Every decade flaunts a scandalous aesthetic which rides against the tide of convention. In the 1950s, it was denim that was making sartorial waves.
Having found its fashionable feet in 1871 when the iconic ‘jean’ pant was invented by Jacob Davis and Levi Strauss, denim has had a somewhat troubled upbringing since the 1950s when jeans emerged as the unofficial uniform of youth counter-culture.
Popularised by Marlon Brando and James Dean, jeans were torn, patched and intentionally abused by stone and acid washes, demonstrating the anti-authoritarian reputation of jeans and their wearers.
While at the time these rebellious revolutionaries stirred controversy with their sartorial courage, their visions have not only endured but been contemporised, and today denim is reinvented and reinvigorated season after sartorial season.
Its modern manifestation continues to court favour with the who’s who of fashionable circles, where it has since emerged as a timeless addition to your sartorial portfolio.
We put our fashionable noses to the ground to find out how this seasonal staple is being reimagined in upcoming collections and how you can up your denim game.
We probably don’t have to tell you that high-rise, non-stretch, vintage-inspired mum jeans are everywhere right now, and they’re a good investment because, with their timeless, flattering aesthetic and ability to suit everyone, they’ll likely never fall completely out of favour.
Yes, relaxed, full-length jeans in straight and even gently flared silhouettes are making their way back into our lives. A little groovy and a little 90s, they are practically made for a small heel and, with a little bit of a roll-up, you can go from dressy to casual with one pair.
A walk on the dark side:
Forget about acid wash or so-light-it’s-almost-white denim. Denim is taking a walk on the wild side this sartorial season, with dark wash denim trending in a very big way – dresses, skirts and shorts included!
Liam Bowden has a killer instinct for hand bag design. The Founder and Creative Director of Deadly Ponies is the name behind some of New Zealand’s most covetable creations – handbags which are stylish, functional, expensive, but built to last. Metropol talks to Liam about taking a small market stall and creating a killer enterprise.
How did the Deadly Ponies story begin?
Our story began quite organically. While at University, I took a screenprinting elective, where I would screen print designs onto leather and with that leather I would create small leather goods like coin purses and sell them at markets. A small store started selling the goods and suddenly it got picked up by other stores and before I knew it we had created a brand.
What attracted you to bag design?
I was more attracted to the creative process of creating. Overtime, these became bags and making bags became the business. However, we are constantly creating: stores, print publications and conceptual imagery – bags are just part of the story.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I draw my inspiration from craft and creators, and the tactile nature of making things. Our recent campaign for our Voyage collection showcased four fantastical costumes crafted by three different local male creators, each made from their mastered material.
Deadly Ponies is such an incredible success story, why do you think people have connected so strongly with what you do?
With everything we do we try to be authentic; in the materials we use and the processes. We create products that have a story, are functional, sustainable and are made with the highest quality materials. People have connected with these values and our loyal followers have spread the word, which has ultimately driven our success and we wouldn’t be here without them.
Can you tell us about your latest collection Voyage?
Our latest collection Voyage is about travel, whether that be internationally or the journey made to and from work, our campaign also depicts travelling to another dimension.
All of the pieces are designed with travel in mind or for someone on the go; from overnight bags and briefcases, to backpacks and compendiums. The collection successfully launched worldwide in June.
What does the next 12 months have in store for Deadly Ponies?
The next twelve months are really exciting for us, our team is currently working on an international project which will launch next year. We are also dedicated to growing and supporting our regional community hubs with a focus on Ballantynes in Christchurch, as well as fostering creative communities with the launch of the Glassworks, a creative space at the back of our flagship store in Ponsonby, Auckland, which can host creative installations, exhibitions, talks and events.
The original style chameleon, black crosses every single sartorial divide; it flatters the figure, goes with everything and is available in looks from classic and contemporary through to wild and edgy.
Not surprising then that black is a recurrent feature on the what’s hot lists, more constant in its forceful repetitions than anything else in the style books.
With this humble hue’s ability to make everything look that little bit chicer, it’s time to get ‘black’ to basics. Besides, if Karl Lagerfeld, Coco Chanel and Christian Dior extol the virtues of black, then who are we to argue? It was Lagerfeld himself that once said, “One is never over or underdressed with a little black dress”.
So check out our mood board for inspiration, after all, as they say, black is the new black.
Life doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom when it comes to catering to the cold. With some of our most beloved designers plating up a course of statement shades this season, it’s time to embrace colour.
So we’ve put together our top tips to put your brightest foot forward in this season’s rainbow hues.
Bit of bold
If neutral is the name of your style game, then this one’s for you! Accessories are the easiest way to amp up an outfit. Add some vibrancy with just a ‘bit of bold’ – that is some red tassel earrings or a hot rainbow cross-body bag. Shoes are another exceptional way to add some colour to your life.
Opposites attract is the very premise behind colour blocking, which involves pairing opposites on the colour wheel together to make complementary combinations. When it comes to your wardrobe, this means an orange sweater and navy cigarette pants. You don’t need to be loud and proud, colour blocking can work equally as well with pastel shades.
Top or toe
Rather than going bold from top to toe, why not try top or toe? Choosing one element of colour for your outfit creates a strong focal point and the rest of the pieces nicely complement the look. Keep the rest of your clothing and accessories neutral, think a hot pink top with black pants.
One colour wonder
Choose a colour and tone which suits you and go all out! Keep your accessories neutral in either black, white or beige tones to balance out the look. The key to wearing one colour well is to either match everything together with precision or mix and match noticeably different within of a colour family.
The ‘70s are in full swing – both figuratively and literally – as fringing sashays its way back into sartorial consciousness.
A fun detailing that adds both drama and femininity to any look, this season we’re seeing it in every way, shape and form. From micro-mini fringe trimmings to luscious, long strips of suede and even fluffy feather, you can channel any look, from your inner dancing flapper to your inner western rodeo rider. Or, for a subtle touch, dip your toes in the fringe waters with fringed accessories, such as earrings, a statement necklace, or a scarf. It’s an attention seeker, but in all the right ways.
Dress to impress is generally a figurative instructive to describe the art of dressing up. But injecting gold into your wardrobe is one way to pay a more literal homage to this sentiment, with our affections for this illustrious hue.
The golden child of fashion has been putting the Midas touch on our wardrobes for the longest of times and its prevailing popularity suggests that it’s here to stay.
A signifier of wealth and quality, gold has been used in the arts from the gold artefacts found in the Balkans in the 4th millennium BC to the iconic Egyptian hieroglyphs. The shine hasn’t come off metallics for the 2018 sartorial season.
A warm colour at face value, gold can also be considered a neutral, which means it makes the perfect partnership with just about anything.
Outshine your sartorial rivals by incorporating gold in unexpected ways. Because, although the golden sheen of jewellery is almost a
given, trousers, skirts, singlets and even puffer jackets take a bit more imagination. It takes only a few pieces to add a golden new dimension to your wardrobe.
Headed off on a much-needed winter break? Try these tips to help steer you towards a stress-free packing experience.
Take one light suitcase
Samsonite make the best ones. Weighing in around 2kg, you can get more in it without over-stepping the 23kg luggage limit of local airlines.
Ditch the white
White clothing is painfully limiting for travel. It can only be worn once and when you send it off for cleaning, the hotel or resort – yes, even 5 stars – will almost always return it looking grey.
Only pack enough outfits to force you to wear everything once
Less is more when travelling. Less thinking, less decisions and less stuff. Work out how many outfits you have versus days. If you have fourteen looks for a seven-day holiday, halve this, then add three back in as evening options. This leaves ample options and ensures you wear everything.
Remove clothes that need an iron
The sound of the ironing board opening is uncomfortable enough at home. On holiday, it feels like nails on a blackboard.
Pack 2-3 pairs of shoes max
Shoes are weighty and cumbersome in the suitcase. Heels look silly in the islands. In the city, they become impractical when you are exploring your location. Reduce footwear options to a pair of dressy trainers, ballet flats or sandal and – if you must – a kitten heel for dinner.
Bring two carry bags – total
This means one large (but light) tote you can that pack down flat into a suitcase for extra shopping. Ensure it has a zip across the top to keep everything inside. The second bag should be a small, flat canvas over the shoulder bag with multiple pockets to keep you hands-free on the move.
Wear a neutral coloured scarf on the plane – wool or cashmere (not acrylic!)
Grey or sand tones will style with everything and not look too wintry on arrival. A warm, but light, scarf is also a blessing if the temperature drops.
Have a dedicated wallet on hand to house valuables
Losing valuables on holiday is no joke. Keep them safe in a dedicated travel wallet and lock it in the safe before heading out. This will save you from leaving things lying around your hotel to be forgotten or stolen. Taking jewellery? Opt for light pieces only.
Heading for the tropics?
Take a small selection of easy-care kaftans you can wear day or night, but not so fussy they can’t stand exposure to sunscreen. Preferably in crease-free fabrics for easy washing and wear. “I’ll meet you by the pool, just as soon as I iron this kaftan” said no-one ever!
Leave wiggle room
Leave wiggle room in your case for shoppingEven if you are travelling to a desert island, chances are you will find yourself raiding the spa of Pure Fiji products. So leave a little room to prevent that inevitable suitcase struggle on your final day.
Kagi is a Kiwi brand that tickles the fancy of the magpies amongst us. Metropol talks to founder Kat Gee about her passion for jewellery and how she balances motherhood and business.
You were quite young when you established Kagi, where did your passion for jewellery come from?
I have always had a passion for jewellery from a young girl fossicking through my grandma’s bead drawers to selling jewellery to classmates aged 7; a career in jewellery seemed inevitable.
Looking back, I was very young to start up a business but I guess that was the beauty of it; I didn’t know what I didn’t know and literally felt like I had nothing to lose…
You’ve been incredibly successful. Why do you think people have connected with your designs?
For me the measure of success is more about doing what I love and feeling fulfilled by my work – I am lucky enough to do my passion for a living so in that respect, I am blessed.
I love creating beautiful unique jewellery that makes women feel fabulous and special. The women who wear our Kagi brand are always who we design for first and foremost and there is nothing more rewarding than seeing them enjoying our designs. I think women connect with our brand as we listen to them and design what they want – we don’t tell women what to wear, we listen to what they tell us.
How would you define the Kagi brand?
Kagi is about letting your own unique style shine. We are a brand that allows women to feel fabulous everyday.
Along with your firstborn (the business), you have a small human in your charge. How do you balance motherhood and a successful business?
It’s a constant juggle and some days I feel as if I’m not winning and then other days are high fives all round! At the end of the day though we all do the best we can as working mums and need to cut ourselves some slack. The whole concept of ‘you can have it all!’ needs a wee subtitle added ‘but not at the same time…’ as we put so much pressure on ourselves to have every plate spinning perfectly at all times.“I was very young to start up a business, but I guess that was the beauty of it.”
What exciting plans do you have in the works for the next 12 months?
Hahaha a break from having children! It will be nice to move out of nappies that’s for sure and recover two years’ worth of sleep! In terms of Kagi we are contining our Kat Gee collaboration and we have some very exciting new colourful and sparkly designs in the mix – it’s by far our best range yet and comes out early July. I still run my business remotely, so I’d say there will be some more travel in there and we have a couple of trips planned to Raro with the kids for some relaxation and recharging.
Mirror Mirror Boutique is fast becoming the shoe destination in Hanmer Springs. The boutique carries a vast selection of contemporary to classic styles of Minx footwear – a New Zealand designed brand that is fun, fabulous and feminine.
Discerning shoppers will find C.REED, a collection by Minx designer, Cushla Reed. The popular Kiwi designer created the capsule collection last year after listening to clients asking for guidance on how to style their footwear and accessories with their clothing. C.REED creates a simple base and the perfect canvas for stunning accessories. The uncluttered style is a collection of interchangeable statement pieces, so customers can design their own look, their own way.
Another popular footwear range available at the boutique are Beau Coops – the Beau Coops agenda is simple: to offer beautifully designed, classic footwear that represent a lifestyle of comfort, quality and style. Made in Italy and inspired by her former East London home, the unisex label embodies what the designer refers to as boyfriend chic – reminiscent of that special piece borrowed from a loved one.
The friendly staff can help style customers’ outfits with their range of Elk Accessories and other clothing brands, including Mesop, Eb & Ive, and the New Zealand-made ‘Anyone’s Daughter’.
Mirror Mirror Boutique is located at The Village Shopping Centre, 5/24 Conical Hill Road, Hanmer Springs.
Visit the online store email@example.com or phone the team on 03-315 5044.
The best designer clothing is supremely comfortable, toasty, and addictive. Ditto with accessories. This describes the wares at TAD. Even the wallets, key-rings and cuffs here have feel-good factor.
For real feather handbags sharing display space with fine sterling silver necklaces, cuddly merino ponchos and wholly desirable LTB denim and Black Orchid jeans, the TAD stores at either Pegasus, North Canterbury or Northlands, Papanui are great destinations.
TAD is actually a bit of a fashion-blogger’s paradise. That’s because cool pieces to coordinate co-exist here. The result? That ‘I just pulled on the clothes hanging over the end of my bed’ look, when you want the appearance of effortless. It’s non-matchy-matchy; authenticity plus attitude.
Even hats here are knubbly knits or that rarely found style essential; the felted, 100 percent woollen panama. And extra fashion points apply for this appearing in navy as well as ubiquitous black.
TAD offers delectable fluffy slide-slippers. There’s comfort mixed with IT-girl nonchalance and enough practicality to justify their purchase. “We buy and stock highly wearable clothes,” co-owner Tracey says.
TAD’s tactile, sensuous stock has labels like Ivy Blu, Naudic, Ministry of Style, Nyx & Min, Mooi, and Silk & Steel amongst many more.
More Clothing & North Canterbury & Win with Metropol