Monthly Archives: May 2013

What’s In Your Wardrobe? Abby Howells

Recently, we got to peek inside the closet of one of Dunedin’s up and coming acting talents, capping show star and style icon Abby Howells. Abby is no stranger to the Otago campus; she directed the most recent capping show (‘The Wizard of Capping Show’) and tutors theatre classes. Not only did she win a place in the Fortune Theatre Studio 4 x 4 Young Playwrights Initiative, but one of her plays ‘The Crash’ has been shortlisted for the Auckland Short + Sweet Theatre Festival. However, Abby isn’t always backstage; her most recent acting highlights include an impromptu performance for the Wellington Fringe Festival and this year’s ‘Orientadium’, in which she performed in front of 2500 students – that takes some guts! Last but certainly not least, Abby was proud of winning the ‘Best Comedy’ prize at the 2013 Dunedin Fringe Festival for leading her all-female comedy collective ‘Discharge’. When it comes to style, Abby is a great example of how to look amazing without spending a fortune. She showed us some of her quirky but feminine looks and shared some interesting anecdotes behind her style.

Abby wears a pinafore dress from Belle Bird, jacket bought online and shoes from Wild Pair.

Abby wears a pinafore dress from Belle Bird, jacket bought online and shoes from Wild Pair.

Abby fell in love with this gorgeous satin dress as soon as she saw it, and wore it to the post-capping show party. She had to win a 2am online bidding war to get the shoes while, at the same time, trying to finish her honours dissertation (in film and media). The effort was well worth it and the shoes look perfect with her dress.

Abby wears dress from The Cuckoo's Nest, one of her favourite shops.

Abby wears dress from The Cuckoo’s Nest, one of her favourite shops.

 

The brooch was given to Abby by her mum.

The brooch was given to Abby by her mum.

Abby loves all things vintage and wished she had lived during the 1950s when the emphasis was on femininity and elegance particularly the obsession with gloves and hats.

Abby wears a playing cards dress bought online and an op-shop cardigan (only $2.50). Abby loves op-shopping!

Abby wears a playing cards dress bought online and an op-shop cardigan (only $2.50).
Abby loves op-shopping!

After a couple of busy days performing at the Wellington Fringe Festival, Abby needed some retail therapy, so she visited Swonderful Boutique (on Cuba Street) and came away with this beauty!

Tea time: Abby certainly knows how to match prints. Her horse print shirt from Wales is teamed with a bird print skirt.

Tea time: Abby certainly knows how to match prints. Her horse print shirt from Wales is teamed
with a bird print skirt.

 

Abby's pinafore dress from Topshop teamed with a shirt bought online makes the perfect tutoring outfit for theatre class!

Abby’s pinafore dress from Topshop teamed with a shirt bought online
makes the perfect tutoring outfit for theatre class!

 

Smoking hot: Abby and a friend from her theatre troupe bought matching smoking jackets, hoping to wear them to a ladies night.

Smoking hot: Abby and a friend from her theatre troupe bought matching smoking jackets, hoping to wear them to a ladies night.

Recreating her iconic look: Abby and theatre buddy Trubie-Dylan Smith gave a recent performance called ‘Trubie and Abby Are Just a Bit Worried’. Audience members put forward their life problems for the dynamic duo to solve through impromptu acting.

The Wardrobe

The Wardrobe

Thanks Abby. It was so much fun raiding your closet!

 

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What Are You Wearing May II?

We have snow! Lots of it. But, here are some Dunedinites enjoying the sunshine and blue skies that we had only a few days ago. As usual, we focus on local and national designers, not forgetting the vintage and retro.

Hazel and Anthony. Hazel wears Stolen Girlfriends Club top and flower, NOM*d socks, op-shop college jacket and Doc Martens. Anthony wears op-shop jersey and Stolen Girlfriends Club top.

Hazel and Anthony. Hazel wears Stolen Girlfriends Club top and flower, NOM*d socks, op-shop college jacket and Doc Martens. Anthony wears op-shop jersey and Stolen Girlfriends Club top.

Zoe wears op-shop (Butterflies and Toffs).

Zoe wears op-shop (Butterflies and Toffs).

Jessica wears Phizacklea dress from Design Withdrawals.

Jessica wears Phizacklea dress from Design Withdrawals.

Sophie and Pai. Sophie wears a selection of online and high street items. Pai wears dress by Max.

Sophie and Pai. Sophie wears a selection of online and high street items. Pai wears dress by Max.

Georgia from Slick Willy's wears Salasai dress and Stolen Girlfriends Club necklace.

Georgia from Slick Willy’s wears Salasai dress and Stolen Girlfriends Club necklace.

Kerey and Nikki wear op-shop.

Kerey and Nikki wear op-shop.

Jeanise wears jacket and skirt from a designer boutique in Alexandra.

Jeanise wears jacket and skirt from a designer boutique in Alexandra.

Jenny and Hannah. Jenny wears orange blouse from Toffs and skirt made by herself from op-shop ties. Hannah wears cardigan from Toffs and op-shop items.

Jenny and Hannah. Jenny wears orange blouse from Toffs and skirt made by herself from op-shop ties. Hannah wears cardigan from Toffs and op-shop items.

NB: Sorry if we’ve spelt anyone’s name wrong. Please let us know and we will correct it.

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Customised Converse by Philip James Frost X Company of Strangers: Launch Event, 24 May

Company of Strangers really know how to throw an event and this one was no exception. Fashion and art collided when Sara Aspinall collaborated with Philip James Frost to produce a range of customised Chuck Taylors, hand-decorated by the artist himself. Each pair is unique with some pairs featuring the signature Coca Cola print. Stylish guests enjoyed the punch and the delicious nibbles, and a good time was had by all. Thanks to the lovely people at Company of Strangers for being such attentive hosts.

High Top Chuck Taylors with Coca Cola print

High Top Chuck Taylors with Coca Cola print

Philip James Frost (left) and fellow artist Craig Freeborn

Philip James Frost (left) and fellow artist Craig Freeborn

Katy of Company of Strangers with artwork by Philip James Frost

Katy of Company of Strangers with artwork by Philip James Frost

 

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The Shifting Sands Music Video Release Party, Chicks Hotel, Port Chalmers, Friday 17 May

Not having previously attended a video release party, we didn’t know what to expect. But, we were in for a treat with The Shifting Sands playing at the top of their game. To kick off the evening, the Dunedin trio Trick Mammoth played a lively set. The flower-adorned stage paid tribute to the band’s first demo collection ‘Floristry’. The spirit of a youthful Morrissey lives on. This was followed by the first public viewing of the ‘Let’s Go Down’ (from album ‘Feel’) video created by Dunedin artist Veronica Brett in less than 8 days. For this, she used the experience gained from making a more-complicated and equally amazing video for the song ‘Worth Our While’ which we also watched (it’s on YouTube). We were blown away by her creativity and the quality of the animations. Finally, The Shifting Sands confidently took the stage and played a selection of tracks from their ‘Feel’ album and some new material from their forthcoming album ‘Cosmic Radio Station’. It was their finest performance to date – accomplished, high energy, space-rock at its best. Absolutely loved the tempo and vocals on ‘Tonight’. Hope you’re going to make a video for that track too, Veronica.

The Shifting Sands. From left: Michael McLeod, Jake Langley, Tom Bell.

Michael McLeod

Drummer Jake Langley

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Trick Mammoth. From left: Sam Valentine, Millie Lovelock, Adrian Ng. Millie wears blouse from The Modern Miss and trousers from Wild Pair.

Millie Lovelock

Adrian Ng

Sam Valentine

‘Let’s Go Down’ video created by Veronica Brett.

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‘Pixies’ (from ‘Feel’ album) video created by Port Chalmers sculptor Jim Cooper (on YouTube).

‘Worth Our While’ video created by Veronica Brett.

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The Prophet Hens Roost at Taste Merchants (36 Lower Stewart Street)

Taste Merchants ticks all the boxes for the perfect Friday night out where you can get up close and personal with some of Dunedin’s best bands while sampling quality craft brew from Castle MacAdam Wine Shop next door. By night, this daytime cosy cafe/wine tasting room is transformed into an edgy underground gig venue. Not surprisingly, owner Darren Stedman drums for local band The Prophet Hens. So who are the Prophet Hens? Lineup: Karl Bray (guitar/vocals); Penelope Esplin (keys/vocals); Robin Cederman (bass) and Darren Stedman (drums). The band name is based on a 19th century myth in which the ‘prophet’ hen lays eggs with messages about the second-coming. Last Friday, the band performed a lively, eclectic mix of their new material, supported by G.A.G.

Taste Merchants

The Prophet Hens

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G.A.G.

Penelope and Karl from The Prophet Hens. Penelope wears homemade dress. Karl wears vintage military jacket from the Cold War era.

James Bellamy with his ‘Skull Void’ painting.

Kirsty wears Carlson jacket and Max skirt.

Linda wears dress by Foil. Artwork by James Bellamy.

Kathryn wears Glassons.

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Fabulous Finds 4

Cape with faux fur trim ($14) – Butterflies Hospice Shop, 14 Hanover Street

Lele kowhai flower pendant ($54) – Salisbury Boutique, 104 Bond Street

Folk print woven dress ($9.50) – Toffs, Princes Street

Dust & Dandelions rabbit pendant ($25) – OUSA Market Day, University of Otago

Bag made from paper straw ($3) – Butterflies Hospice Shop, 14 Hanover Street

Vintage mod cap ($45) – Purple Rain, 403 Princes Street

Lace leggings ($4) – Butterflies Hospice Shop, 14 Hanover Street

Lounge Lover dress from ‘Trans-Europe Express’ Hiver 2008 by World ($24) – TradeMe

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Viva the Vintage Dress Company

Long time Dunedinites won’t have forgotten the quirky little vintage shop, Picket Fence, tucked away in a labyrinth of rooms and corridors near the Regent Theatre. Even though the shop is no longer there, owner Sharon Bratton now sells her beautiful vintage pieces online through the Vintage Dress Company. Over to you Sharon.

I am the owner of the Vintage Dress Company, and also a fashion stylist, based in the very stylish city of Dunedin. My online store specialises in one-off fabulous vintage dresses which I source myself from overseas. All of the dresses are hand picked for their combinations of fine detailing and exquisite tailoring. Gorgeous colourful fabrics that hail back to an era of glamour and sophistication! Owners of these dresses love the way these garments can be worn to suit their modern lifestyle, combined with contemporary accessories and footwear. The store can be visited on www.vintagedress.co.nz, and we offer free shipping to anywhere in NZ!

The online store was launched in September 2012, and my fascination with vintage goes back to 2002 when I owned a small vintage store called Picket Fence. I am looking forward to my next buying trip mid June, so the online store will be brimming with lovely new beauties soon.

Local clients are also welcome to visit Vintage Dress Co. headquarters by arrangement should they want to try before they buy!

I love being able to offer lovers of vintage such a wide range of styles and sizes, and there is such a thrill in sending off a dress to begin a new life somewhere new!”

 

Blue Daisy Dress

Blue daisy dress

Blue Sailor Dress

Blue sailor dress

Pink & Brown Spot Dress

Pink and brown spot dress

Sharon Bratton in vintage from VDC

Sharon Bratton in vintage from VDC

We were lucky enough to be fellow stallholders at a vintage fair in 2011 which gave us the opportunity to look at Sharon’s garments up close. The items are so immaculate that you’d honestly think they were brand new. This is what we bought.

 

Pansy print pussy-bow blouse

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Partyup at Purple Rain Café

Owners of Purple Rain Cafe, Debbie and Frits, have transformed their basement into a dazzling retro function room which can easily accommodate 40 people! Even though it is lavishly decorated with authentic retro collectables, it retains a cosy but spacious ambience. It proved to be the perfect place for hosting a retro-themed birthday party. Purple Rain also did the catering and the food was out of this world. From prawn twisties to mini chocolate mousses, it tasted as good as it looked. Frits, you’re an ace DJ!

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Clare and Jon straight out of the 60s/70s.

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Christianne and son Max.

DJ corner

Jess channels the 20s with her great-grandmother’s fur stole and handbag.

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Anthea and Dan swing with the 60s.

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Jess captures the 80s.

Phil and Viv go Hollywood glam.

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What Are You Wearing May I?

Autumn leaves, vibrant hair, exotic prints and a touch of black.

Hannah

Hannah wears Max top and vintage pants.

David wears op-shop and a hat from Turkey.

Ginny wears Karen Walker skirt from Belle Bird.

Callum and Jahleua wear op-shop and Free Shop clothing.

Alice wears shirt from Toffs.

Isaac and Rosie

Isaac and Rosie. Isaac wears op-shop. Rosie wears her grandmother’s kimono, SaveMart coat and leggings by Rachel Blackburn.

Kerryn wears NOM*d cardigan, SaveMart top, customised shorts, Farmers tights and Doc Martens.

Emily wears op-shop including pants from the Salvation Army Shop, Queenstown.

NB: Sorry if we’ve spelt anyone’s name wrong. Please let us know and we will correct it.

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Return of the Darkroom: Photography by Abby Smith

While many commercial photographers are throwing out their negatives and chemicals, photographer Abby Smith, who now calls Dunedin home, has taken up the challenge of returning to traditional methods.

In Abby’s own words:

“I moved to Dunedin 3 months ago from Phnom Penh, Cambodia, to study visual arts at Otago Polytechnic. I have always been particularly drawn to portrait photography for that spark of human interest, and seek to represent it with my own personal aesthetic. The other half of my obsession with photography is film and retro cameras – it’s a tragedy that film is going out of style and up in price here in New Zealand, I prefer it to digital and humbly hope to breathe some new life into it with my work. I’m loving Dunedin so far – so many new friends and faces which always inspire me to pick up a camera!”

 

“Street 51”, colour 200 film, 2011

Visions

“Vision”, colour 200 film, 2011

Generational

“Generational”, colour 200 film, 2011

Wisdom in its Early Days

“Wisdom in its Early Days”, black & white 400 film, 2010

Untitled

“Untitled”, colour 200 film, 2010

Post Brain Injury I

“Post Brain Injury I”, scanned image, 2011

Post Brain Injury II

“Post Brain Injury II”, digital photograph, 2012

Remembering a Dream

“Remembering a Dream”, colour 200 film, 2011

Abby wears cardigan, top and hat from North-East Valley Salvation Army Shop, op-shop pants and belt from a Cambodian market.

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