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Fashion, frocks & fascinators

A spectacle of racing will entertain the crows, celebratory bubbles will clink and fabulous fashion will feature because, for as long as we can remember, fashion has been inextricably entwined with horse racing.




And although fierce competition between trainers, drivers and breeders is a timeless feature of the sport, the fashion stakes too are high as stylish racegoers prepare for this iconic event.

Off the track, hats, shoes and dresses which are as colourful and creative as the jockeys’ silks will as ever draw eyes from the national and international world of fashion, at this year’s Cup and Show Week.

Despite – or perhaps even because of – fashion’s increasingly casual constitution, the opportunity to honour a much more traditional aesthetic when it comes to refining a race day look offers an exciting change of sartorial pace for most.

Irrespective of the conservative nature of the day, there’s still plenty of room to have some fun with fashion. Hats, fascinators and block colour are just some of the ways you can stand out from the style crowd.







Fashionable treasure trove: Fashionworks

Fresh spring and summer styles await at Hanmer Springs’ Fashionworks, your go-to designer label treasure trove for womenswear, footwear, accessories and more.

With Cup Day around the corner, we’re sure you’ll find your perfect outfit for race day amongst the racks at Fashionworks, where a range of high-quality womenswear resides. With stylish blazers, blouses, tank tops and dresses, plus a range of jewellery and shoes – including D&J and Hey Monday – Fashionworks will have you dressed to perfection.

Be inspired by the stunning spring arrivals in vibrant colours and fashionable florals from the likes of IvyBlu, Tuesday Label, Augustine, Wish and Charlo. Other brands to add to your spring/summer wardrobe include Molly Bracken, Cooper Street, Seduce and Zafina.

Just for men, Fashionworks has a selection of RM Williams menswear and top quality shirting, as well as Colorado shoes and boots.

For beautiful clothes with a touch of difference, visit Hanmer’s favourite fashion hotspot at 4 Conical Hill Road. Phone 03 315 7120.




Heart of the city: The Crossing

Feel the pulse of the heart of the city at The Crossing, where energy and spirits are sky high. This destination shopping hub within the CBD realises what we dreamed of for our reborn city. “The vibe is great, you get the sensation of shopping in Sydney or Melbourne, wandering the al fresco lanes where retail, dining and office space are mixed with intoxicating vigour,” The Crossing Centre Manager Kelly Morison says.



There is an amazing selection of stores and always something more to find. Kit yourself out for Cup Week and seasonal events with beauty, nails, shoes and accessories, as well as a stunning selection of men’s and women’s fashion, cafés and restaurants to keep your energy levels high while you hunt and gather your killer look.

“The team at The Crossing are so excited to be part of the movement bringing Cup and Show Week, wedding festivities and seasonal functions back to the central city,” Kelly says.

To celebrate, The Crossing has named the ‘Best Dressed’ competition at Addington ‘Fashion Starts Here’, reflecting its philosophy ‘The City Starts Here’. Visit for information on the fashion competition.

The Crossing hosts flagship H&M, Country Road, Ruby and Seed stores. Ivy Blu and Workshop stores carry their own stunning collections, as well as desirable pieces chosen from international labels. Renowned florist Bourbon Rose is upstairs, along with the food terrace – Joyful Express, and Cookai sushi train are a hit with families.


Madisons Off Broadway has the best range of special occasion wear in Christchurch, bringing in pieces from Michael Kors, Calvin Klein, and Ralph Lauren. Men have so much more choice than usual with Barkers, Country Road, Rodd and Gunn, H&M, and Workshop geared to fit out the discerning gent.

Stirling Women has wonderful leisure and workout gear, The Gift Shop is awesome for a forage for unusual gifts, Fresh Choice City Market lives up to its name, and an award-winning Coffee Culture sits in the middle of this meandering den of delights.

Parking is a dream at $2 for the first two hours and easy access on Lichfield Street opposite the central bus exchange, but the best kept secret is that The Crossing carpark hosts Christchurch’s newest, state of the art preschool. Open this month and taking bookings, this gorgeous facility has separate spaces for different age groups, a classroom for those transitioning to school, and a playground that your little one won’t want to leave, not to mention views across the city.

Open 9am-6pm weekdays, 10am-5pm weekends and holidays, plus extended hours for Christmas shopping, Customer Service always has someone to help. “The Crossing in the heart of the city is a vibrant fun place to be in our wonderful developing city,”  Kelly says.




Wardrobe staples for Cup Week: Country Lane

Rangiora’s iconic women’s fashion store Country Lane has been showcasing New Zealand and international fashion labels for almost 30 years, bringing you timeless wardrobe staples alongside some of the latest trends.



If you’re off to the races this Cup and Show Week, or you’re heading to a wedding, you need to see the range of Moss & Spy, Closet London and Loobie’s Story pieces. These labels offer a mix of modern elegance and classic styles in beautiful quality fabrics.

Match these with an Olga Berg clutch, jewellery by Pilgrim and Four Corners, and footwear from Kathryn Wilson, all of which you can find in store.

If for you Show Week is about relaxation, barbecues and catching up with friends, the store a great selection of New London and Zhrill denim that you can match with an Elk top or Elm tee, and finish your look with a Superga sneaker or an Emporio slide for effortless comfort and style.

To guide you, Country Lane has passionate and experienced staff who share the vision for premium customer service in a no-pressure environment. They’ll help you find something that not only looks fabulous, but will make you feel amazing too! After all, their motto is; “life is too short to wear boring clothes”.

Located centrally in the heart of Rangiora at 140 High Street, Country Lane is the perfect shop to relax and try on items at your own pace. Also, head online and keep up-to-date with the range of new styles at




Fashion for the busy woman: Key Black

The beautiful Key Black boutique in Cashmere will offer you locally made and designed styles for your curves.



Specialising in foundation garments and styles you can work into your everyday wardrobe, the Key Black label is perfect for a busy woman’s lifestyle; easy to wear and easy to care for garments designed to mix and match from season to season.
Designer and stylist Rachelle Varnham believes shopping smarter is crucial. “You need to invest wisely to make sure you are maximising your purchases. If you do not wear 100 percent of your wardrobe, you are doing it wrong.”

Designed to mix and match, Key Black’s ‘Whaea’ collection features sharp angles and trims to make a subtle statement. The new ‘Fly High’ collection is arriving in store now and consists of feminine and floaty styles that will be teamed with tailored jackets and dusters to fit all your spring and summer occasions.

To make sure they have all shapes covered, Key Black includes New Zealand-design favourites like ‘The Carpenters Daughter’, which has been dressing curvy girls with attitude for more than 30 years. ‘Valpy’ is another favourite. Exclusive to Key Black and made here in Canterbury, ‘Valpy’ is all about florals and feminine prints, which complements the solid colours of Key Black’s collections. You will also find some ‘Sabatini’ styles and ‘Juna’ silk dresses.

Learn how to work your wardrobe and wear styles with confidence with free personal or group styling. Book through the website, or phone 03 337 1495. Find the boutique at 27A Colombo Street, Cashmere, parking out front.




Spring begins here: Made in the Shade

Spring has never looked lovelier than at Made in the Shade, with new stock arriving daily. From the vivaciously vivid to the dreamy pastel palette; from jaunty French-style “oh là là” tops to star-spangly sweaters; and from snazzy stripes to classy but classic check trousers, there’s something here for every gal looking to look a cut above the rest.

With clothes meticulously blocked from sizes 8 to 18, browsing here is a breeze.

This season’s trends feature tops with beautiful motif decoration; cute ’n’ crisp cropped cotton jackets; elegant wide-legged pants, and the colour green makes a welcome return in a wonderful variety of shades.

New Zealand-made brands, like Anne Mardell and Mardee, provide clever coordinate combos that deliver a different look every day, while Optimum showcases a stunning range of fine gauge knitwear for our warmer months; Optimum also offers a bespoke service of knitting special garments to order for individual customers.

For an unforgettable wedding ensemble or after-five outfit, New Zealand’s Bitter Moon have skirts and dresses to add sparkle to your special occasion.

NYDJ’s jeans make every bottom bootylicious, but if it’s bottom lift and tummy tuck that you’re after, then Canadian label Lisette is for you.

Globetrotters will love the exquisite European fine linens range – ideal for hassle-free packing and travelling in style.

Yes ladies, spring begins at Made in the Shade; pop in and be inspired – your wardrobe will love you for it!

Find the store at 151A Colombo Street, Beckenham. Phone 03 332 1238 or visit




Shirting the rules

As soon as boyfriend blazers and boyfriend jeans hit the street style scene several years back, we were hooked by the casual and comfortable look that it offered us.



We can all agree that borrowing – or rather, stealing – our man’s hoodies and t-shirts is nothing new, and neither is women incorporating menswear into their personal style. In fact, this goes way back in history.

By the early twentieth century, a woman in beautifully tailored men’s clothes was a recognisable form of glamour – think the ‘suffragette suit’, created by the American Ladies’ Tailors’ Association in 1910, or Coco Chanel’s semi-androgynous style – namely cigarette pants and suits, or 1930’s actress Marlene Dietrich famously donning a top hat and bow tie on set.

Fast forward to 2019; we’re still seeing menswear influences within women’s fashion, and the boyfriend trend isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. We’re particularly loving women transforming men’s shirts into the ultimate fashion statement.

A men’s button-down shirt can be utilised in a multitude of ways; worn over a dress, jeans or a pair of shorts; tied at the waist and paired with bright pants or a midi skirt; or worn on its own, cinched at the waist with a wide belt.

A men’s basic tee styled up with a blazer, leather pants and heeled boots makes for a perfect nine-to-five ensemble, or tone it down by tucking it into a pair of boyfriend jeans and sneakers, and you’ve got yourself a casual weekend look.



Celebrating the individual woman: Made in the Shade

With new arrivals from quality New Zealand and European labels now instore, Made in the Shade has curated a winter collection that’s not only beautiful on the eye, but more importantly, celebrates the individual woman.


“There’s something here for everyone, from bold and bright to understated elegance through to the romantic – every look and occasion is covered,” says owner Alison Donn. The Anne Mardell/Mardee ensemble of wool shift-dress and reversible jacket, for instance, makes for an inspired layering combination, while Anne Mardell bomber jackets deliver the ultimate in casual chic.

Optimum knitwear, renowned for its non-pilling, takes you through the cool months in colours, designs and mix’n’match options that are just too clever. For ladies who like to wear the pants, the exquisitely tailored Lisette trousers take you from the boardroom to the theatre, while for laid-back glamour, a pair of figure-hugging NYDJ jeans showcases your best assets!

If you’re looking for something unique for a party or event, here’s where you’ll find that stunner cocktail dress to ramp up the fun, or that chic two-piece suit to make you stand out from the rest. But for that special date, think velvet skirt and fine Italian silk top with an eye-popping puffer jacket to snuggle in as you depart the restaurant.

Don’t forget to check out the travel range of the finest cottons, non-crease linens and other perfect-for-packing garments – you might be needing them sooner than you think! Find Made in the Shade at 151a Colombo Street, Beckenham, phone 03 332 1238, email and visit


If it suits

If it suits: Fashionable suits

From the closets of men to the closets of women, the power suit has crossed a divide that few garments can. Now after a few years in the sartorial shadows, the broad shoulders and stiff lines that have been defying gender norms since actress Sarah Bernhardt scandalised Paris in a custom-made trouser suit in the 1870s have made a welcome return to the ‘what’s hot’ lists.


If it suits


The fact that the power suit has re-emerged during a cultural turning point for women, with the #MeToo and #TimesUp campaigns making global waves is not lost on the world’s sartorial movers and shakers, with Conde Nast artistic director Anna Wintour explaining, “A fashion show does not exist in a vacuum, it is reflecting our culture,” in a video discussing New York Fashion Week trends.

“The biggest cultural shift in the last several months has been women and how they have been treated in the workplace. There is no way this was not on designer’s minds.”


World Brooklyn Blazer Mint.
 World Brooklyn Blazer Mint.
If it suits
Karen Walker women’s suit.


If it suits
Country Road jacket.


If it suits
Bec & Bridge Rosa Jacket.


If it suits
Seed Heritage coat.