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Newest design talent hits stores

Wardrobes are, for many of us, in a constant state of evolution. Thankfully new talent is always on hand to satiate the need for the seasonal metamorphosis as we seek to renew, refresh and restore our sartorial stock.


Ballantynes Autumn/Winter 2019 magazine photo shoot – model wears Millie Pux-Askew collection.


Millie Pux-Askew is one of the country’s prodigious design talents and, with her new 11-piece collection ‘Waiting for Summer’ now available instore at Ballantynes Contemporary Lounge and Ballantynes’ online store, she will be playing her own role in this stock-up.

Millie shot from being a design student working on the outskirts of fashion, to being mentored by some of the industry’s finest, after winning the 2018 Ballantynes Emerging Designer Competition last September. Inspired by romanticised memories of summer during the cold winter months, Millie’s ‘Waiting for Summer’ range is a refined extension of the collection that won the 23-year-old the Ballantynes’ Emerging Designer title, a competition which attracted significant national interest and was judged and supported by fashion industry heavyweights such as Karen Walker and twenty-seven names designers Rachel Easting and Anjali Burnett.



Millie says her collection is inspired by the feelings of nostalgia you grasp onto throughout winter months. “The fabrics and silhouettes speak to this feeling, with a strong contrast between soft handwoven cottons and heavy-duty oil skin fabric.” The Ballantynes Emerging Designer Competition win also provided Millie with more than $28,000 in materials, publicity and mentoring from some of New Zealand’s most successful fashion industry insiders, with support from some insiders of her own. “Mum and dad have been here on a few late nights helping me sew buttons or cut out fabrics – their support has been amazing.

“All the garments have been made in Wellington by myself or my machinist. I felt it was really vital that, especially for my first collection, I was really involved. I wanted a grasp of the full process.” And even though her eye for design has been long-running – she hand-sewed her first t-shirt when she was 13 years old (a project Millie says was a disaster) – the idea of having her own label seemed like a distant, unattainable thing. “The Ballantynes Emerging Designer competition has really pushed me to give it my best shot. It’s made me realise that it can be possible – it’s been a huge opportunity to see what I can achieve with the support of the mentoring team and the incredible Ballantynes crew.”


Millie Pux-Askew


Ballantynes’ Head of Buying Megan McKee says it’s been incredibly rewarding to be part of Millie’s journey so far. “The Ballantynes Emerging Designer judging team knew Millie offered a fresh and unique fashion perspective and this collection is just that. Her use of fabrics and the whimsical nature of her designs are beautiful, and we are delighted to being able to showcase her work. We have no doubt Millie Pux-Askew will be one of the next generation of Kiwi designers producing some of the best fashion in the world.”


Winter shoe style: Style Footwear Ashburton

From slippers to snow boots, the shelves are groaning with gorgeous footwear at Style Footwear Ashburton. The team – Melissa, Brian and Trudy – are thrilled with the winter range and hope customers will be too.



Strong again this season is ankle boots – there are a few long boots in the range with some exclusive lines amongst them. Mid-height block heels are very popular and super comfortable to wear all day. The ‘athleisure’ look is still in style, with dress sneakers and basketball style boots featuring strongly.

Black is and always will be the strong colour in winter, but there are few stand outs available – metallic blues, cherry red patent, khaki and a great range of navy blue. Stocking top brands such as Ziera, Sugar ‘n’ Spice, Bear Paw, Toilno, Saimon, Cabello, Klouds and more, there is something for everyone, including a range of handbags, scarves and jewellery.

Shoe care is also important and Style Footwear stocks Footcom and Scholl products, to provide the best options possible. Melissa does the majority of the buying and always has her customers in mind. Attending buying meetings twice a year and being in regular contact with her suppliers means the latest releases are never far away. Sizes 35-45 are stocked in most ranges and the team will endeavour to source the perfect shoe for you. Custom fitting is done in-store for free, as no two feet are the same.

Follow Style Footwear on Facebook and Instagram. Visit which offers laybuy as a payment option and free shipping.


White Out

As we head into the cooler months, we start to crave black, brown, navy, mustard and burgundy. And, as soon as we make it through the seasonal divide, we seek to cleanse the palate with pretty pastels – adding the soft sartorial shades of yellow, green, pink and blue to our wardrobes.



But the collections arriving in stores right now may inspire you to go a little bolder for spring 2019 with golden yellows, lime greens and bright oranges making the fashionable cut this year.

Yet one look that is equally as bold as it is pure and one that can breathe fresh air into your wardrobe year round is white on white.

Whether it’s an all-white suit combo to make it through the cooler months or a little white dress and white blazer on a sunny spring day, you’ll find a white on white combo to meet your needs.


A fringe affair

Bangs are proving they’re not prepared to remain on the fringe of fashion this year, as we see our fave celebs get the cut.



Fringes make a bold statement and while they’re pretty darn easy to get wrong, they can be beautifully transformative when done right. Effortlessly cool and always eye-catching, there’s almost always a fringe to frame every face, be it a full frontal fringe or effortlessly blended side bangs. Argue all you want about maintenance and the awkward grow-out phase, fringes have been a timeless edition to any haircut for decades and celebs are proving this wicked trend won’t be falling of the fashion radar anytime soon.

Messy or manicured accompanying long locks or short bobs, fringes of all varieties have been hitting the catwalk, red carpet and social media of late, gracing the heads of some of the world’s greatest models, actresses and musicians. A gang of celebs have rocked the red carpet with bangin’ bangs over the last year or so, including Emma Roberts who showed up to the Critics Choice Awards last year with a blunt bob and sci-fi style fringe (which looked extra glam with a pair of long jewelled earrings).

Emma Watson opted for the edgy look of ‘micro-bangs’ (think super short and roughly chopped) on the Vanity Fair red carpet in late 2018, and others have followed suit this year with a variety of looks from the sultry side sweep tucked behind the ear as seen on Kylie Jenner, through to Miley Cyrus’ debut of a choppy fringe alongside beachy waves. Selena Gomez jumped on the band wagon for Coach’s New York Fashion Week show with rough bangs blended into new waist-length brunette hair.

Sleek and corporate or edgy rockstar – fringes work with any style you’re going for and make for a perfect wintery look.



Stepping Up: Mikko Shoes

NZ family-owned and operated Mikko Shoes has finally opened the doors to its first South Island store; a beautiful boutique in central Christchurch.



Founder and buyer Michaela Longstaff established Mikko in 2013, after noticing a gap in the market for fabulous footwear that didn’t compromise on comfort. Making it her mission to source high quality, handcrafted shoes that not only looked beautiful but were also a joy to wear, Michaela soon found herself in Europe – the origin of shoe making with its rich history of character and craftsmanship.

Six years on, each style is still hand-picked by Michaela from the Northern Hemisphere for the anticipated season ahead and, until now, could only be experienced in the North Island or online. But after noticing an ever-increasing list of online orders heading to Christchurch addresses, Michaela decided it was time to open their sixth Mikko store in the Garden City.

“At our core, we are passionate about helping women to find the right fit,” Michaela says. “So whilst we offer an online fitting service, I was determined to find a beautiful storefront in Christchurch where women could fully experience our range, be inspired and looked after by our highly experienced styling staff.”

Michaela was also keen to interact more directly with the women who have been supporting Mikko from Christchurch since the Auckland-based company first launched. “Having a physical presence here now means we get instant feedback from our customer, which helps us to better improve our service and range selection, season after season,” she says.

No matter the trend, functionality, comfort and quality are at the forefront of every pair on offer. From Arche of France’s Loire Valley to Hispanitas of Alicante in Spain, behind each of the brands stocked at Mikko is a family-owned business that is passionate about these same key principles.

Each shoe is made with the softest of leathers, cushioned insoles and durable, shock absorbent outsoles. Cutting edge technology is married with tried and tested traditions for the ultimate, well-rounded design.

With an array of silhouettes available for work, evening and events through to everyday flats and sneakers, each style seamlessly fuses function with fashion. Oh, and did we mention, they stock handbags to match, too?

Find Mikko Shoes at 143 Victoria Street, Christchurch or visit


The coat that says it all: Zebrano

There’s much to be said for the winter coat. This is the one garment none of us can do without. Not only does it provide that much needed top layer to ward off the chill, but it is the first thing people see when you walk down a street or enter a room. In many ways, your winter coat is the statement piece in your wardrobe and because of that, it should also be the key piece in your wardrobe.




Zebrano has a fabulous selection of coats to snuggle into this winter; coats that define who you are; coats that make you stand out from the crowd. There is an emphasis on texture and print, in fabrics ranging from wool through to the very versatile and body-moulding ponti through to the timeless glamour of faux fur.

It’s all about dressing to your personality, whether that be a sophisticated trench, a military type with double breast buttons, an anorak style coat, a cape, or the latest two-in-one – the coatigan – this is definitely the season of self-expression.

With labels like Chocolat, Curate, Isle Jacobsen, Lounge the Label, Maaike, Mela Purdie, Moyuru, Obi, Obi Black, and Rundholz Black, to name a few, these are quality, investment garments guaranteed to turn heads and guaranteed to make your winter positively sizzle!

Find Zebrano at 169 Victoria Street, phone 03 962 2035 or visit


The heart of sustainability

We’ve been experiencing a shift in how we approach fashion globally, as we eschew fast fashion and seek ethics and sustainability in our attire. Metropol catches up with one of the country’s leaders in this space – Kowtow’s Gosia Piatek.



Your story of fleeing Poland at the reach of the Soviet Union in 1987 is an incredibly inspiring one. I understand your family had just $200 to their name?
My family left Poland as political asylum refugees in 1985 – I was five years old. During this time Poland was a locked boarder communist nation. It was hard for us to leave and we left everything behind including our friends and family. My parents followed their noses to a refugee camp along the Italian coast, where we stayed for two years whilst we waited to get accepted by New Zealand. Back in the 1980s Europe didn’t have the same influx of refugees as it does now, so we were welcomed with open arms and looked after incredibly well. We were given a house on the beach, I attended school and learnt Italian and have very fond memories of my time there. In 1987 we were granted entry into New Zealand.

What is your design philosophy?
We have an exciting design philosophy as everything we create has to meet our incredibly stringent criteria for sustainability and ethics. For many years, we only worked with fair trade certified organic cotton, and recently we have started to add other fabrics, like tencel made from eucalyptus trees, ZQ certified New Zealand merino wool and swimwear made from recycled fishing nets. Since I have started to live half my year in London it’s really opened me up to meeting new people and learning about new technologies that are on the market. As far as the actual creative design goes, we start with a mood board and think about the creative direction for the season, we design 18 months in advance as we source all our yarn from the farm level (for traceability), so we can’t jump on trends and create what we think is endemic to Kowtow and what we love. In general, reoccurring themes for us are volume, colour, patterns and minimalism.

Why do you think the world has connected so strongly with Kowtow and what you do?
When I first started Kowtow 13 years ago, the story of ethics and sustainability in fashion wasn’t one many people wanted to hear. However, fast forward to 2019 and we are now living in a very different landscape. Especially after the Rana Plaza disaster which highlighted the affects first world hunger for fashion has on third world labour, people are now wanting to spend their money with brands that they can trust have an ethical and sustainable supply chain and we are one of them. It’s nice to know that we are also very legitimate too; Kowtow was built on very staunch values from day one and it’s only become clearer 13 years on as we take on new information, every product we produce, 100 percent of what we do is made responsibly.


Patch-up job

The word ‘patchwork’ conjures up visions of homemade quilts and cushions used from unwanted fabrics, usually passed on from grandma who had lovingly spent hours sewing the pieces together.



It certainly isn’t something you’d associate with fashion, but at last September’s New York Fashion Week, an abundance of designers took patchwork clothes and elevated them, turning them into a 2019 fashion trend. This patchwork trend argues that sometimes, just sometimes, more really is more and over the last year, we’ve seen maximalism trumping minimalism, moderation and pretty much any other kind of aesthetic balance. The textured patchwork trend continues to see maximalism take centre stage. Instead of paring down, we are layering on. Think combined textures, mixed and matched prints, and a clash of bold colours infused together.

From subtle to bold, it’s easy to embrace the trend and the trick is to choose just one patchwork piece in your entire outfit. Keep your outfit basic and opt for a patchwork coat or oversized knit jumper – it’s the absolute definition of winter-friendly patchwork clothing that can easily be integrated into your wardrobe. If you think the patchwork trend is a bit too much for you, then the simplest way to craft the on-trend winter look is to pick a piece of clothing that has a set pattern to it – (think squares, stripes, floral box prints) that is a perfect reminiscent to patchwork.


Hair Art & Beauty

Love the skin you’re in: Hair Art & Beauty

H&B is now offering Medical Dermal Needling in salon today. Dermal needling serves two main functions; firstly, it stimulates epidermal growth to provide stronger and healthier skin; secondly, it stimulates the production of collagen, making skin tighter and firmer.


Hair Art & Beauty


Dermal needling uses a specialised instrument that contains incredibly fine medical needles to create micro punctures on the skin’s surface layer. This triggers the skin’s natural collagen production and restorative processes.

The treatment is minimally invasive however, it has been found safer than some other skin treatments such as chemical peels, laser treatments, etc. If you have scars, stretch marks, fine lines and wrinkles, or want to give your skin some firming, dermal needling could be for you!

Dermal needling can help to stimulate collagen, increase skin elasticity, soften fine lines and reduce the appearance of scarring, pigmentation and sun damage. It also allows treatment products to be better absorbed by the skin.
As every client is different, we do require you have a quick consultation with one of the amazing beauticians beforehand, as they can tailor a treatment plan to your skin needs.


Contact H&B on 03 381 8939,,, or pop into the salon at 96 Cranford Street.


Accessibility in action

Grace Stratton is the voice of physically challenged individuals who struggle with online clothes shopping and now she’s seeking to encourage a more diverse fashion industry, proving that disability can, and should, be a part of mainstream fashion culture.



Grace is a fashion enthusiast, law student, a 2017 Young New Zealander of the Year nominee and a lifelong wheelchair user. She’s also the woman behind All is For All (AIFA), the brand new local shopping platform with a difference: providing those with accessibility needs with the details that the everyday fashion website overlooks. Grace’s endeavour to create a pioneering online store that makes accessibility a priority began last July when she received a pair of pants that she’d bought online from a Kiwi designer. She was disappointed to find an extra tie on the pants that hadn’t been visible on the website, which meant that if she wanted to wear them, she would need a parent or caregiver to help her. Thus, a lightbulb went off and the venture to create an accessibility-friendly online clothing store began.

Less than a year later, the local fashion site has become a world-first; a curated collection of New Zealand designer fashion is presented free of the issues that people with access needs struggle with when it comes to online shopping. The garment is displayed on both able-bodied models and models with varying physical conditions and thoroughly detailed garment descriptions help customers make informed decisions. A custom-built search engine can address different needs, because when you have a physical disability of any kind, there are several different aspects that need to be considered when purchasing clothes online.

For example, a dress will look totally different on a model who is standing up than it does on a person in a wheelchair; a pair of jeans with small metal rivets can cause pressure sores for a paraplegic; someone who is blind relies entirely on an in-depth audio description, and the list goes on. “Accessibility is not just a physical thing – it’s about everyone having the same access to the same experience and that includes online shopping,” Grace says. Grace looks to invite and support all industries to address their online presence from an accessibility angle. We can only hope that AIFA will set the ball rolling and encourage other fashion websites to jump on board and provide a positive shopping experience to all those with different physical requirements.