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Shirr thing


Whimsical meets all-important comfort with shirring, an outfit go-to making quite a name for itself. The romantic ruffles created by shirring, where elastic is sewn in parallel rows so a garment gathers, offer an of the moment silhouette.

 

Marle Ines Top

 

Often fun, floaty and iron-free, countless brands are making a strong case for the sartorial technique, which is being reimagined in dress, blouse, skirt and pant form from high end to the high street.

Adjacent to Prairie and cottagecore aesthetics, shirring is nostalgic yet simple – making it a versatile wardrobe addition whether you opt for a monochrome or patterned design.

Ruby Mirella Short Sleeve Wrap Dress

In New Zealand, designers like Ruby have set the scene with its sell-out Mirella series, shirred dresses, tops and skirts in a range of hues from classic black and white, to bold bright pink and tonal olive green. Marle’s Ines Top from its newest collection offers a pared back option, with a single line of shirring giving shape to an otherwise floaty favourite.

Pair shirred maxi dresses with sandals, sneakers, heels or boots to suit your day’s activities. Mix shirred tops with jeans, wide leg pants, slip skirts or shorts; and shirred skirts and pants with simple shirts, tees and blouses.

 

Giselle Silk Georgette Top

In a time where comfort is key due to most of the world being homebound, shirring offers the stretch required for both sedentary and active days.


 

Positive Pursuit


We’ve been through a lot. And Christchurch more than most. As the times remain uncertain and, yes, unprecedented – it’s hard not to feel unsettled, and sometimes even harder to find a bright side to look on. Yet evidence shows optimistic people are less stressed, healthier and can even live longer – so we’ve compiled our top tips for staying positive when it feels a little impossible.

 

Eat your way to good sleep
Being well rested improves mood and health. In her new book, Happy Gut, Happy Mind, nutritional therapist Eve Kalinik makes the case for a diet which helps your body cope with the environmental stresses which interfere with sleep. In other words, stressed people sleep poorly – and then try to energise with unhelpful foods. She suggests caffeine in the morning only, staying away from sugar and alcohol, eating whole foods, and giving yourself at least an hour to wind down before getting under the covers at night.

Say thank you
Research shows a regular gratitude practice – acknowledging the things in your life you’re thankful for – sets you up for a happier and more optimistic day as you train your brain to focus on what is going well. New Zealand charity, the Thankfulness Project has the mantra, “thankfulness equals happiness” to show Kiwis how looking for the good in any situation turns your attention away from the not-so-good.

Give meditation a whirl
Don’t poo-poo meditation as woo-woo before you’ve given it a shot. Regarded as a highly effective tool to calm the mind, focus your thinking and let negative thoughts float on by. It can be as simple as downloading an app like Headspace or Insight Timer and listening to a soothing voice guide you through a few minutes of breathing exercises. Mindfulness practices like meditation come highly recommended not only by mental health professionals, but by some of the world’s highest achievers like Bill Gates, Ariana Huffington and LeBron James.

Be nice
This includes to yourself. Practicing self-compassion is a key to becoming more resilient, according to psychotherapist Stephanie Maston who wrote a book on the subject. Compassion towards ourselves and others interrupts negative and anxious thought patterns. When you take a moment to stop the spiral, you can even try reading a pre-prepared statement to remind yourself it’s going to be okay. Because it is.

From the Editor: 17 September 2020


We’re living in a uniquely stressful time. Between the fluctuating number of community Covid-19 transmissions, oscillating government alert levels and a general air of uncertainty – the bright side can seem hard to find.

 

At Metropol we’re all about celebrating and supporting the community, and this raison d’être has taken on more relevance in present climes.

Evidence shows optimistic people are less stressed, healthier and can even live longer, so on page 10 we share practical tips from world-leading experts on how to build such a mindset.

We also share inspiring stories from closer to home, of people who live these ideals every day.

Jazz Thornton, a 22-year-old mental health advocate who, by sharing her story, is saving lives and changing the way we talk about such important issues.

And Octogenarian John Winkie who will bike across Banks Peninsula to raise money for an important cause.

We learn about a local business, Cactus Outdoor, which is pivoting in the face of the global pandemic by using its local manufacturing facilities to create high grade face masks.

We find out what Addington has in store for a new-look racing festival, and what boutique hotel The George has on offer for those planning a way to commemorate the end of an unforgettable year.

However, I would also like to extend the invitation to our readers to send in your own suggestions for stories you, too, think Metropol should be celebrating in its pages.


 

Making scents of it


Finding the perfect perfume, or one for a very special occasion, can be overwhelming for fragrance connoisseurs and newbies alike. When you add in the often high price tag, it’s understandable that care and consideration are prerequisites for your hunt. Here are our tips for sourcing your signature scent.

 

Keep it in the family
Trained “nose” – the technical term for a fragrance master – Johanna Monange, says there are four fragrance families – fougère, floral, Chypré and oriental.
Floral, the largest, denotes base odours which are sweet, soft and gentle. Chypré is dry and warm, woody scents. Oriental is associated with soft and sensual odours like vanilla, patchouli and sandalwood, and fougère is more masculine and aromatic, based on lavender and bergamot.
Once you know your family, you can narrow down your search. Start by thinking of the smells you already enjoy and go from there.

On the pulse
Beauty and fragrance maestro Mona Kattan, of Huda Beauty, says you should test perfume by spraying it on your pulse points – the inside of your wrists, behind the ears, and inside your elbows. The skin here is naturally warm, making the scent reveal itself over time.

In the bottle
Mona says the less alcohol a perfume has, the more oil-based it will be – which generally means it will last longer on the skin. Another tip to prolong your scent is to moisturise well before application.


 

In the mood


Classic all white aesthetics will always have their place, but more designers and homeowners are choosing to create some drama in their bathrooms with dark, moody aesthetics to evoke calming opulence in these important spaces.

TIDA-winning powder room
by Armstrong Interiors

 

Bathrooms are as much a place to relax and wash away the day, as they are to reinvigorate and jump start your morning. Darkening the colour tones of this highly functional room can instantly heighten the mood to an indulgent, contemporary feel.

Browsing design books, magazines and blogs reveals moody washrooms fitted with natural and earthy material palettes of dark stone, wood and ceramics teamed with soft lighting and brass finishes.

It was this type of drama which caught the eyes of judges at this year’s Trends International Design Awards, where Christchurch-based interior designer Angelique Armstrong received all three bathroom awards – two of them for moody, masculine designs.

Where such hard surfaces like natural stone or concrete and rough sawn timber may seem oppressive, balance can be maintained with considered and cleverly placed – or manipulated – artificial and natural lighting.

Naturally occurring textures like imperfections, veins and wood grains also help remove any overly industrial harshness.

Reinterpreting a light bathroom space doesn’t necessarily need to mean a complete overhaul, it could include adding concrete-effect paint or panelling, or simply choosing darker tiles and cabinetry.


 

From the Editor: 03 September 2020


“Don’t ever make decisions based on fear. Make decisions basked on hope and possibility.” Michelle Obama.

 

Biking through the Christchurch CBD on a balmy Sunday afternoon, it was uplifting to see so many others out and about.

I waited in a long line for my Rollickin’ Gelato and had to dodge a fair few pedestrians to navigate my bike between the tram tracks and traffic queues.

Sitting on the banks of the Avon enjoying my salted caramel scoop, the sun-soaked bars and restaurants of The Terrace brimmed with denizens of all ages.

Perhaps it was the springtime daffodils and ducklings on display – or the sugar rush – but I couldn’t help feeling a sense of hope and possibility for our city.

The hospitality sector has been one of the hardest hit during the Covid-19 pandemic, and the city’s centre has been late to flourish during the rebuild of the last decade, yet here were so many enjoying what the CBD has to offer.

My mind also turned to what had unfolded that week just around the corner. Where 93 people delivered brave and touching victim impact statements in front of a man who had robbed them of so much 18-months ago on March 15.

Outside of court, crowds gathered to support the Muslim community.

An attempt to terrorise had only instilled greater unity.

Once again, this community showed how hope prospers in Ōtautahi.


 

The cult of skincare


Discovering her skincare wasn’t safe during pregnancy sent Kiwi woman Emma Lewisham on a mission to create natural, yet powerful, products. Her eponymous range launched this year and already has a cult-like following. Metropol catches up with Emma about what it takes to create a coveted range.

 

A conversation with her GP about fertility in 2016 changed the course of New Zealand woman Emma Lewisham’s life – and quite possibly the country’s skincare industry.

“I was going through a bit of a turning point in my life, I had just lost my mother to cancer and was finding that really hard to come to terms with. She was really young, and I started to realise I was taking my own health for granted.

“I started thinking, ‘I’m in my 30s now, I need to think about how I live and the things I do every day’, I was also trying and struggling to get pregnant at the time, and so I was speaking to my GP about what I needed to consider for my general health.”

When asked what skincare she was using, Emma named a heavy-hitting product she employed to help even her skin tone.

“She said, ‘Stop using that right now’. It contained an ingredient which I found out was banned in Europe and Japan, but in New Zealand they still allowed the sale of it despite it having a lot of credible research behind it as a known carcinogen.

“And I just thought, ‘If I couldn’t use it then, why would I use it ever?’.”

The discovery of this unwitting pay off between her health and results set Emma on a journey.

“From there I knew I wanted to use more clean and natural products, so I went to pharmacies and health shops, but I was used to really high performing skincare and couldn’t find anything which would get those same results.

“I didn’t accept that you either had to compromise your health for results, or compromise results for using natural products.”

A global marketing executive for a Japanese tech company at the time, Emma was far removed from the science and process of creating skincare.

“I didn’t have experience producing skincare, but I had experience identifying gaps in the market and I just felt like I was onto something, and that it was going to resonate with people.”

And that it did.

Since launching last year, the Emma Lewisham range has gained near-instant notoriety.

Featured in top Australasian lifestyle magazines like Harper’s Bazaar, Viva, Remix, Mindfood, Mamamia, and on The Spinoff’s Business is Boring podcast, as well as influential blogs like The Twenties Club.

It’s also a favourite of Kiwi Victoria’s Secret model Georgia Fowler, her also-a-model sister, Kate, and fellow New Zealand-born, Aussie-based model, Eden Bristowe.

But developing a coveted skincare range doesn’t just happen overnight – it took three years of research and development and a team of scientists to bring her vision to life.

Those experts told Emma about research happening around the world into high-performing plant-derived ingredients.

To those not familiar with skincare, that may sound far-fetched.

But consumer interest in cosmetic skincare has skyrocketed in recent years, with the global industry projected to exceed NZD$1 trillion by 2025, according to business data platform Statista.

“I was very driven to get luxury high performing products at any cost,” says Emma.

“We sourced ingredients from 30 countries, and instead of focussing on two or three ingredients per product, we put up to 30 in and at up to two to four times higher concentrate than what was in the market.”

Initially launching with three products (a daily moisturiser, SPF and face oil serum) two more (a serum targeting hyperpigmentation and a night cream) followed.

She’s also launched Emma Lewisham Beauty Circle, where consumers can return any brand’s facial skincare packaging for recycling. And last week announced a refillable product option designed to reduce water and carbon emissions.

Emma, now a mother of one who visits Christchurch frequently to see her father who lives here, credits her tenacity to strong female role models.

“My grandmother, Patricia Crossett, was one of the first female CEOs of the day.

“She ran her own businesses and it’s from her where I got the belief that women can do anything and how to hold my own and be confident as a female in my career.”


 

Coffee table styling pro tips


So, you’ve bought a beautiful new coffee table. Now, how to adorn this focal point to suit your home? Metropol compiles some tips to help.

 

ALL ABOUT BALANCE
Too many knickknacks look cluttered, but too many large items looks heavy. The solution? Balance the small with the large.

THE HIGH AND THE LOW
Likewise, mix up your height scale. Variation gets attention, whereas equal levels can go unnoticed.

SWAP WITH THE SEASONS
Mix up key components to suit what’s happening outside. Spring? Consider some fresh blooms. Winter? Time to light a comforting candle.

SYMMETRY…OR NOT
Consider aligning objects in an even grid, or adversely, choose an asymmetrical grouping of three to balance your coffee table books, candlesticks, or ornaments.


 

From the Editor: 20 August 2020


“A good half of the art of living is resilience.” – Alain de Botton

 

 

I was going to start this, my first column as editor of Metropol, writing about beginnings.

After a bit of googling I had found a lovely quote from spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle about the magic of beginnings, and had even written a few lines about the opportunities of starting anew.

But after Friday’s announcement – when we released an almost national (sorry, Auckland) sigh of relief that we would stay in the lockdown-less Alert Level 2 – I realised it’s not about starting, it’s about continuing.

And Canterbury knows a thing or two about that. Continuing is a common thread weaving the region’s stories together; our communities personify resilience.

When I moved back to Christchurch three years ago, I was blown away by the sense of community here.

There was a shared investment in communal success I’d never encountered before, and have come to understand as the city’s superpower.

In the face of adversity, Cantabrians know the key to getting through is to do it together.

I inherit some intimidatingly large shoes from Metropol’s outgoing editor, Melinda Collins, just as a global pandemic tries to sneak back into our communities.

Yet with so much uncertainty on the horizon, I know one thing for sure: I wouldn’t want to be doing it anywhere else.

Metropol has dedicated its pages to celebrating community for the last 22 years, and it’s a huge privilege to help that continue.


 

Cottoning on to sustainable fashion


Being fashion conscious is increasingly weighted towards the conscious part of the term. From ecological impacts on the environment to social justice issues in supply chains and modelling campaigns: designers and consumers alike have sustainability in mind.

A. LEVIS WELLTHREAD RECYCLED DENIM

Smaller collections, less often: Prada’s “refreshingly practical” (as one writer put it) Spring 2021 runway show last month was a pared back collection of well-made, working from home-friendly staples. Such collections may well become the new norm as the industry takes a Covid-enforced rethink of the necessity and eco footprint of large, frequently-released collections.

B. DEADLY PONIES MINI LEOPARD VEGAN

Cottonised hemp: Made from a hemp yarn that’s been processed to have the look and feel of cotton, cottonised hemp requires less water, chemicals and land to grow than cotton – making it a more sustainable choice. Jean geniuses Levi’s have just released its latest range made of this fabric into New Zealand.

C. LEVIS WELLTHREAD RECYCLED DENIM

Is pre-order the new order? Instead of releasing fully produced collections, some designers (like Kiwi labels Harris Tapper and Ellis) are opting for pre-order. The antithesis to oft-problematic fast fashion, pre-order might mean a longer wait for shoppers – but could spell the end of left-over, unwanted stock going to landfill.

Tactical textiles: Oranges, pineapples, potatoes, banana and coffee; excellent for eating, drinking and also, apparently, for wearing. New fabrics made from food waste are emerging the world over, with cult New Zealand handbag brand Deadly Ponies recently joining the fray with a trio of vegan handbags constructed from organic cactus leather.