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Karen Walker

Striking sartorial gold: Q&A with Karen Walker

Every industry has one; the prodigious talents whose comfort zones are outside of the box and for whom rules are more guideline than instruction. They’re the rebels, the misfits, the rulebreakers and the nonconformists. But equally, they’re the trendsetters, the innovators, the visionaries and the true talent. For New Zealand fashion, that’s Karen Walker.

Karen Walker

In 1989, at 19 years of age with just $100 in her pocket and two shirts in her commercial repertoire, she launched the Karen Walker label. Since then, she has steadily grown to be New Zealand’s most famous fashion export, with more than 1020 stores globally stocking her fashion, eyewear, jewellery, fragrance and paint collections, and a cult following from Lady Gaga to Madonna.
With the ability to pair neons with pastels and floral prints with military touches in a way that only a true talent can, she has struck sartorial gold with her androgynous and offbeat designs distinguishable by their punchy, tomboyish edge.
Metropol caught up with the sartorial powerhouse after a whirlwind trip to Dunedin where she was judging this year’s iD Fashion Week.

What was a standout at this year’s iD Fashion Week?
The stand-out for me, obviously, was our first prize winner, Damir Begović, but there were a lot of other collections that I thought were really excellent – I was very impressed and delighted to be there.

How important is it to you to support emerging designers coming through the industry?
I think it’s very important for anyone who’s well established in this industry to support emerging talent and iD Fashion Week’s got a great structure in place for doing this in a unique and outward-facing way.

Karen Walker has become an iconic Kiwi label, why do you think it has been such a success and how do you continue to stay ahead of the game in such a constantly evolving industry?
It all comes down to the ideas and we’re very fortunate that people like what we make. With regard to staying ahead of the game, I guess that’s just a result of us being interested in new ideas.

What drew you to fashion in the first place?
The feeling it gives you when you create or find something truly new/exciting/great.

How would you define the Karen Walker brand?
Chic meets eccentric.

You’ve been involved with some pretty cool collaborations recently, including cookie mix and cute canine accessories. How much fun has it been to do something completely different?
We’re in this business because we love to work with and create new ideas, especially ones that put a smile on people’s faces, and we’re always thinking about and working on projects that are new and exciting.

We have to ask the cliché question – what are your biggest style secrets?
A combination of lots of things really but the things that are important to me include: quality, a sense of self and a calmness within that, plenty of sleep and, for me personally, if in doubt… navy. And never, ever, ever counterfeits.

What can we look forward to from Karen Walker this coming year?
Coming up in the second half of the year we’ve got new eyewear (guys and girls), new ready-to-wear and bags and a big, exciting, top secret collab to top the year off.

To Be Continued

A beautiful birthday: Fendalton’s To Be Continued celebrates one year of helping people find beautiful, unique clothing

Circle the date on your calendar; flag it in your diary – 14 April is the date To Be Continued in Bryndwr Road marks its first year of business. “We want to thank our customers and the local community who have embraced our store,” say Amanda and Martin Stirling-Exon, the owners of this classy pre-loved, vintage and new clothing shop.

To Be Continued

“Building great relationships with our customers and providing the very best customer service we can is at the heart of our approach to retail.”
There will be nibbles and drinks from 10am to 6pm and some special deals, because it’s little wonder customers from all over the city and as far afield as Ashburton have embraced the store, with its reputation spreading rapidly. This is a store that belies its unassuming suburban location with an elegant layout and the quality of the clothing. “We offer really lovely clothing that has been well-looked after, if even worn at all – clothing that deserves its life ‘to be continued’.”
More often than not the clothes here are beautifully cut designer pieces at a fraction of the cost. Amanda is very strict about the as-new quality of the pre-loved clothing and the cleanliness of everything in store, where pre-loved items for women and men line the racks alongside the new.
Besides clothing, the store stocks distinctive and often quirky gift items. “We love to have a bit of fun and our customers appreciate that too.”
Open seven days at 48a Bryndwr Road – until 5.30pm on weekdays and from 10am to 4pm on weekends.

COOPER Kimono Del Mar, $599

What’s trending for winter: Style Doctor by Bridget Hope of Magpie Style

As the temperature plummets, here’s what’s on the fashion horizon. Hold onto your hats, coats and scarves, for there is something for everyone here. Never has a fashion season been so full of contradiction.

Bridget Hope, Magpie Style Wardrobe Director
Bridget Hope, Magpie Style Wardrobe Director
  • CLEAN LINES: A belted wool trench. A perfectly crisp shirt. The perfect pair of pants. With environmental factors pointing harshly against fast-fashion, expert tailoring and clean lines are seeing a resurgence. The buy-once, buy-better philosophy is on the up-and-up as land-fills rise to house cheap mass-produced clothes. Classic cuts and colours are also following suit in hues guaranteed to stand the test of time. Think grey-marl roll-neck sweaters and belted camel coats in high quality natural fibres. There has never been a more relevant time to think about the longevity of what we wear on our backs.
  • BERRIES, SPICE & ALL THINGS NICE: The new winter hues see rich colour palettes of berry tones and spicy shades – with the colour of mustard reigning supreme. Great news for black lovers everywhere, these new shades pair perfectly with existing monochrome wardrobes. Knitwear comes in the form of rich raspberry reds, deep blueberry tones and dense saffron shades.
  • EMBELLISHED JACKETS: Last year saw a surge of embellishments on jackets and coats which continues throughout winter. Decorated coats and jackets, while lavish, are also more refined in their detailing. Think finer crystals designed in styles featuring cleaner lines. Beaded embroidery continues for evening – only with even more sequins added than in previous years.
  • ART ATTACK: While the political landscape on the global stage feels uneasy at the best of times, high-fashion has become decidedly more playful. Dolce & Gabbana sent models down the runway in a thrashing display of hip-hop princesses and modern Shakespeare muses. Closer to home, Trelise Cooper saw butterflies painted on camouflage jackets and bold “I Got This” slogans painted across long utilitarian coats.
  • KIMONO ME PRETTY: Love them or loathe them, printed and textured kimonos continue their reign through winter and into Spring/Summer. A god-send on fuller arms, a well-placed Kimono can hide a multitude of sins. Worn over a sleek black dress or narrow pants and floaty top – the kimono delivers an air of fashion confidence on even the chilliest winter night. The new season kimonos are adorned with artful prints and velvet cuffs and lapels.
COOPER Kimono Del Mar, $599
COOPER Kimono Del Mar, $599
  • And now for…THE TRENDS TO RETIRE: While these styles have served us well, it’s time to say good-night (for now anyway) to: 1. Over-the-knee suede boots. 2. Bare-shoulder tops. 3. Ironic branded tees. The sun has set for you – quite literally!
  1. www.magpiestyle.co.nz
Wedding dress

Bridal gown style guide: how to choose “The Dress” for your dream wedding

The sentiment and commitment of any wedding day are, of course, the most important statements, but let’s be honest, the piece de resistance – the moment that leaves guests waiting with bated breath – is the entrance of the bride in her chosen attire, most traditionally, a gown.

Wedding dress

If you are planning your big moment and looking for some guidance on your gown, then look no further. We’re delivering a beautiful overview of the must have looks for 2018.

Chic capes: Solange Knowles is perhaps one of the most famous examples of brides who donned a cape or capelet on their wedding day. Hers was the perfect conclusion to an already-edgy jumpsuit that she donned while making her big entrance on a vintage bicycle. A firm favourite with designers during Bridal Fashion Week, the cape is for the bride that wants to contemporise tradition and become a caped crusader in lieu of wearing a veil.

Off the shoulder: A modest amount of glowing skin can play peek-a-boo in gowns with detached sleeves. Designers like Monique Lhuillier are giving us the cold shoulder in 2018, but in the best possible way. We are seeing a lot of off-the-shoulder styles, some even with puff sleeves in the mix. It might sound like the eighties are planning a comeback, but we can assure you there is nothing retro about this aesthetic, just pure romance written all over the look.

Mid-length: A floor-skimming gown has its foot firmly in traditional bridal territory, but hems are coming up for 2018 – to a very respectable mid-length. Modest and modern; this style pays homage to 1950’s style stars like Marilyn Monroe. This is the perfect compromise for the bride who still wants the glamour that a gown affords, but the comfort and practicality of a dress that can transition from the ‘I Do’s’ to the dance floor.

TAD Design

Pegasus Town fashionable favourite: TAD Design’s hidden treasures include a beautician called Suzie and a hairdresser by the name of Maddie

Located in Pegasus Town, TAD Design’s striking concept store is worthy to be snapped by any Instagram user as it brings together fashion and beauty services in an inviting, relaxing and serene environment.

TAD Design
Beautician Suzie at TAD’s Pegasus store

So far in its mere two-year existence, owners Tracey and Daniel have also opened TAD fashion in Northlands Mall, along with an online store which has drawn a devoted clientele.
“The Pegasus store is a haven where people can come and leave their troubles at the door,” Tracey says.
“Come into a space full of unique pieces from around the world or pamper yourself in the hair salon and beauty room.”
If you can peel your eyes away from the luxurious array of fashion labels which include Mooi, Ministry of Style, One Teaspoon and Stella & Gemma, the store spans to a hidden hair salon and cosy beauty room where you will find hairdresser, Maddie and beautician, Suzie.
Suzie is the latest member of the TAD team and would like to offer clients a facial special – The Signature Facelift. “This facial, suitable for all skin types, has a beautiful blend of Vitamin C and fruit enzymes to energise and detox the face,” Suzie says.
“It helps with hydration, as in winter our skin becomes drier. Vitamin C also helps with collagen production, which helps slow down the signs of aging. This facial is a great way to maintain and replenish your skin, whilst taking some time out for yourself.”
TAD Design in Pegasus Town is offering this facial special for $70 (usually $120) until the end of April, 2018. To make a booking, phone 0800 823 337. Follow TADpegasus on Facebook

Lynn Woods

A style maven: Q&A with the irrepressible Lynn Woods

Lynn Woods is a name and a business that Christchurch respects. Synonymous with timeless fashion and informed sartorial advice, Lynn and her eponymous business are an asset to the business landscape. Metropol talks to the style maven about what makes her tick.

Lynn Woods

After having been in fashion for so long, what still inspires you?

I started my career selling Auckland label Trish Gregory from a studio attached to my home. My mother inspired my love of fashion and my father educated me about business. While a lot has changed in fashion since then, what inspires me has remained the same – beautiful fabrics, great New Zealand design and of course our customers.

Lynn Woods is an iconic brand, how have you evolved the business, so it moves with the ever-changing times?

The business is continually evolving with social media, digital marketing and online shopping. Last year the online laybuy service for our customers launched – this enables them the ease and convenience of taking garments straight away and they can pay them off in monthly installments, a great service that is becoming increasingly popular.

Who is your style icon?

Iris Apfel. Iris is an American businesswoman, interior design and fashion icon. At 96 years old, Iris Apfel has a captive audience all over the world who celebrate and adore her memorable and quirky style.

What advice would you offer around personal style?

‘Wear everything with confidence’ is my style philosophy. Most importantly, remember tailoring, the measurement. Proportions make all the difference.

Paula Ryan

Synonymous with style: Q&A with New Zealand fashion mogul Paula Ryan

The year 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of the Paula Ryan clothing brand, a label which is synonymous with New Zealand and Australian women. Magpie Style Wardrobe Director Bridget Hope talks to Paula about her successful career and secrets to style confidence.

Paula Ryan

After 20 years with Paula Ryan clothing, what is the most important thing you have learnt about women and clothing?

Most women enjoy shopping, trying on clothes and creating a look. On the whole, they like valued advice and prefer to shop where this is available. They do not always understand the mantra of ‘cost per wear’ so bargains can be a magnet only to later discover they have ‘mistake’ purchases in their wardrobe.
What was the first garment you ever designed?
In 1998, working with the original Lane Walker family company in Christchurch, I designed the high polo neck slim fit top in New Zealand Merino, because I wanted to hide my own neck.
A prime example of how necessity can be the mother of invention – this style is still in our Essentials collection today.
What is special about the Paula Ryan brand?
The Paula Ryan brand centres around ‘stretch’, even in our footwear. Fabrics are key and the main four fabrics are all jersey knits, developed through a collaboration of science working alongside nature. Our two main fabrics are developed using natural fibers.

Paula Ryan
Paula Ryan is available at Magpie Style, Ballantynes, Fredrick Ashley and Sassy’s.

What inspires you now?

Tomorrow and looking at social media along with the changing habits and needs of women. How women live totally consumes me in creating the shapes. Art and nature inspires me for colour.
What’s the best piece of advice you have ever taken in business?
Look at the four P’s: Plan, People (hire the best), Perseverance and Passion (truly believe in your project).

What’s the best piece of advice that you have given?

Read Napoleon Hill’s book Think and Grown Rich. It outlines how we create our own successes and failures and as we grow successful, there is a point when we receive more pleasure from – giving back. The Gates with Warren Buffet are extreme versions of this.

What’s your number one tip for women?

Enjoy dressing with style as it should be a reflection of your personality. Dress your body, not your age. Age is just a number.

Does size matter when it comes to clothes?

Your size has no connection to style however, the best quality fabrics create the best clothes. There are no short cuts. When women size 14 or over wear fast fashion (ie. clothing in cheap fabrics) the look will never be stylish. For us, with our jersey knits, our mantra is ‘the magic is in the fabric’. It’s all about the fabric quality for us.

What makes Canterbury women unique in their dressing?

Twenty years ago, February 1998, when we sold our first collection, which consisted of just four black merino tops, it was Quinns in Merivale who was the first to buy, followed by Ballantynes. Both companies said, ”these are perfect for Canterbury women, because women here appreciate quality”. Now, twenty years on, we still have a strong following in Canterbury and Christchurch city because of this, which makes me proud to be a sheep farmer’s daughter from Canterbury.

Who are your favorite women and why?

I admire women who inspire others. Donna Karan, her big personality and understanding of how jersey knits can flatter all women, Jane Fonda and her own stunning body at 80 through daily exercise, Coco Chanel and her pioneering fashion skills. She made stunning clothes that were comfortable in an era of laced up corsetry.

Juliette Hogan

A stylish statement: fashion Q&A with designer Juliette Hogan

Leonardo da Vinci once described simplicity as “the ultimate sophistication”. It’s an apt description of Juliette Hogan’s style statement.

Juliette Hogan
Designer Juliette Hogan (L) with Ballantynes head buyer Megan McKee and footware designer Katheryn Wilson (R)

A label which is characterised by strong, pared-back, minimalist design, her pieces are a powerful combination of unfussy femininity. This is a designer who is all about timeless quality.
Metropol talks to Juliette about her sartorial inspirations and her latest collection.

Can you tell us how your career began?

Mum taught me to sew from a very early age, but I never had aspirations to be a fashion designer. I studied Textiles at Massey University in Wellington and went on to win the Dare to Be competition to study at Parson’s School of Design in New York. This time really shaped who I was as a designer and it was only then that I decided I was going to come back to New Zealand to start my own label.

The fashion industry has been said to not take any prisoners, why do you think you’ve been such a success?

Perseverance and clarity. I have had always had a very clear idea of my design sense and clarity about where I’ve wanted to go.

How do you create designs which resonate so strongly with New Zealand women?

Opening stores has given me amazing insight into what women want to wear. I have always been a selfish designer however, having direct contact with the wonderful people who engage with my brand gives me invaluable insight. I am in business to make women feel good about themselves.

Who are some of your biggest fashion inspirations?

I can never succinctly answer this question as I don’t look to celebrities or other designers for inspiration. Inspiration comes from more abstract places for me such as beautiful open landscapes, subtle movement in a silk or dappled shadow formations.

What’s the most fulfilling part of what you do?

Seeing women in my designs, working with my amazing team and getting to do what I love every day.

What are some of the new looks and styles which we can expect to see coming through in the coming seasons?

AW18 Undertone is such a beautiful rich collection and my stand out piece is the Surround Coat in Talc; it completely envelopes without overwhelming you. I also love the rich merlot and deep reds that run through the collection.

The Autumn Aesthetic

The autumn aesthetic: goodbye summer hello luxurious autumn

As our wardrobe waves goodbye to summer, embrace the autumn aesthetic and all of its delicious offerings. It never plays by the rules.

The Autumn Aesthetic
As our wardrobe waves goodbye to summer, embrace the autumn aesthetic and all of its delicious offerings. It never plays by the rules.
embroidered velvet jacket
Step out in style with this embroidered velvet hip length jacket with luxurious red lining ROSE BOMBER, LOVINGLY MADE IN NZ BY REPERTOIRE. www.repertoire.co.nz
metallic shoes
Metallic magic is paired with a romantic pattern in this sophisticated shoe. MINX DA VINCI. Wink Shore Store, 1027 Ferry Road. www.ilovewink.co.nz
WORLD top
Make a statement in the new SHIVER PRINT TOP FROM UNTOUCHED WORLD. www.untouchedworld.com
merrell
Set out for adventure in packable styles that don’t sacrifice comfort this autumn. ZOE SOJOURN LACE KNIT. www.merrell.co.nz
playsuit
Pop with colour and class in this playful number. ELLIATT GRAPHIC PLAYSUIT. Wolf Pack, 483 Papanui Road.
Mustard dress
Keep things hot in mustard yellow this autumn with this feminine frock. SEED HERITAGE. To Be Continued, 48a Bryndwr Road.
American Express Openair Cinema

Events guide: Five things well worth leaving home for

The temperatures may have begun their downward descent, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to lock yourselves inside! We’ve gone in search of some of the hottest events around that will be sure to bring some warmth to your autumn.

American Express Openair Cinema
American Express Openair Cinema

Food, fun and flicks:

American Express is bringing the Openair Cinema festival of food, fun and flicks to Rauora Park from 15 March to 1 April.
There will be an array of alternative entertainment, live music and DJ performances before the latest and greatest feature films light up the big screen.
Better yet, you can bring along a ‘Doggy Date’! Pampered pooches will receive the VID treatment with a pawfect picnic platter of doggy delights and their own canine couch. Tickets start at $13 and are on-sale now at www.openaircinemas.co.nz.

Jump for charity:

Some of the country’s leading horse and pony riders are getting in behind the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation with the second annual Jump for Cancer Hagley charity event at North Hagley Park on 25 March.
St. Margaret’s College students will be collecting donations on behalf of the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation and food vendors will be selling everything from coffee and gelato to gourmet pizzas and potatoes.
General admission is free with VIP tickets available from www.eventbrite.co.nz. To find out more, head to the Jump for Cancer Hagley Facebook page.

Middle-aged man in lycra!

Following a sell-out premiere season across New Zealand, much-loved Kiwi actor Mark Hadlow remounts for a final ride into Christchurch in the acclaimed one man show, MAMIL (middle-aged man in Lycra), in all its lurid lycra glory for ‘Le Tour d’Isaac’, from Thursday 31 May to Saturday 2 June at the Isaac Theatre Royal.
Shining as the affable, yet uncomfortably relatable anti-hero in the one-man show, Hadlow commands the stage. With his energetic presence and childlike enthusiasm to the character, he breathes life into the cleverly crafted monologues to delight even the most stoic of MAMIL-phobes.

Colourful fun :

All the colour and fun of a carnival is coming to Cathedral Square on Saturday 24 February.
The popular Latino market is heading into the city from 4pm to 8pm on so you can enjoy a delicious culinary collection of Latin street food, live music, art and craft and, of course, the warmth of the local Latin community.
There will also be workshops, a dance floor and performances with Latin rhythms (including capoeira and samba do Brasil). So bring your most colourful clothing – and your dancing shoes – and prepare for a night of colourful fun.

A catwalk crusade:

Designers and celebrities are set to hit the catwalk on Thursday 12 April wearing the latest New Zealand fashion.
Guests at the annual M Factor Fashion Show will see collections from the likes of Annah Stretton, Augustine, Repertoire, Trelise Cooper and many more to raise funds for Ronald McDonald House Charities New Zealand and Ronald McDonald House South Island.
Held at 7pm on Thursday 12 April at The Transitional Cathedral, tickets are available at ticketmaster.co.nz and are priced at $75 for VIP, $55 for General Admission and $20 for children and students.