Fash-Shop: Playpark by Karen Walker

If you’re visiting Auckland, be sure to visit one of my favorite stores, Playpark by Karen Walker. The original Karen Walker store got a major uplift in 2011 and expanded its collection to include Karen’s favorite brands such as Topshop, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Chacarel, Fred Perry Laurel Wreath, Claire Vivier, Julie Rofman, Hillier, Hunter boots and many more. Located at the heart of Newmarket, I spent a great amount of time trying Karen Walker Summer 2012‘s Sea Monsters collection. Let’s just say I walked off happily with my new Karen Walker top – just in time for Chinese New Year!

Playpark by Karen Walker
6 Balm St, Newmarket, Auckland, New Zealand
Tel: +64 09 522 4286

Playpark by Karen Walker

Playpark by Karen Walker

Playpark by Karen Walker

Playpark by Karen Walker

images: Playpark by Karen Walker

Top 5 Shopping Picks in Wellington, New Zealand

After four trips to Middle Earth, I finally made my way to the “Middle of Middle-Earth“, the city of Wellington in New Zealand. I’ve heard nothing but good things about Windy Wellington (oh yeah, it’s the second windiest city in the world!). Take a walk down the fashion and also vintage shopping mecca, Cuba Street followed by Lambton Quay. Wellington’s central is compact enough that you can explore local cafes, restaurants and independent boutiques without taking public transport or car. To be honest, I’ve only explored the city central area but I’m sure there are some cool, undiscovered boutiques beyond the city. For starters, scroll down for my shopping picks in Wellington based on my own exploration:

Wellington: Good As Gold

Good As Gold is the best shop I’ve been to in Wellington (totally my cup of tea!). From Australian labels such as Shakahuchi to NZ labels such as Stolen Girlfriends Club, I just want to pick everything from the racks of Good As Gold. I absolutely fell in love with a Cameo dress and I went crazy over Something Else by Natalie Wood. Can you blame me? The best news is you can shop online at www.goodasgold.co.nz.

Good As Gold
120 Victoria Street
Tel: +64 4 381 4653

Wellington: Swonderful Boutique

I felt like I walked into Audrey Hepburn‘s wardrobe. Swonderful is affectionately named after a song in Funny Face. Started by mother & daughter duo (also designers of Papercup, a vintage-inspired fashion line), this boutique features a beautifully curated collection from emerging New Zealand designers. You’ll find some cute knick-knacks and jewellery in addition to the cute clothing. A must-visit. After that, you can stop by Fidel’s for a heart-stopping, yummilicious Snickers shake (recommended by a local!).

Swonderful241 Cuba Street
Te Aro, Wellington
Tel: +64 4 382 8638

Wellington: Iko Iko

If you’re looking for a kooky gifts for your friends or family, Iko Iko is the “very best little gift shop”. Beware, you might end up spending hours in here as you might find a quirky something for your work desk or room. A Mexican Wrestlers? Some Kiwiana Kitsch? I got myself a Fur Baby Jackalope for my work desk and a Cat DJ Scratching Deck for Coco (also available at Fred Flare).

Iko Iko118 Cuba Street
Te Aro, Wellington
Tel: +64 4 385 0977

Wellington: Madame Fancy Pants

Madame Fancy Pants is a cute little store along Cuba Street selling high quality, limited edition pieces that you must have! You will find a nice, eclectic mix of clothing, bags, accessories, stationary and even books by Frankie curated by owner and designer, Claire Terry.

Madame Fancy Pants
217 Cuba Street
Tel: +64 4 385 0830

Wellington: Rex Royale

Rex Royale is a fashion institution along Cuba Street. Started in 1997, Rex Royale stocked some of the best of Kiwiana and some times, the space hosts interesting exhibitions. Definitely worth checking out!

Rex Royale
106 Cuba Street
Tel: +64 4 802 5757

Love, Kiwi Land

If you’re wondering, “Where the bloody hell is X-Wen?” Well, I’ve been busy getting married (again!) in NZ and also touring the South Island for the past couple of weeks. As I’m typing this, my heart goes out to the Kiwis and everyone else in Christchurch. Be safe. Stay calm. Scroll down for a quick snapshot of what I’ve been up to in the most beautiful place in the world (then again, I haven’t been to a lot of places haha):

Collecting seashells from Mount Maunganui beach.

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