Miles of style
“Something just catches your eye and it’s cool,” says Alice.
“And you think, oh, she’s got style,” adds Philippa. “We are influenced by Wellington culture.”
Particularly the student look, agree the two 24 year olds, both fresh out of Massey and entering their third year in business.
“We’re driven by the music scene, Mighty Mighty, Cuba Street and everything that’s happening here,” says Alice, citing 90s grunge as a defining look “even though our stuff always ends up looking really cutesy and girly,” she adds.
The pair stitch about half their pieces in Philippa’s childhood rumpus room turned workshop. Others are manufactured at Stitch Products in Porirua, and all range in price from $120 to $400.
Already their dresses, shirts, jackets and other pieces are stocked at Salisbury Boutique in Dunedin, Guilty as Sin in Hawke’s Bay and Palmerston North, and Rex Royale in Wellington. The lower price to enter the show, plus sponsorship opportunities, made Wellington Fashion Week more accessible to them than Auckland’s New Zealand Fashion Week, where they showed their first collection in 2010 after winning a Westpac sponsored competition.
As young designers, they envision a more accessible, less elite future for fashion.
“In New Zealand it’s much more down to earth,” says Philippa. She says she’s more influenced by fashion blogs like Sartorialist than a Louis Vuitton magazine spread.
“We’d love to stay in Wellington,” Alice says.
Philippa agrees, adding, “Everyone seems to think everything is up in Auckland, but a big chunk of New Zealand designers are from Wellington and moving up there. Wellington Fashion Week could change that.”