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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.

Magazine Clothing

Something for every occasion: a complete range at Magazine Clothing

Magazine Clothing offers a range of beautiful designer clothing from size 10-26, with a range predominantly New Zealand designed and made, including its own label, Magazine.

Magazine Clothing
Owner and Manager of Magazine Clothing, Linda Savage

There’s something for every occasion, from casual lifestyle clothing through to fabulous special occasion wear, with the business specialising in clothing for the mother-of-the bride and groom, and guestwear.
Magazine works closely with New Zealand designers to ensure much of the range is exclusive. The stores also carry an exquisite range of accessories including jewellery, fascinators and bags to complement every outfit. The talented team will help create your individual look with feminine, flattering and contemporary clothing tailored to suit your lifestyle and personality.
Magazine has 10 beautiful stores throughout New Zealand and, when you visit, you will have an exceptional experience, ensuring you look and feel fabulous every time you shop there.
To help you make the right choice, each member of staff has an extraordinary styling ability, masses of creativity and fashion flair, as well as professionalism and an absolute commitment to deliver the ultimate service.
You’ll get an exceptional in-store experience to discover your perfect look, regardless of age, shape or size, with the help of passionate fashion experts.
Windmill Centre, 188 Clarence Street, Riccarton, phone 021 686 929, or visit
Other stores include Takapuna, Mt Eden, Pukekohe, Mt Maunganui, Hamilton, New Plymouth and Palmerston North. There are designer outlet stores in Onehunga and Taihape.

Made in the Shade

All about knitwear: loving the winter fashions at Made in the Shade

Made in the Shade is a boutique filled with fabulous New Zealand and European labels that make dressing up in winter a pleasure.

Made in the Shade

From jazzy detailed cardigans and colourful capes, to slinky jerseys in possum and merino, it’s all about knitwear this season. Optimum Knitwear is what Made in the Shade is famous for and Ali has been taking calls from Tauranga to Timaru for this iconic brand. “You can choose a style from the rack, our catalogue, or online and we’ll order it in any colour or size. It will arrive in three or four weeks. Made of 100 percent of the softest, finest merino wool, there is absolutely no pilling.”
Ali has coordinated her clients’ wardrobes for more than three decades and Sharon has a skilful eye for styling. Now, Marian has joined the close-knit team after her 25-years’ experience at Untouched World, a premium brand in natural fabrics. “We’re are getting a lot of compliments about Marian’s service and expertise.”

Made in the Shade Ali says winter is the time to invest in versatile outfits that take you from office to evening – from Anne Mardell and Bittermoon’s spectacularly designed dresses, through to gorgeous Italian-linen pieces. The perfect fit of NYDJ and Lisette-L pants team exquisitely with gorgeous winter tops and jackets.
A 70 percent sale of head-turning summer outfits is still going strong – for those running away to warmer climes.
Made in the Shade has easy parking and is easy to find at 151a Colombo Street, Beckenham. Opening hours are Monday-Friday 9am-5.30pm and Saturdays 10am-4pm or visit

TRELISE COOPER, Leopard coat, $799

Coat tales: what to look for when shopping for a new season coat

Louise Heller, Fashion Editor – Magpie Style
Louise Heller, Fashion Editor – Magpie Style

The hunt for a new winter coat can be an arduous task if you don’t know what you are looking for. The looming winter season brings with it a huge display of styles, colours, textures, prints and lengths to keep your appetite for coats satiated – if not a little confused!
Here’s our hit predictions (peppered with a little advice) on how to cut through the clutter.

Ask yourself, what function do you need your coat to perform?

Let it reflect your personality and most importantly lifestyle. Is it loud and eccentric or tailored and subtle to last year after year? Do you want a coat that’s less function, more high-fashion, or weather-proof and practical? Giving yourself some time to think through this will help focus the mind.

What is its key purpose? Do you want to be able to cover up (read: snuggle up) or wear it as a statement piece with much warmer layers underneath?

Are you looking for a life-time of pleasure or short-term satisfaction?

There’s no hard and fast rule around how many coats you buy in one year, but one idea is to try one style this year and another style the next. Go for natural fibres such as wool, cashmere or goose down for warmth and longevity. If there is one purchase not to scrimp on – it’s a new winter coat. Save your fast-fashion purchases for lower ticket items as the fabric quality is always much reduced. When it comes to fabric, you generally get what you pay for.

So what’s in fashion for winter coats?

Some of the strongest trends coming through for winter are soft hues in baby blues and pinks, camel (did that ever go out of fashion?) and strong animal textured prints like leopard. It’s oversized if you like the man-style look, belted coats featured heavily on runways as did faux fur.

Leopard: Victoria Beckham featured leopard-print belted trenches in her latest collection. Leopard as a print is timeless to a point of being an almost neutral tone.

TRELISE COOPER, Leopard coat, $799
TRELISE COOPER, Leopard coat, $799

Tapestry: Full-length and for the statement lover, tapestry coats are thick with heritage style. Either layer up on accessories for a more subtle look or pair back with denim and muted tones.

Tapestry Coat

The Glam Puffer: The glam puffer is a hot ticket item this winter. As seen on many street style blogs, this can be transitioned from the football field to a dinner out. Belted and worn cinched adds a whole dimension to what would otherwise be a practical-only look.

PAULA RYAN Long Reversible Glam Puffer, $550
PAULA RYAN Long Reversible Glam Puffer, $550

Oversize Me: The oversized and man-style look can be a god-send for those who feel the cold. Unstructured and generally roomy, it will allow you to layer up to your heart’s content while still allowing a little style and your fashion-personality to shine through.

Angela Stone

A woman of many hats: Q&A with Angela Stone

Angela Stone was just 14 when she started her modelling career, working with top retailers and international brands across Sydney, Melbourne, Milan and London and, at just 21, opened the doors of Portfolio Model Agency here in Christchurch, before starting her own styling business, Angela Stone Consulting Ltd seven years later.

Angela Stone

Today stylist, fashion designer, author, lifestyle guru and full-time mother are just some of the very stylish hats she wears.
Metropol talks to this fashionable entrepreneur ahead of her attendance at the Women Inspiring Women luncheon at the Addington Event Centre which brings together some of the country’s most inspiring women in support of some of the city’s most worthy causes.

Can you tell us about your early career and how you got yourself established in an industry which is said to take no prisoners?

My career has always been so much more than fashion, for me it’s been more about making a difference to how people feel about themselves. I dress people from the inside out. Looking after one’s self on the inside ensures for an even better dressed person.

How does a day in the life of Angela Stone look these days?

I get up at 5am every day, I arrive at the gym at 5.30am, home at 7am, I get dressed and ready for my day which starts at 8am and the rest is unlike any other day. I could be flying somewhere, on a photoshoot, working on events, personal shopping, corporate styling… seriously no two days are the same.

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

I love training. I run a number of training courses and I get to work with people who are looking for next level empowerment.

How do you define style?

Classic, feminine and professional

Who are some of your biggest inspirations?

I love researching our top 100 companies. I listen to inspirational speakers every day while I am working out at the gym. My personal trainer Jamil and my children, because they keep everything real.

What do you see as some of your biggest accomplishments?

The great gains just keep on coming. I am grateful for every up and every down as this has shaped my life.

What are you looking forward to over the next year?

I am so excited to be kicking off my nationwide tour – Teens, Style & Etiquette Course! It’s going to be action-packed.

Benny Castles

King of his Castle: a fashionable Q&A with WORLD Director Benny Castles

He started as a retail assistant, but Benny Castles has worked his way up to the upper echelons of fashion royalty, making his name as the king of colour, with a personal style that is as vibrant and worldly as the brand which he is now a director of.

Benny Castles

Fresh from a whirlwind trip to Dunedin to judge the iD Dunedin Fashion Week for 2018 alongside Karen Walker and Maggie Hewitt, Metropol talks to WORLD Director Benny about how he defines style and pushes the envelope.

You first started at World as a part time retail assistant, what attracted you to the industry?

A job… a welcome alternative to schooling. Little did I know… I had always been interested in fashion and shopping, so it seemed a natural place for me to spend my time – around a host of uniquely interesting people and within an enviroment and business that offered such enticing ideas.

How do you define style?

I do not even try, except to say that it is not an entirely visual pursuit. Style and fashion add to one’s sense of self and, if done correctly, they can express your personality and character in a way that makes you feel the best possible version of yourself.

What is the best part about what you do?

The people. World is a personality brand, it was founded by characters and individuals and this continues through its staff and clients who are all interlinked, even though they are all so different, by a string of personality that makes the brand so much richer. We have a team of eclectic and distinctive individuals and the same can be said of our customers.

World 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?

Francis Hooper and Dame Denise L’Estrange-Corbet who founded World are mavericks, their boundless energy to push the envelope and evolve alongside their self created rules are what has continually made World a brand people can connect themselves to. We care little for what others are doing or what the game currently is, we do what pleases World and hope that our customers will enjoy our independent vision.

What was a standout at this year’s iD Fashion Week?

Inspiration – fashion at its most innovative, emerging and creative should move you. The freedom of emerging designers should elicit a joy in their work and I was pleased to see this spark in the work of what are some very talented designers.

What are some of the things we can look forward to from World this coming year?

Our new World Christchurch store will continue to evolve as we grow our collections of beauty brands and the seasons change. We are continuing to work with a host of artists and creatives on making sure the concept window on High Street and the store itself are ever changing environments.


Earn your stripes: exploring a fashion staple

The concept of ‘earning your stripes’ has its foundations in the military chain of command and, although it refers to hard work and accumulated experience, we wholeheartedly believe you can earn your stripes by adopting a stylish striped selection.


A staple of both wardrobes and fashion collections the world over, stripes seem to sidle their way into the sartorial consciousness every few seasons, with a refresh courtesy of the biggest designer powerhouses that quickly trickles through to street level.
This season stripes are putting their sweet foot forward, with the ‘candy stripe’ pegged as the pretty new player in the fashion game.

Ruby Six

A beautifully curated collection: Ruby Six is Amberley’s gem of a store

There’s a new catch phrase that has made it into the local lexicon – lifestyle store – and that’s exactly where Ruby Six owner, Jenni Dobbie, believes the beautiful Amberley store sits. “I feel the term ‘lifestyle store’ captures our ethos at Ruby Six,” she says.

Ruby Six

The carefully curated product ranges include stylish, quality fashion and accessories, beautiful prints, handcrafted ceramics, stunning jewellery and creative gifts for children. Ruby Six is brimming with items you won’t find elsewhere. “We enjoy showcasing NZ made products and proudly support NZ designers.”
This gem of a shop has fine hand-crafted ceramics by Nelson potter Melanie Drewery, funky clay Mayd earrings handmade in Christchurch, and simply cool accessories by Auckland label S O P H I E, along with many other brands that we already know and love.
Ruby Six offers an experience in its own right, tantalising the senses with beautiful aromas and stunning treasures. “Customers are always excited to discover us out here in Amberley.”
Located at 6 Markham Street Amberley, only 40 minutes north of Christchurch, Ruby Six offers a fun, relaxed shopping experience and has become a destination store for travellers and day trippers.


Autumnal edge: diving into the deep red tones of fashion

Though it’s more commonly known as autumn on this side of the world, the fact this season’s moniker is known to some as fall is a fashionable little irony, as we’re falling for this shade in all its seasonal glory.

Autumn fashion

Whether you think of it as plum, burgundy, deep red, maroon, wine or even oxblood as it was known when it broke out as 2012’s seasonal shade, this moody tone signifies that the warm weather is officially coming to an end.
Incorporate it with some snuggly accessories or snap up a coat in this colour. It is after all, the hottest look around – both in the figurative and literal sense of the expression.

L-R Image is of owner Eleanor with Paris Carrol (13) and Aria Carroll (15) Christchurch Girls High Shave for a Cure

Head turning wigs: Georgies Wig Shop delights their varied customer base

The Christchurch branch of Georgies Wig Shop has just celebrated its first birthday. There are many reasons people require wigs such as chemotherapy, alopecia, hair loss, or transgender people who want to look their best.

L-R Image is of owner Eleanor with Paris Carrol (13) and Aria Carroll (15) Christchurch Girls High Shave for a Cure
L-R Image is of owner Eleanor with Paris Carrol (13) and Aria Carroll (15) Christchurch Girls High Shave for a Cure

“As well as hundreds of wigs, we stock a range of turbans, headbands and alternative headwear which gives our customers a lot of choice,” says Charolette from the Christchurch shop.
“Our job is special. Whether helping people going through chemo to feel better or celebrating with a transgender person who looks fabulous, we love what we do.”
Eleanor Burgess established Georgies Wig Shop in Palmerston North in 1993 when a close friend was diagnosed with cancer and wanted a quality wig she could rely on. Georgies’ team of consultants offer private consultations in the salon, at your home or in the hospital (clip ins can be done in-salon only). The products do not damage hair and are easy to wear. The real hair wigs can be treated just like your own and be foiled, curled and straightened.
“We pride ourselves on treating every client with discretion and respect. We hope to take away the stigma often associated with hair loss and love to help people find wigs that make them feel completely themselves,” Eleanor says.