“Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society.”- Mark Twain
I like Mark Twain, he has a rather matter-of-fact insight on things which I find difficult not to like.
I thought that it was time I paid a little attention to the Fashion side of Auckland, a rather large and dominant side all around the city. Fashion is a language that speaks for itself, you know? It influences first impressions and judgements, it also says a lot about the person wearing them without even uttering a word. Therefore, fashion sense is a very powerful and important thing, hence why I care about it so much, though I know many people don’t. There are people who wake up every day, put on the same old clothes and leave the house without any thought of what or “who” they are wearing, whereas others give their life to fashion and presenting themselves as on-trend and “fashionable”.
I must admit, when I first came to New Zealand I hated the fashion here, mainly because there was no local Topshop which sent me into a spin of helplessness. I see this now as I look back on my wardrobe as a 13 year-old which was mainly very casual and a bit hectic colour-wise but no 13 year-old really cares that much about fashion as a 15+ year-old does. It takes a while to find your style and to find the style that suits you and represents who you are. Now, I am an advocate for black which doesn’t really represent me as a person but it is a flattering colour for a tiny person like me so I stick to my loyal black clothing. I’m also well-known for my statement necklaces which I adore! However, all of this has been shaped by the fashion of New Zealand; the local brands and the clothes that my friends wear- a huge influence on my own tastes. So, I’m going to introduce some of my favourite brands that have originated from New Zealand, in no particular order:
1. Karen Walker
Statement, notable and always unique, Karen Walker is one of New Zealand’s most renowned designers. Her clothes are definitely designed for a certain type as they are often quite loose-fitting and shapeless which is no good for my body shape but looks great on others of a taller stance. However, the Karen Walker jewellery is some of the most envy-inducing stuff. I particularly like the Superfine range which is beautifully crafted and very simple rings, some of which I own a couple of including the Superfine Heart which I wear every single day as it was given to me by my good friends, and the Rabbit and Bear Ring. Another iconic element of the KW brand is her sunglasses range. Think of any shape and it is likely that there is a similar looking pair of statement sunglasses with a special attention to detail to personalise the pieces.
Like Karen Walker, Stolen Girlfriend’s Club is quite a unique brand but it offers a completely alternate range of items, you could say it is the grungy version of Karen Walker, but then again maybe not. SGC is a pretty unique style, somewhat futuristic and yet grungy but still wearable and comfortable. I particularly like their prints and texts that they put on their clothes like the recent cartoon range and the most recent “Angels with Filthy Faces.” If their clothes could speak, they’d probably say “I don’t even care”, like the cool grungy kids at school who don’t care what anyone thinks of them.
If you want luxuriously gorgeous handbags, Deadly Ponies the a hidden gem in the fashion world that you’ve been looking for. I’m not sure what it is that they do to the leather to make it so incredibly soft to the touch but whatever it is, they should keep doing it. This is almost part of the Deadly Ponies trademark along with the faux fur adornments and gold chain straps that feature on some of the bags. In all honesty, the prices of these bags are good for the quality that you get, most bags are around $200-$1000 and are pretty durable. However, as a middle class person they are definitely a luxurious high-end accessory but worth noting for sure in the fashion world.
Huffer is one of New Zealand most iconic unisex brands, trending a sporty and casual style reflecting the typical kiwi style. The clothing is very wearable and comfortable but perhaps a little overpriced for what it is: a T-Shirt costs about $60 and like many of these brands you’re paying for the name as well as the material.
Everyone loves some pretty lingerie like Lonely. Every girl wants to feel beautiful on the inside and the outside and wearing pretty lingerie like this definitely makes me confident and comfortable (ideal!). There’s something about wearing nice underwear that has the ability to improve your mood at the start of the day. It’s not the usual run-of-the-mill intimates design, there are plenty of straps, lace and velvet to go around to form the intricate designs. It was only after I discovered Lonely lingerie that it seemed as though their style was popping up everywhere with cross-backed straps and frontal cross-strapping but I don’t think Lonely started the trend. I received the Lulu Strap Bra & Brief in Ink for Christmas and I adore wearing them but I often think I should wear them for special occasions but in reality I don’t have many special occasions so I just wear them when I feel like it. However for $195: $110 (Bra) and $85 (Brief) it is not the cheapest buy and one may consider it an unnecessary luxury but every girl needs some pretty spenny underwear to make her feel special time and time again, am I right girls?
I am on the fence about Trelise Cooper and some of the clothing that is produced from the brand because again, like Karen Walker, they are often shapeless and similarly to many other more high-end fashion designers, clearly designed to be worn by those of taller, slimmer body shape. However, there is the odd treasure trove amongst the rest; I stumbled upon this beautiful dress when I was shopping in COOP in Takapuna for a dress to wear to my Mum’s wedding last July. I mainly tried it on for fun, thinking ‘ooh this is a funky dress, look it has a cape!’ but when I actually put it on my Mum and I knew that it was the dress. (Excuse my paleness…)
Following the theme of dark aesthetic, reflecting popular skate culture, Meadowlark is a brand that uses the purest of metals and precious stones to create a unique range of jewellery. I absolutely love Meadowlark, despite not being a big fan of skulls or the somewhat animalistic design, Meadowlark offers some beautiful pieces that I wish I could own but like a lot of beautiful jewellery, it is rather expensive. Last year, I spoilt myself and bought the Silver Chain Ring (pictured below) as a gift to myself, I had admired this ring for a long time and saved up to buy it for $155 which I know is expensive but it was so worth it! I wear this ring every single day and have received many compliments on it. The best part, I don’t know anyone else with the same ring so it makes it more special to me, it’s like my own little nod to fashion jewellery unlike the Karen Walker Superfine rings that almost everyone wears. My next one to save up for is the Snake Bite Ring, but sitting at price of $265 I will have to also gather confidence to part with the money as well as gathering it.
8. RUBY / Liam
New Zealand based Ruby is a designer that really appreciates the figure of a woman, finding a happy medium between fashionable and wearable. Liam is another brand that is stocked in all Ruby stores nationwide and offers sleeker, more fancy type of clothing for those who love silk clothing and professional cuts. Quite recently, the styles have become slightly less well-fitted and verged more towards that baggy look to suit the oncoming winter months but occasionally there is a good buy in there.
So there it is, some of my favourite New Zealand brands. As you can probably tell, I have quite expensive taste and don’t opt out for the usual Glassons or Topshop shop where I could probably get most of the same stuff but it’s not quite the same. I am a firm believer in spending my money the way I want to and if I want to spend it on a $155 ring that I have wanted for a long time then I will. I can say this as I am earning my own money now so it’s not like I’m spending someone else’s money. I figure if I spend some of it I can save the rest and that way everyone is happy, my wardrobe and my bank account too!
Where do you like to shop? Any suggestions for me, I love discovering new places! Any excuse for a shopping trip!