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.
Launching her Spring/Summer ’18 Collection at Jacks Point Clubhouse on Friday 3 August, as part of the Veuve ‘Clicquot in the Snow’, all eyes were on the beautiful and inspiring Kathryn Wilson.
Singer and jewellery designer Boh Runga opened the event with a snare drum solo before the models strutted down the catwalk showcasing the vibrant new collection.The 2018 showcase also coincided with the 200th year since Madame Clicquot blended the world’s first rosé champagne and Kathryn celebrated with a special edition rosé pink belt that marked the reintroduction of belts to her design portfolio. Metropol caught up with Kathryn at the event to discuss the dizzying heights of sartorial success.
Kathryn, what can people expect from the latest collection?
The summer collections are colourful, playful and joyful – a palette of cerise pinks, canary yellow and floral printed leathers adorned with gold metal stud detailing and glass gemstones. We have designed irresistible uppers on all heights on heels and sandals with everyday wear covered and special occasion heels for summer weddings and balmy nights out.
What is your inspiration behind your designs?
Julia and I selfishly design the collections each season based around what we are wanting to wear ourselves… we celebrate with colour when designing our summer collections as our customers often have cocktail events, weddings and annual race events etc over the summer months that are a perfect showcase for a beautiful feature shoe to complement their outfits.
After 15 years, how are you feeling woman’s fashion shoes are progressing in New Zealand?
New Zealand women love to look good, but most importantly feel good in their shoes and we have prioritised comfort into all of our designs so that our promise to our customers is around providing a shoe that can see them through from 8am when they leave the house to 11pm when they arrive home after a fun night with friends.
We are finding our customers are more open to wearing colour especially on their feet and like to buy quality items that last and wear well, not having to replace footwear each season. We love this and really enjoy seeing customers wear their favourite pair from years before.
What kind of challenges have you experienced in that time and what hurdles have you had to overcome?
I would have a long list of challenges we have experienced over the 15-year journey of the brand! We are constantly learning and developing as a team to ensure each season we are better than the one previous.
Our main hurdles have been around logistics and freight handling being so far away from all of our suppliers in Europe and Asia however, these systems are improving every year with specialists such as DHL on board to make the process run smoothly.
How would you style your bespoke Clicquot belt?
It can be worn high as a waisted belt with summer dresses and blouses with matching pink heels… or low on the hip with jeans and a white t-shirt / blazer combo with trainers. It’s super classic and versatile to be dressed ‘up or down’.
How do you make each Clicquot in the Snow show better than the last, given this is your 7th year.
Haha this is something we joke about every year, as the calibre of the event gets higher and higher each year with the tickets selling out in under three minutes this year! We surprised and delighted the audience with Clicquot’s famous ‘twist’ and enjoyed wowing the guests with a playful and celebratory catwalk event… with the best playlist of 80s/90s favourites!
What kind of values do you and Veuve Clicquot share – the partnership seems to work so well?
Veuve Clicquot love to celebrate innovation and creativity, along with women in leadership and business and we are lucky to align all celebrations throughout the year. It is the 8th year we have been aligned as an ambassador and I am very proud of the association, hoping to encourage more women as entrepreneurs to raise the bar and keep thinking BIG.
The Augustine and Charlo labels have been injecting colour into Kiwi fashion for more than a decade. With Augustine currently showing at New Zealand Fashion Week, Metropol talks to Founder Kelly Coe about how colour makes the world a happier place.
How did the Augustine story begin?
Augustine began like all good stories, in our garage. It came from seeing a gap in the market for special occasion wear for everyday NZ women, at attainable price points and grew from there. It was a hope and a dream that we knew NZ fashion needed but didn’t know it yet haha. Nathan and I started it from an idea and slogged it out until NZ women noticed, started to follow along with us and joined the colour revolution.
You would be one of the most followed New Zealand fashion labels on social media. Why do you think people have connected so strongly with what you do?
I think because I was the first person to put myself out there personally and really put a face to my brand. I didn’t get a marketing assistant to do all my posts for me or hand it over to a social marketing company, I didn’t heavily stylise my photos, I just showed myself with my kids at the park wearing my product, or Nathan and I out for dinner wearing Augustine. I recognised that my customers are from all over NZ and are just everyday Kiwis and mums and they want to be included and part of something. Country Road, Witchery etc are faceless to them; they don’t belong to that team, but I have always wanted Augustine to be a team/family that you can all be apart of and feel that you can relate to my life. And if they thought I was too dressed up at school pick up then maybe it inspires them to wear their best clothes daily rather than save them for a special occasion. My followers feel like they know me and often stop and tell me that they feel like my friend. I love that – I would love to have 160,000 friends haha.
Your collections are filled with colour, something that at face value people might not think would necessarily strike a sartorial chord with New Zealanders. Why did you think this would be such a success?
At first I didn’t know if it would be, I just hoped it would. My first collection was sooo colourful that most of the stockists I showed it to didn’t get it and didn’t buy it. It has taken years to push through the barriers of black and white dressing in NZ, but we are getting there. I see so much more colour now than I did 10 years ago and that makes me very happy. Colour makes the world a happier place.
You’re showing at NZ Fashion Week (August 27 to September 2), what are you looking forward to at this year’s event?
We sold out our show in a day, so I am most excited to put on a cool show for the 700 ladies that snapped up tickets so quickly. I always feel pressure to thank them for supporting me by making sure it’s a feast for the eyes and a fun amazing show. I love that the crowd that turns up to my show are so colourful and polar opposite to who watches the shows during the week of fashion week. It’s like a rainbow hits the waiting area at fashion week right before our show; you know it’s time for Augustine to hit the catwalk by the sea of colour waiting outside. That makes me so very proud and happy of how far we have come with the colour debate.
Can you give us the low down on some of your upcoming collections?
We are heading into summer so it’s a rainbow of colour coming which is how I like it. Lots of maxi dresses, sequin skirts, floral prints, and of course a new kimono every week. I love summer. We also have the most amazing colourful wedges coming out in our shoe range that I can’t wait to have in every colour, especially the fluro yellow ones.
Absolutely everyone asks about the ‘engagement story’. Clare, jewellery designer at Via Sollertia in New Regent Street should know. She’s even witnessed a proposal.
The stones and metallics at Clare’s atelier are spectacular. She lights up when talking about cuts of diamond and how a jewel will sit on a hand; matters of size, proportion and reflective qualities… all brilliant designer elements of every bejeweled gift.
Creating bespoke rings and conducting an exciting collaborative design process never ceases to be a joyful thing. “We really do love bringing dreams to life,” Clare attests.
Via Sollertia sources desirable stones in all hues and intensities, and will incorporate any styling, whether heritage-inspired or contemporary. One partner might broadly choose; the other might refine and add to the design. It’s unique to each couple.
“Currently gorgeous soft washed-out pastel stones are in demand, as are diamonds, always. The Princess-cut is just starting to resurge.”
However it happens, the end result is – no one else in the world has the same ring. A bit like the fact no one in the world has exactly the same aesthetic vision… or fiancée.
Visit 11 New Regent Street and
At face value, natural make up should be easy, right? After all, minimal makeup should mean minimal effort. We’ve got some top tips to ensure it really is that easy.
Firstly, opt for a light base foundation. Try a BB cream, a low coverage foundation or mix in a smudge of facial moisturiser with a heavier foundation to create a natural, dewy look, while a strobe cream across your cheekbones is also a great way to give a natural glow.
Only use concealer on areas you absolutely need to. Concealer will sit heavy on your skin and un-do all this hard work in creating a natural look.
If adding anything to brows, keep it to eyeshadow or soft eyebrow pencils, preferably with a smudger to enable blending and creating a natural appearance.
Low key lashes are where it’s at when it comes to a natural look. To get this low key look, apply mascara, then brush lashes out with a clean mascara wand to remove the heaviness of excess mascara.
Soften your blush by applying as usual, then going over it with your foundation brush to tone back the look, or just use a bronzing powder lightly under cheekbones to give a natural appearance, it is after all, exactly what everyone used to do before complex contouring became a thing.
Lastly, go for a light matte lippy and/or a clear gloss for a bit of extra shine. After all, it’s only natural.
When it comes to flash fabrics, leather is held in pretty high regard. While leather can add luxe to your wardrobe, the latest leather looks aren’t all dark and moody. There is after all, so much more to this timeless staple than biker jackets and boots. So, take a walk on the wild side and be a lady of leather.
1 – POWER PLAYER:
Strong, tough, provocative, leather represents strength and that’s what you want when you’re
heading to the office. An investment watch or briefcase are power dressing at its finest.
2 – MIX AND MATCH:
You may have the crisp white shirt and patent leather shoes to make any mother in law proud, but a
pair of leather pants can add some much-need edge to a play-it-safe look.
3 – SAFE SPACE:
Brown leather is classic and sophisticated. It looks crisp and clean with white and can be thrown
over a casual look to completely alter the ensemble at face value.
4 – YOU LITTLE SOFTIE:
Despite its tough exterior, leather can soften easily. Pair that leather pencil skirt with a light
silk blouse to rock a completely different vibe.
5 – BETTER WITH AGE:
An investment piece, real leather actually looks better with age. So purchase wisely and it will
stand the test of time.
6 – KICK INTO GEAR:
Incorporate some luxe leather into your wardrobe from the ground up, with leather looks on offer
from heels through to some cool new kicks.
High fashion is creeping even higher yet, with the latest trend of high necked ensembles sweeping into sartorial consciousness. The 2018 incarnation of the high neck is about so much more than the turtleneck sweater, with dresses, coats, blouses and even wedding dresses donning this dynamic detail.
We’ve got the low down on the history of the high neck.
The turtleneck has been around for hundreds of years, taking form as a protective garment worn under chainmail to prevent chaffing and it has maintained this element of practicality throughout the years.
By the mid-sixteenth century, the turtleneck was decked out in voluminous starched ruffles and donned by members of high society. In the late 1800s, it had become a functional favourite amongst the working class.
By the 1900s it was again a high fashion garment, but it was the 40s and 50s that cemented the foundations of the turtleneck as the iconic basic it is known as today.
Popularised again in the 60s, it later became the uniform of the enlightened and intelligent feminist during the 70s before again finding favour in the 90s, when it became widely worn by both women and men across all socioeconomic groups.
We look forward to seeing how this high fashion staple will play out this sartorial season.
Great things happen when great companies come together. Two years ago, Laney Apparel and Arbi Monograms merged to form L & A Apparel and Monograms, bringing more than 30 years of experience and expertise to the industry.
Company directors Brendan Laney and Nikki Johnson deliver a personalised, tailored and flexible approach to meet your uniform and company branding requirements. Their core business is monogramming – corporate, workwear, sports teams and clubs, school uniforms, hats, caps, bags, towels and anything else that can be stitched. One of the largest South Island suppliers, the company has highly experienced machinists, sales and support staff.
Along with many promotional products – pens, drinkware, umbrellas and corporate gifts – it also offers screen printing, digital transfers and sublimated printing, which can be a more effective option.
Visitors are welcome at the spacious showroom, which has an extensive range of local and international apparel and promotional product from many popular suppliers, as well as the company’s own brand: IMPAKT Customised Team Wear.
The team goes above and beyond to meet all customising requests and there is very little that won’t be considered for personalising to promote your branding. As the saying goes: ‘A stitch in time saves nine’, and a visit to L & A Apparel and Monograms will do just that, which goes to show what the solid reputation of this company will do to get your name out there.
If this season’s sartorial selections are teaching us anything, it’s that muted tones are far from boring. Effortlessly chic, they can hold their own from summer to winter.
While beige, dusty pinks and pale yellows have been in our fashionable consciousness for some time now, powder blues and soft greens are now making their seasonal splash – in the softest way possible.
Hailing from the same family as peach, these feminine hues are calm and composed, bringing a breath of fresh air to the palette in time for spring.
So, if you don’t want to buy into the bold catwalk colours that come and go with the seasons, opt for a muted colour palette instead. It’s far from flat