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Fashion Forward

Cityscape catches up with the country’s leading designers to find out what’s hot this spring/summer.

Karen Walker

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Internationally-renowned Kiwi couture queen Karen Walker’s ‘Magnetic’ line is inspired by photographer Berenice Abbott’s personal style, a subliminal mix of no fuss utility offset with a large dose of joie de vivre. Walker’s unique flair for juxtaposing masculine and feminine and luxurious and ugly has made her the go-to designer for stylish women the world over – Madonna famously wore Walker at the MTV Awards, and fellow fans include Charlize Theron, Anne Hathaway, Alexa Chung, Florence Welch, Christina Hendricks, Lorde, Rihanna, and Lena Dunham. Magnetic teams glossed-cotton dungarees and brightly coloured electro-magnetic themed prints on lace and silk crêpe de Chine with workwear silhouettes and khaki canvas and leathers. Flat brogues and industrial dandy-style boots feature, while Karen Walker Eyewear adds strength and flair to the functional, fashion-forward pieces. Her new line seamlessly pays playful homage to muse Abbott’s aesthetic, gracefully borrowed from the boys – Magnetic is ravishingly utilitarian with an air of androgynous chic.

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  1. Prudence Shirt RRP $365 and Penrose Tailored Pant RRP $750
  2. Split Image Sweater $275 and Florence Pants RRP $430
  3. Herschel Dress RRP $595
  4. Solarization Tee RRP $175 and Penrose Skirt RRP $475
  5. Remy Singlet RRP $330 and Jeans RRP $395
  6. Mackie Coat (Cropped) RRP $645 and Collette Long Line Dress RRP $895


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A deceptive Botanical Boom underpins iconic Dunedin fashion maven Margarita Robertson’s ‘HIGH ANXIETY’ seasonal stunners, which blend floral tapestry and sheer georgettes in navy and olive with eyeballing botanicals and wreath-haloed angels, witty high contrast text-prints, sliced beetles and rose-like embellishments. There’s a playful madness about this lush Deep South fever of colour and print, which spikes a pseudo-remedy against a backbone of much-loved black. An affirmation of the punkish approach to tailored cutting established by NOM*d, it wows with light suit pairings, a ruff trimmed blazer, a sleeveless jacquard coat and cotton trench pieces for an effortless summer. Utilitarian denim styles are reworked and trimmed with heavy topstitching and raw edges, lending a delightful oddness and a boxy silhouette, while iconic staples are present in socks, skinnies and t-shirting, where stencil prints rework the outrageous cure-all elixirs of centuries past.

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  1. Dance Tank in Black RRP $185 and Trench Skirt in Black RRP $425
  2. Night Dress in Covered Print RRP $560
  3. Dance Long Sleeve in Black RRP $300 and Trench Skirt in Black RRP $425
  4. Dance Dress in Olive Angel Print RRP $575
  5. Knotted Tank in Olive Angel Print RRP $230 and Patch Trouser in Flower RRP $440
  6. House Dress in Skin RRP $545


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Converging lines collide and shatter to reveal subtle curves and negative space, while a diffusion of light and line brings a softness to the sharp angles of style maestro Vicki Taylor’s signature structured aesthetic throughout ‘Delineation’. The Taylor silhouette is fluid yet bold, with graphic patterns dissected, folded and re-aligned in both voluminous and tailored garments. Her new line sees the return of pleats; breaking the expected linear aesthetic, they converge and shatter, falling at irregular angles from the same piece of fabric. Bold and subtle stripes echo the collection's inspiration, giving structure and a playful creative energy to the range, while sliced panels cut away to reveal a softness beneath, and classic tailored jackets are given a fresh fabrication with feature pockets that sit open to reveal slippery cupro. A luxurious but effortlessly wearable palette of texture is showcased with washed silks that are played off against cotton organza, and stone-washed linens round out a collection that embodies a sense of self and inspiring individual creativity.

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  1. Reversed Petite Jacket $647, Fulfilled Top $397 and Parted Pant $497
  2. Departed Tunic Dress $497 and Index Shirt $487 Parted Pant $427
  3. Archetype Shirt $367 and Principal Pant $347
  4. Disclose Vest $467 Bridge Pant $427
  5. Frame Tunic $397 and Advance Pant $387
  6. Chaser Pantsuit $557

Trelise Cooper

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New Zealand fashion icon Dame Trelise Cooper celebrates spring with her signature flair, elegance and stunning attention to detail. Synonymous with ethereal beauty, and effortlessly marrying the romantic and feminine with luxurious fabrics, dynamic colours, delicate touches of lace and sparkling embellishments, Cooper's garments have clothed Hollywood A-listers Liv Tyler, Julia Roberts and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Her ‘Spring 2017’ embodies a collection that is all dressed up with everywhere to go while presenting a new take on occasion dressing. All the best-dressed guests opt for sleek lines in the softest pink and duck egg blue. From lush jacquards to feathered flowers and beading to tulle, the collection re-ignites the joy of dressing. Whether your mood is modern monochrome, or entire bouquets of blooms, the new lady is refined with architectural lines and sculptural contours.

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  1. Back Swan Dress RRP $699 and Pink On Tuesdays Coat RRP $799
  2. Tickle Liars Top RRP $499 and Pin Leg Pant RRP $329
  3. Stripe Dream Coat RRP $799 and Stripe Issue Dress RRP $659 (right) and Trouble and Stripe RRP $659 and Birds of a Feather RRP $899
  4. Gina La Vida Dress RRP $749
  5. Back Swan Dress RRP $699 and Birds Together Coat RRP $799


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