Four distinct and beautiful seasons (sometimes all in one day) are as synonymous with Christchurch as a view of the rugged snow-capped mountains across the plains. You don’t need a trip down memory lane to geography class to know us Cantabrians experience both a high annual and diurnal temperature range.
A clear crisp winter’s morning can see Ōtautahi shiver in the minus degrees, only to be basking in brilliant sunshine, cobalt blue skies and temperatures in the balmy late teens for a couple of hours in the afternoon. Other mornings dawn calm and mild, only to develop into a ripping easterly, a delight for the estuary’s superhuman kite and windsurfers, but threatening to flay the skin from the bones of mere mortal citizens.
The team at premier men’s fashion atelier Working Style, understand that this spicy variety in Canterbury life can mean one thing: layers! Working Style’s Creative Director Karl Clausen is now Auckland-based, but remembers with great fondness his Christchurch years. “There are some very brisk days when you wake up and it’ll be zero degrees outside and a bit of frost, but blue skies. You know that you want to wrap up, but you won’t be worried like in Wellington where the rain comes in sideways.”
Karl’s local knowledge ensures that Working Style embraces our delicious variation and caters to local men’s layering needs this winter. “Adding layers brings an element of comfort and joy – putting on your favourite coat and scarf; it’s something that I haven’t been able to do living in Auckland,” Karl says.
“There is no doubt that layering up now can be more colourful, diverse and put together. Rather than a heavy overcoat it can be a puffer or down coat, colourful and well-designed giving the wearer the opportunity to be more expressive. Other guys will be more comfortable making a more considered purchase of an outerwear piece that will last them a long time. In recent times we’ve tried to make those items a little more interesting without detracting from their longevity.”
This season at Working Style includes a beautiful heavy basket weave overcoat in navy. While contemporary, it is not so fashion-forward that it will be out of style next year. It will also transition through your wardrobe if you wear it over tailoring, or wear it over something a bit more casual.
The scarf range includes the interesting and playful as well as classic colours, and there are stunning heavy-soled boots this season. It is a gum-soled desert boot, giving comfort and durability against the elements. “We are in tune with what winters mean across New Zealand and where our stores and clients are based. We develop our collections to cater to clients’ lifestyles and what the season throws at them too.”
Visit Working Style Christchurch at 242 Papanui Road.
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 www.workingstyle.co.nz.
A stylishly put-together casual look, encompassing soft textures reminiscent of summer spent on an Italian coast, is this season’s look which continues to celebrate the continued softening of the modern man’s wardrobe.
Fashionista and Working Style store manager Leisa Falconer explains this season’s collection takes influence from a summer spent on the Amalfi coast showcasing blues, beiges, soft greens, raspberries and highlights of melon and white. “Tailoring is centred on a variety of blue; checks are as subtle as they have been for many seasons. The shoulders are soft and the lapels broad – all a nod to southern Italian style,” she says.
Linen is the hero cloth of the season both with shirting and tailoring, generating a casual yet smart look. Using a variety of blended and natural fibre-rich qualities, linen will be a popular choice for tailored coats. This season’s Working Style suit collection is the first to be entirely produced in Portugal with suit silhouettes featuring softer shoulders, gently tailored sleeves and trousers.
“The collection is heavily influenced by blue. The directional blue shade of the season is the Atlantic bird’s eye, which has a hint of green. The grey highlight suit of the collection is a black and white bird’s eye.” Sports coats paired with chinos in fresh white or soft neutrals and pops of colour will be in upholding the continued casualisation of men’s dressing.
Footwear continues to be led by the slip on, with a structured loafer offering a cross over to both tailoring and smart casual, and a variety of shades in a suede moccasin to be worn more informally.
Checks are less prominent with soft textures and neutrals showing, shoulders are soft and natural looking. The fashion colour palette has again blue tones which are complemented with shades of camel, moss green and raspberry. With New Zealand Cup and Show Week around the corner, Leisa says men shouldn’t leave organising their outfit until the last minute. “If there’s any advice I can give it’s to be more prepared. Creating beautiful bespoke pieces takes time.” As in previous years, half-lined coats will be a “go-to” choice for race day.
“Half lined items are lighter to wear in the warmer months and a perfect choice for race day; paired with tropical quality pure wool trousers or chinos.” Made-to-measure experts, Working Style (situated at 242 Papanui Road) have an extensive array of fabrics from the finest mills across the world. “Our highly skilled team work with clients in a unique beautiful environment to create beautiful pieces. We make sure our suits fit the client properly and work with them to design a one-off creation.”
As far from a “typical” retail store as they could be, Working Style’s showroom offers its clients a personalised and exclusive experience. “When we are putting an outfit together they can take their time to enjoy a relaxed atmosphere while sipping on a whisky or G and T.”