Emma needs her clothes to work hard for her. As the Business Manager for EARL canteen, her days can be really varied; she goes from meeting with a client to potentially jumping in to make some coffee and then up into the kitchen. Her practical and easy style is shaped by her Kiwi upbringing and evolving tastes.
Being from New Zealand has influenced my style so much. I was young when I thought I might be interested in clothes, I started noticing what the grown-ups were wearing around eleven or twelve. One of my biggest influences was an Aunt who always looked amazing in some incredible European or Belgian something with textures and layers of black combined with that edgy Nom*D or Zambesi Kiwi look.
I went to the University of Otago in Dunedin and studied Law for my first semester, hated that and dropped out and switched to Clothing and Textile Science. I worked in fashion retail while studying and went on to work for a wholesaler so I’ve always been around clothes. Now I’m in Hospitality Management and my relationship with clothes has changed a little, I need pockets and clothes that don’t need dry cleaning.
There’s a particular look that’s said to be inspired by the weather in Dunedin. It’s freezing and grey and depressing and there’s a lot of Gothic architecture and there’s quite a creative buzz that stems from the bleakness. Melbourne has a similar vibe; both cities were founded at the same time and the weather can be just as bad. I do think that dreary weather inspires creativity, people are stuck inside tucked away thinking rather than being outside exploring the outdoors or enjoying the sunshine.
That NZ influence is consistent in my style. I love a bit of variety with what I wear, every day is a little bit different. Some days I can look a little corporate and some days it’s jeans and sneakers. Right now I’m going through an oversized phase, maybe because I’ve put on a bit of weight, which always helps me to experiment a little more.
I actually don’t know if that has more to do with my size or with getting older. Picking clothes is becoming a more considered process with getting proportions and balance right.
My favorites are Kowtow, bassike, Alpha 60, I have a love/hate thing with gorman, I own a lot of it but am aware of being out and seeing the same looks on other people. I love COS since it’s arrived in Melbourne, it has that minimal European look but it’s affordable. I still really love New Zealand labels, especially Nom*D, but it’s just so expensive!
I probably don’t spend as much now on clothes as I once did; shopping second hand at Mutual Muse is a great way to keep things fresh without spending a bunch. I can try out a new color or look without dedicating hundreds of dollars to it. I do try and buy ethically made clothing but that can get expensive. So, by recycling, I like to think I’m doing my bit.