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To the max

The trends of maximalism and minimalism seem to be fighting for the top spot everywhere. It’s time to wave goodbye to demi-fine jewellery as it steps out of the spotlight and is replaced by a chunkier rival.




This season, leave your dainty jewels on the duchess and make way for bolder, heavier, chunkier pieces with serious pizzazz. Big, bold necklaces are reigning supreme; gold chunky chains, oversized pearls, big beaded beauties, standout link chokers and strings of life-sized shells are all making waves, and headbands, rings and bracelets are also getting the chunky treatment.






Swimwear style

Quintessential summer events like pool parties, beach bonanzas and New Year soirées are calling… but first, let’s sort that swimwear collection. Read on to get acquainted with some of the hottest looks of the sunny season.



Wild one
Surprise, surprise – animal print is top of the list. Fierce one and two-piece silhouettes in tiger stripes, leopard spots, snakeskin and more prowled down the catwalk this year, alongside other exotic safari and jungle-inspired prints.




The LBB (little black bikini)
This bad boy is the classic staple for any summer closet. The little black bikini imparts effortless chic, and judging by runways the globe over, we won’t be short of variety. Signature string styles, plunging necklines and underwire bandeaus are all getting the black treatment.


Surfer chic
Wetsuit-style one-pieces with chunky zips are making waves, as is swimwear with sleeves – say what? Whether you’re looking for more UV protection or you want a more elegant, stylish piece, sleeved bikinis and one-pieces will do just the trick.





All in the straps
Statement straps are having their moment… pretty ruffled straps and bikini tops with short flowy sleeves both featured at Miami Swim Week, alongside teeny-tiny, super-skinny straps. If you can’t decide, why not try a one-shoulder piece? This on-trend asymmetrical look is sleek, sophisticated and more practical than other current swimsuit styles.



Retro revival
Retro styles are sure to have their fair share of appearances this season, as high-waisted bikini briefs, fun 70s florals, timeless polka dots and super-sweet gingham all inject vintage cool into the modern trends of the moment.




Brilliant brights
Fluorescent hues pack that playful punch; neon blue gives off major beach babe vibes, while a pop of yellow is bound to get you in the summer mood. Juicy citrus hues are in the mix, along with the sizzling shades of highlighter green and shocking purple.




Summer shimmer
Take a plunge into bold style with gleaming metallic styles, sparkly lurex and embellished pieces. Tanning is no doubt top of your summer agenda, so consider earthy tones like chocolate-browns, golds, rusts and bronzes – the perfect complementary shades for sun-kissed skin. Keep the design simple – these fabrics speak for themselves.




Fashion craze

If you’ve taken a trip out to Kaiapoi recently, you’ll know it’s transformed into a happening hub of activity. Delighted to be part of this refreshed township is the team at funky fashion boutique, Craze Fashion.



The moment you walk into Craze’s inviting new store, you are embraced by colour – and the beautiful aroma of candles! The fashion business has recently relocated to Kaiapoi’s attractive new courtyard of shops on the bank of the Kaiapoi River.

“Kaiapoi is becoming a destination,” says Sherie McKinlay, owner of Craze Fashion. And it is – an abundance of new businesses have opened their doors, with eateries, activities and more just a stone’s throw away.

Craze’s bigger, better premises sees stunning spring and summer styles from quality New Zealand and Australian labels all hanging in bright and beautiful colour co-ordination on their racks. There are beautiful designer pieces to suit all tastes and occasions, from capsule must-haves to statement dresses for Cup Day – with a curated collection of on-trend shoes and accessories to match!

Existing ranges have recently been extended with the move to a larger space – you can now browse more of your favourite designer pieces from the likes of Wish, Minx, Cooper Street and Federation.

There’s never been a better time to visit the region’s newest destination, and while you’re there, snap up a stylish ensemble for summer at Craze Fashion, who were ‘Highly Commended’ at this year’s Retail Awards!

Find the new store at 178 Williams Street, open seven days with late nights Thursday, or shop online at




The swimwear for summer: The Fitting Room

Finding the perfect swimsuit ready for those warm summer days may be a daunting thought, but the expert team at The Fitting Room is here to help.



With two welcoming stores located on Fendalton Road and Colombo Street (opposite The Colombo), you’ll find it easier than you anticipated. The styles displayed on the shop floor are only a small taster of what’s available in the stockroom, where there’s many hidden treasures and extra sizes. Ask one of the friendly fitters for advice and they can match you with your perfect swimwear.

You’ll find an endless range of quality, specialist international brands in a myriad of colours, styles and designs, like Seafolly Australia, Jets and Jantzen. Options also include shelf support and pre-pocketing for prosthesis. They cater to all ages, preferences and sizes, so everyone walks away feeling fantastic for the poolside. Although The Fitting Room stocks swimwear in all sizes, their specialty in lingerie is fuller-cup sizes (C-K), and also bras and swimwear for women with prostheses who’ve had mastectomy surgery.

The friendly team at the Fendalton store offer a late night on Thursdays (5:30pm-8pm, by appointment only), and there’s also a huge range available on The Fitting Room’s online store.

Owner Deborah Lewthwaite says her team is passionate about providing fabulous fitting bras and swimwear and making it an easy and fun shopping experience. “Our range of styles is constantly being honed as we trial new brands and find new winners. Prima Donna, a luxury Belgian brand, is one we’ve recently acquired, and customers love it so much we’re ordering more styles each season.”




Nailed it

After more than a month of fashion shows from the very best, there’s a whole crop of fresh spring/summer nail trends emerging for minimalists and maximalists alike.



Texture is the name of the game this year; add oomph with polka dots, geometric patterns, rhinestone applique and glitter, or channel your inner mermaid with cute embellishments such as pearls or tiny shells. High-shine varnishes with a shimmery, metallic finish are perfect for the festive party season, particularly in silver, gold and chrome hues.

Warmer weather means brighter colours, so why not experiment with a pop of on-trend marigold yellow, breezy blue, cherry red or vibrant peach? And remember – dark shades aren’t just reserved for the colder months. Can’t decide on a hue? Try gradient shades of one original colour, or a rainbow of your favourite pastel hues.

If au natural is more your aesthetic, an opalescent polish graduating in intensity (ombre to those in the know) makes for a magical moment, while a swipe of glossy topcoat keeps out dirt and adds a healthy sheen.

Nothing says nails like a classic French tip, but this traditional manicure has had a modern refresh for SS19/20; the expected white tips have been replaced by a rainbow of shades. How about experimenting with best of both worlds by picking your two favourite complementing colours for a two-tone tip?




A collaborative collection

What does popular New Zealand fashion designer Karen Walker have in common with an Australian denim production house? A whole lot, it seems. Karen Walker has just revealed her latest project; a collaboration with Outland Denim.


Based in Queensland, Australia, Outland Denim is a B-Corp company and one of the world’s hottest right now, because not only does this brand employ vulnerable women in Cambodia and provide them with a full skillset and personal development opportunities, sustainability is also close to its heart, making jeans with a lower environmental impact a core focus.

Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle has also caught the Outland Denim bug and the addition of Outland Denim to her wardrobe enabled the company to employ a further 46 seamstresses in their Cambodia-based production house.

We caught up with Karen Walker about the inspiration behind the collaboration and why it is so important to her.


The Karen Walker brand has long been committed to prioritising transparency, sustainability and ethical practices over profits. How important are these areas to you?
How you make your product is at the top of the agenda for any leading brand and will continue to be so.

What do you think are the most important areas businesses should be looking at when it comes to ethical business practice?
I think the most important thing is to ask yourself whether people really need the thing you’re making or the service you’re providing. Really consider every product you’re making before you make it and be sure it has a purpose and there’s a need for it.

For us, with this collaboration, we took the idea of utility denim pieces down to their very essence. What does the core of a utility workwear wardrobe look like and it turns out it’s one jacket, two jeans, a skirt, a t-shirt and a tote bag.

At the other end of the spectrum, our Atelier service makes a product only when people actually need it so it’s sparse in the extreme. And then, in the middle, with our ready-to-wear, we’re making about a third of the styles we were five years ago and bringing the collections down to their very core. We believe less truly is better.

Have you noticed change happening in this space?
Yes, I think people understand the urgency now more than they did five or 10 years ago.

How did the Outland capsule collaboration come about?
Mutual admiration and a shared desire to make beautiful, well-considered and needed things.

How did the design process behind this collaboration work, and what did Outland and Karen Walker each bring to the table?
We brought our unique design and Outland Denim brought their unique way of producing.

Why is this collaboration so important to you?
Collaborations are a way for brands to learn from one another. In this particular case Outland Denim’s Cambodian production team have learnt new skills required for the specific elements in our designs and we’ve learnt about new ways to approach the production of denim. Manufacturing of denim clothing has been very problematic for some time and Outland are on a journey to reinvent it and solve those issues that have been so intrinsic.

What was the inspiration behind the collection?
We wanted to create a family of garments that felt engineered and focused on structure and functionality.




Be a stud

Cue the revival of yet another ‘90s craze: studded silhouettes return as the ultimate embellishment of 2019. Small studs, big studs, spikes, rhinestones… if it’s studded, we want i t.Check out our styling tips ahead.




The easiest way to embrace this edgy trend is with footwear – studded strappy sandals, studded stilettos and studded boots are all statement shoes. Studded platform stompers or trendy embellished mules – which will it be? Attention fashion followers: shoes with studded or spiked heels and/or toes are a funky street style silhouette that’s attracting attention.




Traditional clothing is getting the studded treatment – plain white blouses with a studded collar or shoulders are making their grungy appearance amongst the other punky trends of 2019, while denim miniskirts and shorts with studs on one half are a summer wardrobe must-have.

Studded leather of any kind is the epitome of rock ‘n’ roll glam. Toughen up any feminine aesthetic with a bespangled leather biker jacket; the iconic silhouette reminiscent of ‘90s grunge. Pair with coloured snakeskin, a dark red lip or chunky hoops – or all three.

Feminine meets rock chick with a studded headband. Headbands scattered with jewels and other embellishments were seen amongst the 50 gloriously over-the-top alice bands featured in Prada’s SS19 runway looks – and of course, studs were the star of the show.




If there’s one accessory you need in your closet this season, it’s a studded belt. Add a little bling to an otherwise plain outfit – cinch that classic LBD at the waist and pair with platform heels for an edgy nighttime ensemble, or team with distressed denim and a simple tee for that casual weekend go-to.




Bags, purses and clutches have long been in the embellishment game, but they’re getting a star-studded twist this season. Play it safe with a studded black wallet, or go big and bold by way of a fluorescent shoulder bag adorned with spikes: need inspo? Check out Valentino’s ‘Rockstud Spike Fluo’, the iconic new neon bag collection straight off the SS20 runway.






Float into summer

Party season is coming our way, which means barbecues, beach parties and picnics. What better way to welcome the season than with the addition of some floaty summer dresses to your wardrobe?

Check out this moodboard of our favourite seasonal selections.








Playing dress up dolls

Who would have thought a love of dressing old-school paper dolls in the early ’50s would transform into an award-winning design at the World of Wearable Arts Awards.



Placing second for her Dress-up Dolls entry in the Transform section of this year’s competition, Meg Latham coincidently grew up where WOW originated 31 years ago – Spring Grove.

Meg won her first award amongst competition from 115 finalists and entries from 43 countries. She first entered in 1994, and then intermittently until 2003, before returning in 2018 with ‘Titty Tote’ – a handbag bra conjured from recycled leather and zips, with handles that became bra straps.

As a young girl, she created everything from scratch from what she could find.

“I loved paper dolls, but I preferred to design my own outfits, other than the ones they came with.”

Her mum was a keen sewer, and her dad an inventive jack of all trades. Little Meg created alongside him, even using a welding and soldering gun. Twin-sister Fleur Stewart, also an artist, also collaborated with two of her WOW designs over the years. “We were a self-contained family, having fun, and making things.”

Although spending most of her career in Nelson working as a professional ceramic artist, Meg now calls Motueka home. Life took on a new direction when Meg began creating mixed-media portraiture. The craft utilises her digital imagery and graphic design skills attained from draughting and cartography training.

“Instead of old recycled materials, I use materials like plastics and resins to lay over digital imagery. Many are offcuts and fabric samples a builder or decorator would use – otherwise destined for the skip.



In September, two models became Meg’s Dress-up Dolls – magically performing a costume change on the WOW stage, from blues and pinks to green, yellow and orange.

“I had actually been planning the Dress-up Dolls design over the last five years. Construction of the garments only took four weeks, but there was an awful lot of time put into how it all works – from the technicalities and ensuring the models are comfortable and the outfits durable.

“The dresses were created from canvas-covered polyethylene plastic cylinders that kind of folded into themselves. The costume changes transformed, just like opening the pages of a book. It’s almost trickery – hard to describe and explain it!”

Although Meg recognises the high-tech world that lends the wow-factor to the show, such as lasercuts and 3D printing, she embraces technology on a modest “low-tech” level.

“Hands-on construction is how I like to put it,” she says. “The best of the both worlds.”

Meg is amazed there has been very little repetition of ideas in the years of the event. “There’s a fine line between fancy dress and wearable art. I have to constantly think about the direction I’m taking. I also like my garments to have an element of fun and lightness.”

Already well into planning her creation for next year, Meg says it will remain top secret until the big reveal on stage in 2020 if successful.

“I just love the process,” she reiterates. “I almost don’t want it to end – I savour every moment. Seeing it finally come to life on stage is just a bonus.”

Meg Latham’s Dress-up Dolls are on display at WOW Museum in Nelson. Her unique portraits are also showcased at Nelson’s Parker Gallery.




Rent a wardrobe!

Designer Wardrobe has opened its second rental store right here in Christchurch, giving ladies access to more than 1600 designer pieces from Trelise Cooper and Ruby to Zimmermann and many more.




There are outfits for every occasion, from race day and weddings to school formals or corporate balls. Designer Wardrobe buys clothing for all ages in sizes 6-18, so there’s something for everyone. New items arrive every week, and you’ll find sold-out iconic pieces plus outfits unique to Designer Wardrobe, created in collaboration with New Zealand designers.

Designer Wardrobe is a community of more than 160,000 New Zealand women who buy, sell and rent designer clothing. After the success of their first designer rental store in Auckland, they couldn’t wait to get to down to Christchurch, and couldn’t do it without local Mary Outram joining the team!



“The team is there to help you choose the perfect outfit, and minor alterations are done on site,” Mary says.

“Pieces are generally rented for four days, but you can extend for as long as you need, for holidays or overseas weddings. Clothes aren’t just something that you put on and wear; they have the ability to change your entire mood. It is so rewarding to see a woman leave feeling amazing and with something fab to wear.”

Prices start at $39. The store is open 10am-5:30pm weekdays (7pm on Thursdays), Saturday 10am-3pm and Sunday 11am-3pm, with parking right at the door. No appointments needed!