metropol » old » Archives for Melinda Collins

Author: Melinda Collins

Suit Up

Suit Up: Cup Week Fashion

As we look towards the latest looks we can expect to see at this year’s Cup and Show Week, it seems suits are stepping out of the boardroom and onto the green this year.


Suit Up


Women are increasingly stepping out in suits in a variety of fabrics, from linen to tweed and everything in between and not just for Cup and Show Week – we’re seeing the tailored perfection of the suit making an entrance in weddings and other events where occasional-wear is the name of the game. It’s not just structured suits, but pantsuits are also hot property for the most stylish.


Suit Up

Once you’ve made the decision to suit up, the options are endless – jacket length, shoulder width, lapel size, waisted vs boxy, shrunken vs oversize. The good news is there’s no prevailing silhouette the powers to be are suggesting we adhere to – at least not this season. However, crucially, the wrong combination of proportions can result in a fashionable faux pas. So why not suit up, because gowns aren’t the only ladies look on the table and what other item of clothing can make you feel as powerful and in control?


Suit UpSuit Up



Metal Detector

Metal Detector

Precious metals are having their moment in the sartorial spotlight, with silver, platinum and gold blending together with hues of emerald, red and blue.


Metal Detector


Metallics transform fashion into a dazzling style statement and it’s not just ‘going out’ clothing that is making its metallic mark, with puffer jackets and sneakers emulating the latest looks.
Its prevailing popularity in the style stakes suggests the shine won’t be rubbing off any time soon, which is rather an exciting prospect, when it comes to our inner-magpies.
So how do you make the most of metallics?

With their ability to reflect light, metallics can enhance facial imperfections. So if you want to take the attention away from your face, incorporate metallics through skirts, trousers or smaller metallic details.
Stick to one metallic piece, rather than mixing and matching, pairing metallic pieces with simple and minimal pieces. An all-metallic look can have you looking like Saturday Night Fever.
Keep accessories and makeup minimal too, allowing your metallic look to stand on its own. It’s time to shine!



Metal Detector
Metal Detector


Metal Detector
Metal Detector






Metropol Editor Melinda Collins

Editor’s Perspective: October 11th Issue

“Keep your heels, head and standards high,” Coco Chanel


Metropol Editor Melinda Collins
Metropol Editor Melinda Collins


For almost as far back as human memory can recall, horse racing has had a strong connection with fashion. A sport of nobility, it is believed to date back to the 1500s, when British aristocracy wanted an excuse to mix and mingle in high society. A strict dress code ensured the royal tone of the event was maintained and today, the fashion stakes remain just as high.


While refining a race day look brings with it the opportunity to honour a much more traditional aesthetic when it comes to your attire there’s still plenty of room to have some sartorial fun. Like the colourful jockeys’ silks, it’s about being the centre of attention, but for all the right reasons.


Because, although we’re working to a dress code here, the key to feeling flawless on the day is to ensure you’re comfortable in what you’re wearing – both physically and aesthetically. Style is, after all, a way to say who you are without having to speak.
Whether it’s the thrill of watching the equine élites compete for glory – even if they were chosen for the cool cred of their name, rather than their talent on the track – or you’re pinning your chances of success on the fashionable field, Addington is the place to be this year. And we’ve got all the stylish secrets ahead to get you there.








When it comes to the latest trend, this one is all about stepping out of the sartorial box and being a frill-seeker, in all the right ways.



While frills and ruffles are not new by any stretch of the imagination, having made their fashionable appearance since the 16th century, this seasonal style staple is seeing a serious resurgence in popularity. According to Gucci’s Alessandro Michele, we’re embracing ‘maximalism’ this year and maximalism is all about the ‘more is more’ motto. Ruffles fall effortlessly into this aesthetic, with the dramatic twist they bring to any look.

Ruffles and Elizabethan collars make the perfect partnership. For a more laid-back look, pair a casual ruffled top with jeans, straight-legged pants or shorts. Meanwhile, a floaty high-low skirt or maxi will cross the seasonal divide from spring to summer. So why not take the opportunity to get a frill out of your wardrobe – on your top, swimsuit, blouse, pants, or even on your jacket.



Metropol Editor Melinda Collins

Editor’s Perspective: September 27th 2018

“If you can dream it, you can do it. Always remember this whole thing was started by a mouse,” Walt Disney.


Metropol Editor Melinda Collins
Metropol Editor Melinda Collins


Just 50 years ago, it was widely believed that it was physiologically impossible for women to run a 26 mile course. Despite stewards trying to physically prevent the 20-year-old from competing, Kathrine Switzer became the first woman to officially run the 26-mile Boston Marathon in 1967. It’s not just women that are breaking down barriers. Every year humankind achieves more than we ever thought possible. I find it incredibly fascinating when I think about the level of phenomenal changes we have been witness to just in such a short period of human existence.

What is perhaps even more impressive is the impact just one single person can have on the world. Edward Jenner developed the smallpox vaccine, successfully eradicating an illness that had claimed approximately 500 million lives in the 20th century alone. You don’t need to be a world-leading scientist to make your mark on the world.
I remember the mantra that was drummed into me as a small human – ‘treat others as you wish to be treated’ and, if I was going to choose one key life philosophy to base my life around, this would be it. So let that driver into the queue, pick the kids up from school early and go for ice cream, or share a smile with a stranger for no reason. Remember, you don’t know what battles others are fighting.

As the Dalai Lama once said, “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.”



Colour me calm

Colour me calm

It was Australian writer/organiser Peter Walsh that once said, “Your home should be the antidote to stress, not the cause of it”. And never a truer word has been said.


Colour me calm


While we continually seek to de-stress outside of the home – taking a walk, heading to the gym or joining a yoga class – leaving the house is not actually integral to feeling happier and lighter. Why not make a sanctuary of calm right at home?
The Dulux Colour Forecast has just been released for 2019 offering tonal, saturated and contrasting palettes to nurture, recharge and empower. In recognition of colour’s powerful ability to dramatically transform a space and help create a specific vibe, we’ve taken the opportunity to look at the most calming options on the colour wheel.

When it comes to relaxing colours, blue has the power to calm your mind, slow down your heart rate, lower your blood pressure and reduce anxiety.
Symbolising nature, green is one of the most restful and quiet colours, helping you stay calm and refreshed. Pink is another colour that promotes tranquillity and peace, with the rules of Feng Shui deeming this talented tone as capable of soothing competing energies within a space.

White symbolises tranquility and freshness, giving clarity of thought in times of stress. With the capacity to bring balance and inner peace, violet signifies peace and wisdom. While at face value, grey can be considered dull, it’s actually very soothing, making the perfect partnership with blue tones.



To learn more about Dulux’s 2019 Colour Forecast visit


Looking Sharp

Looking Sharp

While we’ve long been suckers for succulents, it seems the cactus has knocked these popular perennials off their perch.



Looking Sharp


Because, although the cactus has long been dominating the wardrobes of the most fashion-forward, it’s quickly making its way through the homewares sphere, where you’ll find it in prints on bedspreads and other furnishings, but importantly, the real thing too is here to stay.

Despite the fact that few plants are as easy-care as the cactus, there are some rookie mistakes that can be made when it comes to caring for these sharp staples. Not providing enough sunlight is at the top of this list.
Your cactus will make itself at home on a windowsill because, although it only needs to be watered now and then, sunlight is key to its survival. They are also night-workers, producing oxygen while we sleep, which makes them a popular addition to the bedroom.



Kelvin Cruickshank

Sensing the Supernatural: Q&A with Kelvin Cruickshank

He’s best known for his role as a psychic crime solver in Sensing Murder, acting as a bridge between the physical and spiritual worlds. Now Kelvin Cruickshank is putting his psychic strength into solving murder mysteries in the United States. But as he tells Metropol ahead of his Soul Food Tour to our southern city in October, helping people through their grief is a key driving force behind what he does.


Kelvin Cruickshank


How did your psychic journey begin?

I began seeing spirit when I was a child which was overwhelming but as I grew to understand them, they actually were there to help their loved ones left behind. Once I learnt that, the rest is history.


You’re heading to Christchurch on 3 October as part of your Soul Food Tour. What’s the core concept behind these shows and how important are they to you?

The core concept for my shows is to share the love of the spirit, to teach my guests how to understand their spiritual experiences and to show that our loved ones still live even after death.

I feel every experience I have with the spirit world is amazing. Reading clients is always a pleasure. Working on murder cases like I have been in the USA has been challenging and dangerous, yet I just love it. And teaching people how to understand it is a passion. But the best thing is seeing with my own eyes the pain leave people after a connection has been made… truly an amazing feeling!


You’ve been doing this for many years now, has time in any way diminished the power of what you do in your mind?

You’re right, I have been doing this for years and to be honest time has only made me better at connecting. The skills are sharper I’d say.


You’ve recently had an incredibly powerful experience when you were able to help locate the body of missing man, Raymond ‘Curly’ Stirling. How do you describe that experience?

Finding Raymond was truly the highlight of my career. His daughter in law and son trusted me enough and they listened to what Raymond had shared and simply went out and found him. Personally I was and still am so happy for their family to have had their dad returned and laid to rest. I thank Glen and Jo for listening and following the instructions to the letter. They stuck to it and found him. A bitter sweet experience for sure but a truly amazing one too.


Do you think everybody has some degree of psychic ability that hasn’t been recognised?

I believe if we can dream we can all connect. Yes everyone has the intuition they just don’t either understand or don’t want to understand it. We all have gifts of some kind so for me it’s about tapping into it should one choose too.


A big part of your career has been involved in delving into unsolved crime. How has this affected you emotionally and how do you keep yourself grounded through that process?

Crime work, well that’s another thing all together. For the past 2.5 yrs I’ve been working with detectives and an amazing team of specialists in LA, USA. It’s been a roller coaster of emotions and incredibly draining, not to mention the physical dangers involved. But we get results and that’s the most important thing. I have bodyguards when at work in the States, which I appreciate because they keep me safe and I’m often meditating to find inner peace as the cases are really tough.


What have you got in store for the next 12 months?

Next 12 months I’ll be heading back to the States and possibly back to Japan, as I have been lecturing there this year. But the most exciting thing I’m looking forward to is my NZ tour with TJ Higgs from the UK. We will be working together side by side on stage. The tour kicks off July 2019 so I’m super excited to be able to bring TJ here to NZ.
She’s an amazing medium who also worked with Colin Fry and was a personal friend to him. I met TJ in Japan and we just clicked, so the tour will be awesome. I can’t wait. I’m sure things will pop up as the year progresses and that no matter what and where I end up, spirit will be right at my side sharing their stories to help heal and inspire those they have left behind.


Kelvin will be presenting his Soul Food Tour Wednesday 3 October. For more information,


Paving the way: Q&A with Helen Clark

“We need women at all levels, including the top, to change the dynamic, reshape the conversation, to make sure women’s voices are heard and heeded, not overlooked and ignored,” Sheryl Sandberg.


Helen Clark


Helen Clark has paved the way for women in leadership roles here in New Zealand, since becoming the first woman to be elected as its Prime Minister, following the 1999 election; the second woman in the country to take on the role. In April 2009, she then became the first woman to assume the role of Administrator of the United Nations Development Program, a position she held for a full two terms – eight years – before standing down in April 2017. As we celebrate 125 years of New Zealand’s world-leading suffrage movement, Metropol talks to one of our early female leaders, one who continues to be a strong voice for gender equality and women’s leadership.


What attracted you to politics?

I got involved because I wanted to play a role in designing and implementing public policies in areas about which I was passionate – from working to secure opportunity and security for all New Zealanders to advocacy for an independent and principled foreign policy.


How did your previous experiences or personal attributes set you up for a leadership role?

I began at the bottom of the ladder in the political system as an activist in local body and general election campaigns. Over time I took on progressively higher levels of responsibility, including on the New Zealand Executive of the Labour Party, culminating in my being elected as Leader of the Labour Party and thereby becoming Leader of the Opposition. That made me a candidate for the job of Prime Minister.


You will forever be in New Zealand history as one of our early female leaders. How does it feel to be a role model for women in leadership roles?

As a result of New Zealand having had three women Prime Ministers, girls and young women now have role models of top female leadership. I am proud to be one of those role models.


Who have been some of your biggest role models, women or otherwise?

The first and most important role model was my mother who was a teacher, and also an aunt who was a teacher. Impressive women teachers throughout my education were influential in my intellectual development. Professor Robert Chapman at Auckland University also was very helpful in supporting my career development.


Women’s needs and perspectives are underrepresented.


Chief Operating Officer of Facebook Sheryl Sandberg once said, ‘One day there won’t be female leaders, there will just be leaders’, capturing the sentiment that one day we do hope to achieve equality. How important are women leaders across all fields?

We can only say “there will just be leaders” when we achieve gender parity across all fields. That is far from the case currently. Where women don’t get the chance to sit in a critical mass at decision-making tables, women’s needs and perspectives are underrepresented. It’s vital to change that.


How do we, as a country, encourage more women to enter leadership roles?

By continually reinforcing the importance of gender equality and girls and young women being able to aspire to be anything they want to be. No door should be closed to women.


Where would you like to see New Zealand in 10/20/30 years with regards to women’s rights, equality and women in leadership?

By 2030 – or before, New Zealand should aim to reach gender parity in Parliament. 2030 is the date for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and, with the good will of political parties, gender parity among MPs could be reached by then. As well, we could by 2030 eliminate the remaining gender pay gap, and aim to reduce the level of domestic and family violence enormously.


Why do you think New Zealand has been such a world leader in terms of women’s rights?

We are a small, open, and relatively tolerant society with a sense of fair play. We are not hidebound by tradition. In my opinion, this enables us to embrace social change more readily.


What do the next 12 months have in store for you?

I am deluged with invitations from around the world to contribute to major events and advocate for good causes. That keeps me busy 24/7!



Metropol Editor Melinda Collins

Editor’s Perspective: September 13th 2018 Issue

“You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think” – A. A. Milne

Metropol Editor Melinda Collins
Metropol Editor Melinda Collins

“I am the person who notices we are running out of toilet paper,” Ellen Seidman began a poem for her blog, Love That Max, about the hats she wears in her household – worrier, organiser, rememberer and attention-payer. The poem was about the work she does involving thinking, a kind of mental labour that, she says, “enables our family to basically exist”.

She’s not the first person to notice. Back in 1996, sociologist Susan Walzer wrote of the household gender gap whereby women, even those who work full time, do the majority of what has come to be called the ‘second shift’ – the work that greets us when we come home from work.

In 2014, Dr Libby Weaver introduced us to the term ‘Rushing Woman’s Syndrome’, based on the concept of being all the things for all the people all the time. We’re focused on empowering women to lead fulfilling work lives and, while that’s a wonderful thing, we’re still being expected to do all the ‘other’ things too.

It might just be time to practise ‘kindfulness’. Forgiving and nurturing yourself can set the stage for a number of benefits, including lower levels of anxiety and depression. That aside, it gives you time to curl up and read Metropol with a cup of tea and we’re all for that!
After all, women may be capable of doing everything, but does that mean we have to do everything?