Tag Archives: Toitu

The Last Post

At the end of March, our ceramic poppy from the iconic installation ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’ at the Tower of London, finally arrived. And thankfully in one piece! It was one of the 888,246 poppies we photographed back in September 2014, each poppy representing an individual British or Colonial soldier who had died in the First World War. Of these poppies, about 18,000 represented New Zealand lives lost.

Ceramic poppy from 'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red'

Ceramic poppy from ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’

Poppies at the Tower of London

Poppies at the Tower of London

Tower of London

Tower of London

Photo from Historic Royal Palaces series: Tower of London, Your piece of history

Photo from Historic Royal Palaces series: Tower of London, Your piece of history

Dunedin remembers …

Cenotaph, Queens Gardens

Cenotaph, Queens Gardens

Wall of knitted poppies at Toitu

Wall of knitted poppies at Toitu

We remember our own family who died at Gallipoli

Flanders dress by Karen Walker

Flanders dress by Karen Walker

Commemorative poppy necklace from the Birmingham Jewellery Quarter, England

Commemorative poppy necklace from the Birmingham Jewellery Quarter, England

First World War postcards including one sent from Camp Anglais, France (1918) by our great-grandfather, Hartley Taylor.

First World War postcards including one sent from Camp Anglais, France (1918) by our great-grandfather, Hartley Taylor.

 

This really is our last post. We’d sincerely like to thank all the lovely people we’ve featured and everyone who has followed us – it’s been a blast. Dunedin, keep on rocking it!

 

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A Conversation With Margi Robertson

An attentive audience gathered at Toitu last Thursday (28 March) to listen to a captivating question and answer session with Margi Robertson of NOM*d. We learnt about Margi’s mother’s cultural background (Russian but of Greek descent) and how her mother came to be living in Germany making uniforms for soldiers. Lucky for us, the family chose Margi’s birthplace, Central Otago, as a destination. The family moved to Dunedin when she was a baby. Margi was taught to sew ‘properly’ from an early age.

Margi during questions and answers.

Margi during questions and answers.

Margi and her husband Chris are a tight team and have both been there from the beginning of the business. He was sitting behind us at the Toitu talk and enthusiastically added the odd extra comment. We couldn’t resist repeating this photo from a previous post.

iD Designer Sale NOM*d fabric stall.

iD Designer Sale NOM*d fabric stall.

We learnt about the early days of the business, made possible by selling an MG car to raise the necessary capital. The first boutique, Hang-Ups, opened in Moray Place (now Mazagram) back in 1975 when rent was only $13 a week. Lack of space saw Hang-Ups move to The Exchange in 1976 and finally to the newly built Golden Centre (Dunedin’s first shopping mall) in 1978. However, foot traffic, mall-style, wasn’t their bag. In the meantime, the beautiful former Ernest Adams cake shop at 310 George Street came up for lease – a “fringy” part of town at that time. This became the first Plume. For many years the emphasis was on knitwear. However, when NOM*d were invited to London Fashion Week in 1998, they needed more than just knitwear. Being a keen op-shopper, buying up and reworking vintage pieces became the next stage.

Exhibit from the 2008 collection celebrating 21 years of NOM*d. It uses two reworked vintage cocktail dresses (one inside out) with a ‘Rollercoaster’ polo neck jumper and skinny pants underneath.

Exhibit from the 2008 collection celebrating 21 years of NOM*d. It uses two reworked vintage cocktail dresses (one inside out) with a ‘Rollercoaster’ polo neck jumper and skinny pants underneath.

Dress made from deconstructed vintage knitwear ('Stiff Upper Lip' AW07).

Dress made from deconstructed vintage knitwear (‘Stiff Upper Lip’ AW07).

Eventually, the pool of 1950s/60s cocktail dresses and other vintage pieces dried up. The emphasis then had to be on new pieces.

Margi has a fascination with gym slips and uniforms. Not exactly sure about the season – most likely to be from 'C'MON' (AW06).

Margi has a fascination with gym slips and uniforms. Not exactly sure about the season – most likely to be from ‘C’MON’ (AW06).

Margi loves the aesthetics of Japanese style (unashamedly black) and the grey tones of Antwerp in Belgium. Plume’s interior is also influenced by Japanese presentation (minimalistic and well organised).

Plume (March 2013).

Plume (March 2013).

Margi is drawn to tartans (nothing to do with Scotland), checks and ginghams. 'Panel Back Tunic' from 'Danse Macabre' (AW11).

Margi is drawn to tartans (not because of Dunedin’s Scottish heritage), checks and ginghams. ‘Panel Back Tunic’ from ‘Danse Macabre’ (AW11).

Margi talked about her design team whose premises are on Castle Street. The process starts with an idea or a picture and the collection name is generally decided at the end. Due to popular demand, there are far more dresses and far less trousers than in the past. Margi believes designers should stick to what they’re good at, in her case, womenswear rather than menswear or handbags. She doesn’t have a favourite past collection (each new one becomes her favourite).

Many of NOM*d’s fabrics are unique to them. 'Guide Skirt' from 'A Raven's Tale' (SS12/13). Fabric shows NZ icons and the words 'NOM DEALAND'.

Many of NOM*d’s fabrics are unique to them. ‘Guide Skirt’ from ‘A Raven’s Tale’ (SS12/13). Fabric shows NZ icons and the words ‘NOM DEALAND’.

Margi prefers screen printing to digital printing because she likes the imperfections and colour richness. She intends to continue having everything made in New Zealand. Different factories around the country specialize in producing different products, e.g. tees in Palmerston North, knitwear in Christchurch.

Horror Tees from 'Do Not Disturb' (AW12).

Horror Tees from ‘Do Not Disturb’ (AW12).

Thanks so much, Margi, for a fascinating insight into your world.

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iD Dunedin Fashion Week Roundup

There were so many events in Fashion Week it was impossible to get to all of them. Here’s a sample of some of the things we did attend.

Charlotte Smith Book Signing in the Golden Centre, Dunedin

Charlotte Smith, curator of the Darnell Collection, signs copies of her books 'Dreaming of Chanel' and 'Dreaming of Dior'.

Charlotte Smith, curator of the Darnell Collection, signs copies of her books ‘Dreaming of Chanel’ and
‘Dreaming of Dior’.

'Dreaming of Chanel' by Charlotte Smith

‘Dreaming of Chanel’ by Charlotte Smith

Thanks so much for encouraging our blog and yes, we certainly include vintage.

Thanks so much for encouraging our blog and yes, we certainly include vintage.

Meet Stephen Jones in the Golden Centre, Dunedin

Stephen Jones talks to admirers.

Stephen Jones talks to admirers.

It was lovely to meet you and thank you for signing the cards.

It was lovely to meet you and thank you for signing the cards.

Kimberleys Window, A Nod To Stephen Jones

iD Fashion Show

Adair and Tannia. The most stylish pair of the night – the Otago Daily Times thought so too. They are dressed entirely in vintage and Tannia runs an online vintage shop called 'Most Wanted'.

Adair and Tannia. The most stylish pair of the night – the Otago Daily Times thought so too. They are dressed entirely in vintage and Tannia runs an online vintage shop called ‘Most Wanted’.

Karen wears Kate Sylvester AW13 lipstick pants. We want them too.

Karen wears Kate Sylvester AW13 lipstick pants. We want them too.

Meet the Emerging Designers, Dunedin Public Art Gallery

Kathryn from the Otago Polytechnic Design Department wears dress made from fabric used by Annette Cadogan for her label 'Iris'. Kathryn's lovely matching shoes were bought on TradeMe.

Kathryn from the Otago Polytechnic Design Department wears dress made from fabric used by Annette Cadogan for her label ‘Iris’. Kathryn’s lovely matching shoes were bought on TradeMe.

‘Blue and Green Should Never Be Seen’ talk at Toitu Otago Settlers Museum

Dr Jane Malthus shared her pearls of wisdom about the psychology of colour, why the quality of 19th Century garments is so incredible and why purple/indigo is worn by the wealthy only – there is no synthetic form of it. She took us on a journey through fashion history: from the creation of dyes to the application of colour blocking. She also explains why blue and green should never be seen. Her reason was not based on fashion snobbery but because they clash on the colour wheel!

Dr Jane Malthus

Dr Jane Malthus

Selection of 1970s fabrics and dyes

Selection of 1970s fabrics and dyes

Selection of 1970s fabrics and dyes

Good example of yarn-dyed cloth from the 19th Century

On the Way to Musical Theatre, Saturday 16 March

We came across this group in York Place and couldn't resist asking them for a photo.

We came across this group in York Place and couldn’t resist asking them for a photo.

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