations truly talented designers. Right, enough ego massaging, the truth is in the design and I think this sneak peak from her SS11 collection speaks for itself, and take it from me, the rest of the collection is just as beautiful!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Seconds of Style #39: Hoss Intropia SS11

It is clear that Spanish label, Hoss Intropia takes influence from the arts. Founded by Paloma Vázquez de Castro, ex-designer for the National Ballet of Spain, Hoss is a lively mixture of classic femininity, costume artistry and subtle embellishment. Hoss prints are all unique to the label with embroidery and beading still done by hand. The summer 11 collection has a wide reach - subtle classic pieces pair back seamlessly with stand out prints and embellishments synonymous with the brand. I fell in love with Hoss when I worked with London Boutique Question Air and we stocked the label, not only the clothes themselves but the story behind the brand and the visual imagery.

Seconds of Style #38: Green with Envy

It's a little bit bold, a little bit edgy and a little bit 80's - it's official, green is the new 'it' colour. It takes a front row seat this season along with other rich and regal colours like Maroon, Camel, Burnt Orange and Navy - a veritable feast of visceral hues. Bottle, mint, sage or lime - whatever hue you choose it's assured to be a hit this winter. The rich bottle greens are definitely my pick and I am just totally in love with Ruby's sheer trousers.

Blouse by Ingrid Starnes, Jumper by Arabella Ramsay, Jumpsuit by Camilla & Marc, Trousers by Ruby

Monday, May 16, 2011

Seconds of Style #36 & #37: Shes so EFfortless

Yes, yes, I'm cheating here. two letters in one post. When we suffer setbacks we must do anything to get back on the horse mustn't we?

The past few seasons, have in many ways been about 'cleaning up' fashion. Stripping it back somewhat. Bringing back the sophistication of past era's, bringing down the hemlengths, increasing the cut size - generally making way for an 'effortless' aesthetic. Whether it be the demureness of the 50's, a-la rising star Ingrid Starnes, the over-sized draping of Moochi and Miss Crabb or the architectural lines of cult label Nyne - the prevailing theme is no fuss fashion. I am through and through a non fuss fashion girl. I'm as dedicated to monochrome as a biker is to leather, use and abuse the term 'oversized' and cower away from fussy details, but for all those who think the more frills, jewels, beads and trims the better - put down the bedazzler and get on board this trend, it's definitely here to stay!

Seconds of Style #35: The Deadliest of all the Ponies

So having blogger crash and then being in an internet free mini break spot over the weekend has not been conducive to succeeding at my task. Picking up where we left off (26 posts in 26 days, who said it had to be 1 a day!).

Deadly Ponies is more than a cult NZ label, they literally changed the face of NZ accessory design. Their label is a cleaver combination of design aesthetics and aspirational branding. Deadly Ponies is synonymous with 'Cool', it is one of those labels that gives you street cred and an accepting nod from all those 'in the know'. However any Deadly Ponies die hard followers know they are more than just a hit with the cool kids. Designer Liam Bowden's involvement with the product construction and his desire to commemorate the life of his materials gives this label a unique narrative. Deadly Ponies works with the materials, the leather, the bone, so we always remember that the material is from an animal, working with the natural beauty of the skins and bones to make a the product more beautiful.

Deadly Ponies AW11 Collection, 'Egg, White & Blue' is a celebration high fashion, the raw beauty of animal skin and a modern fuss free functionality.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Seconds of Style #34: Let ME Eat Cake

They say you should write about what you know, well I can safely say that I know cupcakes. I know them on a global level. I hunted down Magnolia Bakery when I was in New York and lived in Bayswater, London - which may or may not have been because of the areas proximity to The Hummingbird Bakery. I know why butter cream frosting always beats out cream cheese and that the most important element to a cupcake is not the icing but the fluffiness of the cake which allows the icing to melt in your mouth. Yes, I know cupcakes. So when I was walking past Witchery in Ponsonby the other day and spotted the glorious Petal Cafe I was transported to all those delightful Saturday mornings in Notting Hill, happily stuffing my face with cake. I had given up the dream that this very particular type of fluffy butter frosted cupcake would make to NZ but thanks to Petal, my sugar high dreams have all come true! Basically, WOW, I'm not kidding. Get your self into one of Petal's stores now. You won't be disappointed - but you may be a little fidgety for an hour.
The sweet Petal cupcake purse!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Seconds of Style #33: Blak is the new Black

Cult New Zealand label Blak goes from strength to strength each season with their signature 'Basics' range and more designed collection 'Luxe'. Known for easy to wear shapes, and urban bohemian feel, Theresa Hodges is well on her way to carving a space for herself in NZ fashion royalty. Her Summer 2011 Collection (images borrowed from the lovely blog over on is modern and graceful. Shapes move from wistful to strong and colours evoke hazy days of a 70's summer. Highlights are definitely the dip dyed shirt dress, bright lace shirts and girly ditsy prints.

Photo's by Olivia Hemus

Monday, May 9, 2011

Seconds of Style #32: The Alphabet Begins with the Letter A

Since I have been so neglectful of this blog for the last few months I have issued myself a challenge, 26 posts in 26 days - one day for each letter of the alphabet. I know this is not reinventing the wheel but I think it might be fun! I will mostly focus on NZ and AU fashion/design/ but some international gems and other bits and pieces might slip in. So here we go...

A is for Andrea Moore

Andrea Moore is a bit of a dark horse. With a firmly established and respected presence in NZ fashion, she goes under the radar somewhat. There is less of the 'loud advertising' approach and more of the 'educated, sophisticated and meticulously constructed collections' approach. I popped into her Ponsonby boutique last week and was carried away by the deep, rich colours, intricate construction details and clean cuts. I particularly loved her Camel Coats.