Harriett Falvey and I go a long way back. We became friends on my very first day at Ponsonby Primary, and she gave me a goldfish for my 6th birthday. We lost touch when we left for intermediate school and from time to time I had wondered what Harriett and my other school pals had gotten up to.
Well…fast forward 22 years, and she’s an emerging New Zealand design talent with a playful, feminine aesthetic. A mainstay of Auckland’s City Designers Market for a number of years, she and a group of fellow designers recently opened their own collective boutique – Six – on Ponsonby Rd.
Her Winter collection, Lady Grey, is the first to hit the racks at Six and features the Liquid Honey dress in a delicate ‘Chamomile’ colour palette (there’s also ‘Grape’ for those keen on a darker shade). For me it’s a personal fave from the range and best of all, comes with a more-than-reasonable price tag for a limited edition piece ($280).
Autumn is officially here and the air is getting crisp, but that’s no excuse to lengthen your hemline – Kate Sylvester’s naughty secretary wouldn’t dream of it! Let your stockings take care of your legs and instead rug up your arms with this clean-cut mini-dress from her new Winter collection – yes, it’s called “The Secretary”, inspired by Maggie Gyllenhaal’s sugar-and-spice character from the movie of the same name.
The orchid print is exclusive to Kate Sylvester and available in black or white – both colour options equally striking for different skin tones. The fabric is cotton lycra which means no drycleaning hassles or expense. Practical, yet still a little sassy – I say it’s the perfect combo for the sartorially fabulous office girl.
I admit, I have a certain bias towards Karen Walker on Peggy Pearl. Season in, season out, she nails it for me every time. I love her dresses for being the perfect balance of femininity with sass and strength. No OTT frills and lace – just effortless awesome.
This peplum dress is the epitome of KW office chic: a killer cut paired with a striking seasonal print. The ‘painterly’ print is one of her signatures for this season’s collection “The American Girl”, and she’s rolled it across her collection in shades of burgundy, baby pink and a vibrant grassy green (my favourite).
Beam me up Scotty…up, up and over to Paddington to this space-age party frock adorning the racks at Ellery. Ellery’s new collection is full of references to futurism and metallics – the latter promises to be a BIG trend this season. Of all the striking sculptural dresses in the collection this one is a favourite for me – a modern (future) classic in shimmery gold.
Remember the leather bustier phase from a few seasons ago? I personally didn’t have the courage (or the taught, tanned midriff) to pull it off. But with Erdem’s A/W 2012-2013 collection…different story. This dress with its built-in leather bustier means I could have my cake, eat it and not worry about my stomach peeking out from underneath. No chance of that with a knee-length hem.
I love how this dress is ladylike and a bit badass at the same time, with its prim silhouette, floral detail and of course, the leather panelling. Even the colours are a bold juxtaposition of regal purple and rock-and-roll black. It’s a dress I could wear to my respectable day job without being too respectable.
Melbourne designer Alexi Freeman has created his own modern-day spin on chain mail with this sexy black-and-silver evening number. It’s from his Metal as Anything collection and is available from the fabulous ‘eco-chic’ online store glittertrees.com. In keeping with Glittertrees’ eco-friendly philosophy and support of Australian designers who manufacture locally, this rare piece is hand-made with love in Melbourne – plus Glittertrees will also plant a tree with purchase (it’s their gift to Mother Earth every time someone spends $50 or more on their site).