Our guide to what’s new and notable in the fashion world, Viva’s Retail Therapy column offers a handy resource for navigating the fashion market.
Cheerful pieces from Rimor Bay to soften the blow of autumn
If you feel like you’ve been robbed of a proper summer, you’re not alone. With chilly days well and truly here, new label Rimor Bay is hoping we can elongate that sunny disposition with its transeasonal holiday-inspired range of garments and accessories. Founded by Darshil Patel, the label describes itself as a lifestyle label from Auckland, and its first range consists of a hyper-yellow tote bag, a Nalgene collab drink bottle, lightweight coach jackets, embroidered camp-collar shirts and seven-panel caps (pictured above). Casual wear for all genders with a nod to idyllic days in the sunshine, even if the weather packs in — as it looks likely to do this weekend. If taking a deep breath and exhaling could be manifested in clothes, Rimor Bay makes a convincing case for it.
The Row just arrived at Scotties
Highly coveted and a blueprint for subtle luxury — a topic at the centre of the fashion discourse right now — The Row’s latest range has just arrived at Scotties’ Ponsonby boutique, and can be found online too. For those who want a piece of the Olsen sisters’ inimitable style, you’ll want to hop to it like the Easter bunny, as we hear the range sells swiftly.
In other Scotties news, there’s the upbeat and cheerful range from Mii Collection, which also deserves your attention, a label designed by couple Bapan Dutta and Lucie Bourreau, and melds their respective cultures (Indian and French) including materials like khadi cotton, and the textile expertise in Bengal (think block printing and embroidery) where the range is developed and made. 2 Blake St, Ponsonby, Auckland.
Cool new things from Kowtow
Drop one of Kowtow’s winter collection is now in store and deputy editor Johanna Thornton stopped by the Newmarket shop to see the new pieces in person. The black and white check quilted jacket (pictured) caught her eye, made with Fairtrade organic cotton padding, sweet bow ties instead of buttons, and an ingenious hidden “aviator strap” for carrying the jacket over the shoulder if the weather warms. Wearing it felt like being cosseted in a cosy — yet chic — blanket. Other standout pieces were the Geo shirt with its oversized pleated collar and balloon sleeves, which comes in white and a black check print; the silky soft Staple knit sweater in a fetching shade of chartreuse and the utilitarian-style Story jacket made from heavyweight denim in the same rich chartreuse. Kowtow is working towards a goal of being plastic-free by the end of the year, something we love to see.
Macrame and buttons are a focus for Wynn Hamlyn
Another local fashion brand with some newness is Wynn Hamlyn. An array of pieces, like this maxi skirt, are comprised of buttoned panels (the centre buttons are functional) that are at once idiosyncratic and practical, and a fun addition to your autumn wardrobe. Another characterful touch is hand-woven macrame. Designer Wynn Crawshaw has incorporated this work before (he loves a crafty touch) and it returns for the new collection. Though aligned with Northern Hemisphere seasons, we think this would look great on a tropical holiday come winter, and also works well as a layering piece in colder temperatures — adding a novelty to those serious winter outfits. Layer one of the dresses over a turtleneck, leggings and boots, and pair with some sculptural jewellery for a bohème, Birkin-esque effect. Chic.
The Shelter has some new styles from Issey Miyake 132 5.
Fancy some fashion with an artistic bent? The Shelter has received some new pieces from the Issey Miyake 132 5. brand. Stocked exclusively at the Ponsonby retailer in New Zealand, 132 5. has a focus on sculptural design, dimensions and foldability, and is one of the lines under the Issey umbrella (others include Pleats Please, Homme Plissé and Bao Bao). These funky pants look fun to fold, and to wear. Plus, there’s a jacket to match.
You can now add some Burberry to your bookshelf
Though you can’t wear this, it’s available for purchase and contains plenty of inspiration for building a timeless wardrobe (and having some fun with fashion too). A gorgeous new tome from British heritage brand Burberry is on our radar, coinciding with the recent appointment of the brand’s new creative director, Daniel Lee. Charting more than 165 years of creativity, innovation and the celebration of a certain Britishness, the richly illustrated coffee table book includes five chapters, spotlighting 200 illustrations and photographs that offer a comprehensive look at the brand’s evolution from a family-run company, founded in 1856, to the luxury behemoth it has become today. Synonymous with its iconic trenchcoat, Burberry has been under the leadership of various creative directors over the years including Christopher Bailey to, more recently, Riccardo Tisci. Brand curator of Burberry’s archives Carly Eck worked closely with leading fashion journalist Alexander Fury to document the book’s storytelling over the years, offering the perfect time capsule for one of the world’s beloved luxury brands. Burberry, published by Assouline, approximately $360. Available to purchase from Assouline.com and Burberry.com
Nigö has teamed up with Levi’s
Historic denim brand Levi’s is having a big year, with the 150th anniversary of its 501 jeans. As we told you earlier this year, one of the ways it’s marking this milestone is with some special projects, and just released is its collaboration with famed Japanese designer Nigö, founder of A Bathing Ape and current creative director for Kenzo, and someone whose had a huge influence on streetwear and pop culture. His collection for Levi’s is personal. Inspired by a piece from Nigo’s own archive, some hickory-striped jeans, this treasured garment was the starting point for the limited-edition two-piece range: 501s and a 557XX trucker jacket made from 13-ounce hickory stripe selvedge denim — the jeans are shrink-to-fit (a right of passage for denim die-hards) while the jacket is pre-shrunk. Both are made in Japan using traditional manufacturing methods, a very special detail, and available in New Zealand — head to the brands Sylvia Park store, or online.
Give New Zealand children in need some new pyjamas
Here’s a nice idea if you’re in the market for children’s pyjamas or want to ensure others have access to warm sleepwear of their own: local charity Kindness Collective is running its PJ Project again this year, aiming to provide 20,000 pairs of warm pyjamas to children in Aotearoa who need them.
There are several ways you can get involved between now and June 30. Donate money directly ($20 can buy two pairs of warm, winter pyjamas for kids in need) or new ones; register your business, community or school to collect new winter pyjamas for Kindness Collective; or purchase a pair of pyjamas from its collaboration with Postie — $1 from each pair sold until April 23 is donated to the PJ Project.
Last year, Kindness Collective provided 11,000 pairs of pyjamas, and its work was recently awarded New Zealand Community of the Year at the 2023 New Zealander of the Year Awards.
Gloria is serving up an Easter sale
A local designer with a longstanding cult following, Kristine Crabb offers a unique, laidback kind of glamour that’s rightly garnered fans galore. Her label Gloria is giving you a chance to gather some silky slips, robes and trousers at a special price this weekend (fabulous for long weekend lounging) with 40 per cent off in its Easter sale.
Wixii’s archival sale is now on the web
If you didn’t get a chance to head into Wixii’s Ponsonby Central store last weekend, then we have good news indeed; the brand’s archive sale has migrated online, giving people everywhere the chance to get some of their popular knits or loungey layers for a bargain price (discounts go beyond 50 per cent off).
Nice discounts from Nu Swim
We’ve been going on about New York a lot lately, so here’s another good thing from the Big Apple. This NYC-based label Nu Swim has made a name for itself with cool, low-key swimwear and cotton pieces, all made in the city — New Zealand stockists include That Looks and Meilan — but quality like that (their togs and T-shirts are some of the best I’ve ever bought) and international shipping doesn’t come cheap, so its archive sale is hot indeed, offering the chance to get some of their sought-after, limited range for up to 90 per cent off.
In the news
iD Dunedin unveiled its winners for 2023
The iD Dunedin returned last weekend, showcasing a wealth of emerging talent and fresh fashion ideas in the famous southern locale. A cornerstone of the event is the iD International Emerging Designers Award. Twenty-five finalists presented their collections at Tūhura Otago Museum to a judging panel, headed by Tanya Carlson, which included Viva editor Amanda Linnell, Zambesi’s Elisabeth Findlay, Charmaine Reveley, James Dobson of Jimmy D, NOM*d’s Margarita Robertson, and Tara Viggo of Paper Theory. Fashion designer Leonard Hill from Whitecliffe College of Arts & Design took out the prize for Viva’s Top NZ Designer Award. Congratulations to Leonard, all the other winners, and everyone who entered. For those who missed it, watch the live stream from the runway and see what guests were wearing.
Ezibuy is going into administration
In less positive news, this week it was announced that longstanding local retailer Ezibuy, founded in Palmerston North in 1978, was going into voluntary administration, reporting sales down 51 per cent.
Famous for its catalogues and mail-order service which, before the normalisation of online shopping, gave people around Aotearoa access to a wide clothing offering — its direct-to-consumer model is now the norm — this news feels like an end of an era in many ways. Most recently e-commerce focused, with four brick-and-mortar stores domestically, it is a subsidiary of Australian company Mosaic Brands, whose board made the decision to restructure Ezibuy.
What does this mean for shoppers? At present, things will be business as usual, however, expect to see a more streamlined version of the retailer, which will likely become online only — although some experts are questioning its future. It also highlights the fragile nature of the retail industry and the importance of supporting local businesses.
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