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
Wellington
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
Wellington
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
Wellington
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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Fash-Blogger: Auckland Street Style

Here’s a new blogger in town from Down Under: Auckland Street Style. I’ve been to Auckland a few times now. I love the city – it’s relaxing actually. Unfortunately, I’ve not spent enough time to observe the street style in this lovely city. It’s nice to be inspired by the relaxed city peeps – a breath of fresh air if you ask me. Here are some stylish Aucklanders who are seen without their ‘jandals’ and board shorts:

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images: Auckland Street Style

Shopping Hopping: Auckland, New Zealand

Spare me! This is a very belated blog post about my shopping adventures in Auckland, New Zealand over the Christmas break in 2008. Better late than never! Tokyo has raised the ‘shopping’ bar up so high – it is literally incomparable with other major Australasian cities I’ve ever been to. However, I do like to discover local labels in every city I visit. Auckland is not a major shopping hub but there are many little boutiques, shopping lanes that intrigue me. I wish I had more time in Auckland – rather than day trips. So far, here are some of my favourite boutiques or labels from down under:

Glassons is always my first stop whenever I go to NZ. Think Topshop but more affordable. I was fortunate that the SGD was higher than the NZD during my trip in December!

This Glassons black one-shoulder dress was only NZD$20 on Boxing Day!

For indie NZ fashion, do check out Storm or Zambesi. I’m such a fan!

I love this silk dress which I tried at Storm, but too pricey! And, dry cleaning is alot of work.

Route 66 calls itself “The Ultimate Jeans Store”. Of course I didn’t buy a pair of jeans. They also carry alot of other labels which I have never seen before. Interesting stuff.

I got this Ketz-Ke top, it’s the most comfortable ever!

Other boutiques worth checking out in Auckland includes the following:

Kate Sylvester – one of the hottest, quirkiest NZ fashion designers.

Moochi is a NZ fashion label which defines “everyday cool”.

The Qubic Store celebrates streetwear, sub-culture, sneakers – you get the pic.

Annah Stretton is one of NZ’s top fashion designers and labels.

I’ll put together a more comprehensive shopping guide to Auckland, New Zealand after much research and guilt-free shopping – the next time. Tomorrow is a public holiday! HURRAH to the long weekend! I’ve got a wedding to attend and play bridesmaid for the first time. EXCITING STUFF! Photos to come :)

Camping in Style!

I just found out that we’ll be going camping for New Year’s Eve & New Year’s at Te Araroa in New Zealand. I don’t even know where the heck this place is – it seems like it is a trail. There are camping sites or holiday parks wher you can pitch your tent and party all night long (or I would like to think so). The funny thing is, I didn’t quite pack any camping gear. I haven’t camp since what 2001? I’m as good as a camping virgin. What do I wear and bring? Yikes.

I know it’s summer in NZ but Stella McCartney for Adidas running range seems very chic.

I need a windbreaker. NZ wind just gives me the chills.

Bright blue? I’m all for it! I think I might need to pack my shoes or Crocs!

A black & white “chi-chi” tent is awesome! My boy is prolly rolling his eyes now.

Prima Crocs are a must! I have these purple ones – judge me, whatever.

Well, my list is pretty short. I’m leaving the planning and packing to the boys.

NZ Designer: Karen Walker Eyewear

I’ve been eyeing Karen Walker Eyewear since my last trip to NZ. They’re different, eccentric and full of awesomeness. This eyewear collection is by one of NZ’s best-known fashion designers as Karen Walker recreates the “Nicole Richie” look with over-sized sunnies. Her quirky style has brought this designer to new heights since showing her collection at Australia, London and New York’s Fashion Weeks. The Karen Walker Eyewear line of whimsical sunnies was launched in October 2005. No doube the collection was sold out in two weeks. Talk about funky sales!

source: Karen Walker Eyewear

Cherry Tagged Me!

I MISS NZ. I MISS BLUESKIES.

I know, I know. I’ve been procrastinating on tags. Haha, I always feel so honored when someone tags me. Thanks to Nicole from Cherry Magazine who tagged me on this one. Hee, my problem is tagging people – because they’re more likely to reject my tagging. It’s like playing a game and nobody else is playing with you. Anyway, I traveled back home over the long weekend to see my family, chill out and eat good food. I had a mini adventure getting lost while trekking in the rainforest with Bubster. Other exciting stuff like getting barked at by wild dogs, encountered a wild boar (very cute actually!) and eaten alive by gazillion mosquitoes. Bubster reckoned I’m not his ideal Amazing Race partner. Boo. OK, let’s get to business with the tagging questions:

1. Where do you go to work? (which country, what course, etc.)

I’m currently doing Marketing and PR at an American University in Singapore (haha, should I even name it?). I like the multicultural environment and the people. I met some interesting creative individuals here whom I prolly won’t have the chance to meet anywhere else. I’m also writing for channelnewsasia.com (in particular, movie and concert reviews). I’m also studying a part-time RMIT-SIM Mass Communication degree on top of everything else. Part-time studying is not fun, seriously. It drains you out like tap. Nothing exciting, really. No fancy schools. I’m still paying my own fees from my own pocket. Maybe that’s why I still don’t own any Marc Jacobs.

2. Where do you shop most? (Shop and directions/address)

Hmm. Orchard Road? I’m quite a lazy shopper. I normally go to ZARA, FCUK, Topshop, MNG, Esprit, Warehouse, Calvin Klein, Spin The Bottle – simply because they’re so much more accessible. And, I can be guaranteed good quality and fair price (I don’t like getting ripped off, hehe). You won’t catch me in Haji Lane very often even though I live pretty nearby! Occasionally, I buy homebrands such as Depression (Far East Plaza #04-41) and Swirl. You can catch me at The Cathay every week – I hang out there alot. Haha.

3. Which band/singer do you listen to the most? Why?

I listen to alot of different music. My favourite music genre is definitely indie, alternative rock (in particular, Brit-rock). Bands such as The Beatles, Radiohead, The Pixies, Arctic Monkeys, Gorillaz, Oasis, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Blur, The White Stripes, Kings of Leon, Mogwai, The Libertines, Bob Dylan, David Bowie and the list goes on. I also listen to a little electronic (Kraftwerk, anyone?), pop (I love Madonna, sue me), hiphop (recent influence by a crazy friend who’s into the ‘real’ deal like Beastie Boys) and haha, Miles Davis (also, a recent influence by a faculty member) and oh, Edith Paif. Why? Because music is the juice of my soul.

4. What do you often do in your free time?

Stone. Do nothing. Well, I hardly get any free time – and when I do, I sleep. I like read magazines by the pool. Sometimes, I catch up with friends over a cuppa. I’ll read blogs on my Google Reader. And, watch movies and lotsa lotsa TV shows. Man, I think I’m watching wayyy too much TV sometimes. Or, I go travelling – if the bank permits.

OK, the tagging starts now!

1. Bingboompia (I love saying it!) from TraiT

2. Dinie (Posh Palette) from T4JoTR

3. Jo & Sarah from Wottoncool

4. Melly from Greenlaundry

5. Rose from Rose Is Me

Air NZ Fashion Week 2008: Coco PR Streetwear

Just a quick recap on Air New Zealand Fashion Week 2008: Fashion PR company Coco PR showcased four of their street labels such as Doosh, Fourfontaine, Crowded Elevator and Moneyshot during the Coco PR Streetwear show. This is definitely not high-end so it may seem odd that these mini collections actually qualify for the runway. However, it does give you an idea of some hot streetwear from down under – yo!

Doosh

Doosh opens the show with a range of womenswear that features “silver leggings, casual dresses, lots of denim and easy to wear separates”. The menswear “was much stronger, with check shirts, rolled hems jeans and sweaters worn in a similar way to The OC‘s Seth Cohen” – I like.

Fourfontaine

Here we have, the more relax, casual collection. Fourfontaine showcased cute dresses, printed tees, preppy socks and etc. Nothing to shout about but I like the mix of colors and minimal layering.

Crowded Elevator

Hello hippie headbands. Crowded Elevator flashes its “printed tees on acid – diamonds, psychedelic scissors and feathers” and also interesting prints. Definitely street chic, in my opinion.

Moneyshot

I see plaid, funky prints, bright colours and hoodies. It seems like colorful sunnies are not going away anytime soon. Moneyshot is for the bold, stylish man that wants to be seen.

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Air NZ Fashion Week 2008: The Underdogs

Hail the fashion underdogs! I didn’t blog about New York Fashion Week or London Fashion Week because everyone is blogging about it! You don’t need another blog telling you how amazing Marc Jacobs‘ collection is. Right now, I’m turning everyone’s attention to Air New Zealand Fashion Week, NZ’s most glamorous event. It’s not as fashion-forward, or innovative as the big boys of fashion week – but you might find some gems hidden down under. Here are my favourites so far from Day One and Day Two:

Alexander Owen

Deborah Sweeney

Nom*D

Trelise Cooper

Twenty Seven Names

Verge Breakthrough Show

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You’ve Got Mail!: Birthday Gift #2

I haven’t had the best couple of days and Bubster cheered me up this morning with a surprise package from his mum, dad and grandma! YEAH! More pressies! It was really sweet of them to send me an early birthday present from NZ. I really love the wrapper as well – pink and stilletos! What could it beee?

I’ve got a red bag, a pretty floral print dress from Jay Jays, a pink flower necklace from Karma (Silver Moon) and the most adorable birthday card! I miss Bubster’s parents and grandma – his grandma is soo cool, and full of life. I wanna be her at her age – traveling, shopping and all. She loves shopping too – haha.

Here’s a closeup of the necklace and the floral print. Simple, but sweet.

I know, I shouldn’t open up my presents until my birthday – which is about 1.5 week away. This is such an appropriate card! I squealed when I saw the pug princess. Inside the card says, “It should happen EVERY DAY! Happy Birthday” Yes, I want to be spoiled, pampered and treated like royalty every single day. HINT. At least for my birthday month.