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In the trenches

Trench coats have lasted the decades, so how are they being reimagined this year?


The trench coat marches through the eras – a staple as much intrenched in our wardrobes as the little black dress. Ever since the Hollywood styles of Marleen Deitrich, it’s been the cover up with the allure – the trademark of mystery and femininity. The coat can be dressed up or down, covering absolutely any attire underneath, from the latest fishnets to ripped jeans.

First glimpses of the trench coat began with British and French army soldiers, then fashion houses such as Burberry created a trend, the company’s namesake tartan, lining its latest styles. Fashionistas now love reinventing this classic. Big balloon sleeves add comfortable slouchy style. Oversizing this already oversized item is hot. This will feel somewhat like cuddling up in a duvet when winter hits. However, sophisticated fitting lines are just as current, as is more unexpected shaping. Short and double-breasted is also a sleek way to wear one.

Traditionally classic in creamy beige or classy black, there is also dusky flesh pink – a demure shade to flaunt a swishing hemline. Silver-grey with metallic buttons is cool and lime green has even been seen. Leather, including vegan, and bright red in PVC are some new options to the traditional heavy duty cottons. The trench traditionally grazes just above the ankles, but any length goes this time round. The traditional armour of belts, straps, epaulets, pockets and statement buttons all add interest and purpose.

Making the Sartorial Cut

As we head into a new season, many of us jump at the opportunity to add to our seasonal clothing collection, but it seems in 2019 we’re increasingly doing the opposite and it may be just the answer to curb spontaneous shopping sprees and put more emphasis on quality not quantity.


Marie Kondo’s groundbreaking approach to decluttering was first outlined in her New York Times best-selling guidebook, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up; a philosophy which very quickly swept through our homes and into our wardrobes where women the world over have been finding themselves detoxing their wardrobes, removing everything that no longer “sparks joy” – Kondo’s trademark phrase. For Cantabrians that don’t have the guiding hand of Kondo herself to navigate the nuances of the closet detox, that role is filled passionately by Bibi Maber from Studio Bibi, a body positive personal stylist who is all about discovering and embracing your personal style. “Closet detoxes are becoming more popular – and women are grateful for it!” Bibi says. You know those pants you purchased on sale that didn’t fit then but ‘will one day’ you’re sure of it. Perhaps it’s the dress – tags still attached – that you nabbed on your way past the store, but you’ve never worn because you’re just not built like the mannequin you saw it on. Or maybe it’s that cute top that washes you out so much everyone asks if you’re feeling OK.

Bibi prefers to take a more strategic approach to adding to your wardrobe, one that will cull the clutter, save money and create more outfit options than you ever thought possible. She will talk through your 10-15 most worn pieces and your 10-15 least worn pieces, to discuss the ‘why’, then she moves onto a colour analysis, before looking at your body shape, style mentors, lifestyle (that means she’s not suggesting you wear 4-inch stilettos to wrangle your toddlers), goals and budget. “It’s about working out what works for you and what gaps there are in your wardrobe.” Bibi is a stylist so not surprisingly she’s all about colour. So how does the Kiwi uniform of black on black fit in? “I love black, but I think it’s an easy way out,” Bibi says. “There’s so much we can do with colour, but the right colour for you is critical. The right colour can completely change your face. It can add a flush to your cheeks and a sparkle in your eyes.”

When you know the colour palette for you, it enables you to develop a base range of clothing; 30-40 essential items that never go out of fashion. This becomes a framework you can build on by adding and subtracting a few statement pieces each season. Other top tips for your capsule collection include choosing classic shapes and patterns that will stand the test of time; opting for high-quality fabrics that will stand being worn to death, and dressing for your body shape so you look and feel your very best. “It can be easy to get stuck in a rut,” Bibi says, “And now’s the time to get out of it!” So what will make the Kondo for you this sartorial season?


A Talent for Tailoring: The Gentleman’s Tailoress

We are a tribe, us clothes people, with our passion for design, feel for textiles and eagle eye for detail.


Our clothes have to fit, and fit perfectly, or they simply won’t do. Thankfully, our local High Priestess of the tape measure, Megan Wolfrey, has established her own men’s and women’s garment alteration service – The Gentleman’s Tailoress.  Megan completed her apprenticeship at iconic firm Austin Brown and her 35 years in the trade includes nine years specialising in men’s bespoke suiting where she made it her business to know everything in tailoring. Second generation in the trade, Megan’s mother was a sewing teacher and tailoress, and Megan was born to follow in her footsteps. “I just love it and it’s all I know,” she says.

Altering men’s tailoring is a particular favourite, “but I enjoy alterations for both men and women”. Megan loves the pure satisfaction on people’s faces when they see themselves in a piece that fits well. “They arrive in despair sometimes and leave feeling a million dollars when they are fitted correctly.”  While New Zealand’s pre-eminent men’s suiting company relies on Megan for their alterations, there is nothing she won’t turn her hand to – cushion covers, zips, turning up hems and even sewing on buttons if you just can’t bear to. “I just love what I do. I am a people person and I love working with good quality. A good quality cloth leads to a fantastic end result.”

Find Megan at


Adding Fun to Fashion: Working Style

A new collection is arriving at Working Style, featuring strong textures matched with beautiful colourways: chocolates, green and plums, to complement those core colours of blue and grey.



“They’re really easy colours to wear – not fussy, but interesting,” Creative Director Karl Clausen says. “This season everything is a little softer, more understated. So we’ve taken all that corporate edge of our clothing and made it a bit more fun. It is stylish and there is a focus on interesting details, easy to pair with what you already have in your wardrobe.”

At Working Style many of the pieces are interchangeable and easy to dress up or down. Karl says it is easy to give those items a whole new look and feel depending on what they’re paired with. You can adapt them to your environment or to the occasion. “There is definite shift in how men are wearing formal wear and how formal wear is defined,” Karl says. “A suit and a jacket doesn’t have to look corporate or overtly formal – you should be able to wear your formal wear on a variety of occasions with the appropriate accessories.”

The fabrications always offer a dynamic, polished appearance if it’s required however, a lot of men want something a bit more understated and this season the fabrications provide an opportunity for guys to wear tailoring that’s softer and adaptable to a more informal way of dressing.
“This season the flannel suits stand out for me,” Karl says. “I love their ability to be worn as separates; the trousers look great with a jersey; the jackets look great with a pair of jeans. They look awesome as a suit together. It just adds so much breadth to your wardrobe.”

Karl is from Christchurch originally and opened Working Style in Christchurch after meeting Working Style founder Chris Dobbs. The store began in Colombo Street, then moved to Merivale and grew into what it is now. After five years, Karl spent another four years in London before coming back to New Zealand to rejoin Working Style as its Creative Director.

Karl loves his involvement with the evolution of Working Style and playing an intricate role within that. “With every new collection the quality is never compromised. We are always in search of the finest fabrications and the best possible make. Our standards in service and attention to detail are something we pride ourselves on, along with our ability to appreciate our clients.”

Find Working Style in its distinctive building on the corner of Papanui Road and Murray Place, at 242 Papanui Road, Merivale. There is on site parking and you can contact the store on 03 355 8493 or visit


Check it out!

Checks are still hot property in our wardrobes! They are a geometrically gorgeous fashion feature that’s having a long run on the catwalks. Whether it’s retro, timeless, wild ‘n’ crazy – it’s hip to be square.




Black and white checks are a 90s comeback that’s either cute or classic depending on how you wear them – whether it’s a long floaty off-the-shoulder dress as seen by Oscar de la Renta, or a cute crop top. Chic and classy or kooky and creative, checks draw in the eye either way – and make an outfit look finished and purposeful. Celebrities are all doing their own renditions to get attention. And with the flexibility to wear it in infinitive ways – everyone is a follower of their own fashion style.

Checked blazers and trousers in winter-weight fabrics will look sassy and swish this season. Over-sized coats and double-breasted blazers are a classic design of a checked past, but mixing them with florals and asymmetric-cut tops will make this time round unique. Tartans can go bold and bright. Mix them. Clash them. Green tops with red bottoms perhaps – it definitely doesn’t have to be a check mate. Deep purple and bright yellow, as seen by Versace, is really opulent and out-there. Checks graduating in size are fun visual feasts. Smaller, soft-hue checks, cinched in with a belt is pure demure couture – perfect for the boardroom – whereas larger prints can disguise flaws and take centre stage. Plaid well-cut pants could even be more flattering than your favourite plain pair this season.


Embrace Autumn in Merivale

At the heart of the desirable Merivale shopping precinct, you will find the iconic destination store Corso Merivale.


The exquisite boutique is characterised by notable brands not found elsewhere in Christchurch and it is their goal to ensure that Corso Merivale sets itself apart in quality, selection and service. As we head into autumn it gives us an opportunity to embrace the cooler weather and all its characteristics. Strong rich colours in whisky, dark inks and saffron can be found in a beautiful range of hand blocked linen cushions made at the hands of talented artisans. Natural materials are the focus at Corso Merivale; cashmere, wool, linen and organic cotton, just to touch on a few.

Along with the change of season comes an exciting change in beautiful quality homewares and lifestyle ranges on offer, from the comfort of Danish house shoes Glerups to the stunning fragrances from Belgium, Baobab candles. Cashmere separates by Laing Home are enduringly stylish, while Missoni’s very latest towelling selection will add vibrancy to your bathrooms, and layering textures and colours will give you depth, creating a rich and inviting ambience.


For the fashion savvy, R.M. Williams’s boots have marked their territory firmly at Corso Merivale. These iconic boots will endure for many years and only get better with age. Bassike continues to be a firm favourite, while Good & Co.’s unique winter range of merino and silk scarves are a touch of luxury either as a gift or for yourself.

Corso Merivale invites you to come and be inspired at 209-211 Papanui Road, or visit


Honeymoon Must-haves

The curtain may have fallen on the big day, but we’ve never needed an excuse to keep the style party going before and the big day is no different.


The honeymoon represents the ultimate opportunity to introduce some chic newbies to our wardrobes and we couldn’t let the opportunity go by without making a sartorial fuss. So whether you’re planning to visit a winter wonderland or a tropical paradise, load up your suitcase with these hot honeymoon must-haves.


  1. Fancy frillies
    Of course, honeymooning is all about love and intimacy, so how about spicing things up with some gorgeous lingerie? Your sexiest dress is all well and good but once it’s on the floor, what’s underneath is sure to count!
  2. The ‘hip’ accessory
    The fanny pack is back and bigger than ever – and for good reason too. Bumbags are your ideal sidekick for travelling, not only because they allow you to have all your important items on you with no fear of mindlessly leaving them somewhere, they’re also super convenient and give you free hands for other more important things like carrying your luggage, or busting moves on the club d-floor.
  3. The LBD
    You know how the saying goes; every woman needs a Little Black Dress (or an LBD, for those in the know). Jazz it up with some funky accessories and a belt for a night out, or dress it down with sneakers and a cardi for a daytime date.
  4. Sensible – but stylish – shoes
    Practical can be pretty! Walk the walk in shoes that feel – and look – great. No doubt you’ll be doing some serious adventuring, so reserve a place in your case for some comfy chic sneakers.
  5. Silky nightwear
    Silk is a sexy, light fabric that’s particularly great for warmer climates because it lets your skin breathe – keep cool and comfortable at night with silk PJs or a nightdress.
  6. A neckerchief, or two
    Neckerchiefs – cute lil scarves – are perfect for any season. These bad boys are totally in and they also double as the ultimate multi-purpose accessory; tie it to your tote handle, knot it around one of your belt loops or try it as a headband.
  7. A sturdy tote
    Every woman’s handbag is full to the brim with everything imaginable – and that’s why tote bags are the perfect holiday companion; convenient, trendy and large enough to carry all your essentials. Try a reversible tote for maximum outfit opportunities.


Local Lad’s International Success

Portfolio Model Agency’s Jordan Barron has a whirlwind international career. However, the down to earth 25-year-old with the striking looks still calls Christchurch home.

Originally from Cambridgeshire UK, he moved here when he was 12. After finishing St Andrews College, Jordan was discovered by a modelling agency at Merivale’s Aikmans Bar. And next minute he had a 10-page Remix magazine shoot, and then modelled the Zambesi campaign, leading to experiences overseas.
He completed his degree in finance, accounting and commercial law, despite being asked to go to New York. Four years in Europe and Australia followed, with numerous events and working for brands such as Louis Vuitton and Harvey Nicholls in London, and Hugo Boss and Armani in Sydney, before returning home.

“Fashion has been one interest, but I have always been interested in the person behind the clothes. Being in my 20s, my taste will evolve and change as I grow. I believe everyone’s style is a measure of someone’s story, values and confidence.”
He says modelling comes with tension, and when you are young it is often more difficult to stay true to who you are.
“Continuing to mature and learn about having good people around me will only help me understand the modelling landscape better. It’s a bit like the plains of Africa. In serving that landscape you deal with a lot of rejection and opportunities. This teaches me so much more about who I am; some of my greatest life lessons have come from those.”

Jordan’s friends didn’t understand modelling initially. “The great thing about my close friends and family is that they have kept me grounded. The funniest story was when my friend went to kiss a new girlfriend, he looked up, and there was a poster of me on her wall and his date didn’t go too well!
“I’m a big believer in as we move through life our choices shape who we are. I’ve learnt more about that in the last year especially. I don’t see myself as a role model – we all have a story which informs someone else’s story. I always have hope. We can all help someone or something else as we move through life.
“I’ve always been proud to be a Kiwi – it’s been great to come home after a long stint away.”


V For Hair & Beauty

Silver/grey is the new black: V For Hair & Beauty

Going grey gracefully and letting yourself go… there is an enormous difference! In fact, according to Master Stylist Vicki Ogden-O’Fee from V For Hair & Beauty Merivale as seen on TV, you don’t have to be on the far side of 65 to be a ‘silver siren’!


 V For Hair & Beauty


Getting tired of the time and expense of getting hair coloured as soon as the greys show? Want to avoid the chemicals used to colour your hair? Perhaps you’re travelling more and don’t want to find a new hairdresser in every port you visit or maybe you’re ready to embrace your maturity and its natural beauty, now’s the time to rock your silver locks.

“Social media sites like Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram feature women of all ages proudly wearing silver-grey hair with blending tones, soft shades, and beautiful hues like sand, iris, silver, dove, lilac and silver ash – at all lengths too,” Vicki says.

“Get inspired, search the net, talk to your stylist and have a change!”



Via Sollertia

The Bespoke Specialists: Via Sollertia

The true meaning of bespoke refers to handcrafted design, developed in close consultation with the client.


Via Sollertia


The talented team at Via Sollertia are the bespoke specialists, delivering a personal design and creation service for clients who want a unique piece of jewellery. “We design and craft creations fully by hand – without using CAD (computer aided design) or cast and assembled design – which is the true meaning of bespoke,” says designer Clare.

There is also a stunning selection of timeless, unique pieces showcased at the store – all beautifully crafted by the on-site jeweller. Located in the heart of the city on iconic New Regent Street, the family-owned business provides a friendly, welcoming atmosphere and can work with any budget.

“Good service is our number one priority and we’re willing to go above and beyond what customers expect.”


Via Sollertia


Find Via Sollertia on Instagram and Facebook. Phone 366 8001 or visit for more information.