We’ve all salivated over glorious editorial photoshoots, dreaming ourselves into a highly edited world of professional hair and makeup, the latest designer clothing, epic sets and post shoot retouching. But while we love the escapist power of fashion to take us into these other-worldly fantasies, we also understand that there is beauty in reality - and genuine interpretations of self-expression and personal style.
We wanted to see what would happen when we asked local fashion stylists to close their little black book of contacts - and instead cast themselves as the model, creative director and photographer. The images in this unique shoot are perhaps the most inspiring we’ve done yet; they are certainly the most intimate.
Produced safely under various Covid alert levels, at or around home without a ‘glam squad’ or professional photographer*, they also feature pieces pulled from their own wardrobes.
You’ll know the sometimes frustrating photo shoot credit “stylist’s own” - the shoot below is based on that premise, except this time, you can shop said items while also being inspired by these stylists' own interpretations.
*Okay yes, Serge and Karen certainly had a helping hand.
Crystal Lim is a model, stylist and developer with a fabulously theatrical sense of style, and an eye for striking beauty looks. Spending time outdoors while at home during level 4 in Tāmaki Makaurau, she dons a pair of Wixii cashmere fingerless gloves, $125, and a glass necklace, $195, by local jeweller Baobei.
In level 4, you find outdoor time when and where you can get it. Tautahi Subritzky hangs out on the astroturf installed at his Auckland apartment complex, wearing a full Zambesi ensemble - including a striking linen cotton camo print coat, $660.
Chloe Hill, at home with her family in Pōneke/Wellington during alert level 3, wears a Paris Georgia top (worn backwards), $297, with a made-to-order Molly Perkinsons silk mini skirt, $300, that was hand-quilted, line-by-line, in Mount Maunganui. Her necklaces are by local brands Spacey Gemz and Meadowlark, and her heels are Prada. Chloe is the founder of Cool Pretty Cool, and a champion of young NZ designers.
Karen Inderbitzen-Waller plays records at home in Papakura, one of her favourite lockdown pastimes. For the occasion she wears an ensemble that captures her unique style: a Karen Walker raincoat, $225, past season shirt and shorts, smart lace-ups, $395, and ankle socks, $40. And of course, a few Martino Gamper Arnold Circus stools.
Safely at home in level 4 with her family, including twin boys, Tori Ambler finds a moment of serenity while wearing a bias cut, lace-detailed Kate Sylvester slip dress, $299, with Commoners leather sandals, $115 (on sale).
Zoe Walker Ahwa on zoom in her bedroom-turned-office in her Auckland rental. The co-founder of Ensemble, and style editor of Stuff, wears a Twenty-seven Names collared blouse, $490, featuring a top-half detail that's perfect for all those zoom meetings.
Jess Molina describes herself as a storyteller, working across her own platform Loudly Quietly and her engaging Instagram account. She also loves a minimalist colour palette, and you’ll often find her wearing ensembles in black, white and beige. At home in Auckland with her family, she wears a Standard Issue zero-waste cotton tulle skivvy, $195, merino crop singlet, $60 (on sale), and merino pants, $369 - all made locally.
Stylist and designer Lucie Marquis also runs an online marketplace, offering her own printed T-shirts alongside a strong selection of vintage ‘archive’ pieces. Here, at home in Auckland, she wears a T-shirt, $60, featuring a scene photographed in Auckland’s inner city Hukanui Reserve, underneath a vintage pinstripe blazer, $125. The groovy beaded necklace is also vintage, and has inspired jewellery Lucie is currently working on.
While at home near the beach in Mount Maunganui, Olivia Renouf channels winter up top and summer down below in a knitted made to order balaclava by Aileen Chen and rash top, $130, and high-waisted bikini bottoms, $80, by local swimwear brand Fondu.
Serge is a mini fox terrier Pinscher who is often on set at fashion and advertising shoots with his owners, stylist/photographers Karen Inderbitzen-Waller and Delphine Avril Planqueel. Here, he is poolside at home wearing a Mr Soft Top printed workshirt, $45, with a past season Karen Walker scarf.
Auckland city apartment dweller Tau Subritzky, who works as a freelance stylist and with Zambesi, wears an oversized check shirt with three patch pockets, $595, from the brand’s latest collection that was set to be shown at the since postponed NZ Fashion Week.
Tori Ambler has her arms vaccination ready in a cosy Rachel Mills dress, $259, that was made entirely at the designer’s Mount Eden workroom, using deadstock fabric.
Why not dress up for your silly little walk? Karen Inderbitzen-Waller heads outdoors, safely, for a stroll with Serge, wearing a classic satin Helen Cherry dress, $629, and Isabel Marant over-the-knee boots, $1889.