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Emma Barton in Brunswick: New Zealand Style and Evolving Tastes

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.

"I've always loved pairing a bit of High St fashion with my designer favourites." Alpha 60 tee w/ Glassons trench coat
"I've always loved pairing a bit of High St fashion with my designer favourites." Alpha 60 tee w/ Glassons trench coat

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.

Emma wears top: Gorman, pants: Kowtow, shoes: Zomp and necklce: Savers

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 KowtowbassikeAlpha 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.

Emma is wearing an Alpha 60 tee, bassike pants, and second hand shoes from Zomp via Penny Lane Exchange.
"I accidentally changed the colour on these shoes so I spent all day yesterday dying them this pink."
On her fingers, Emma is wearing left: Melanie Kastalidis from Pieces of 8, middle: local Dunedin designer, right: Julia Deville, and fitBit
I spy some gorman, gold Rollies, Birkenstocks, and those pretty Zomp brogues from Penny Lane.
Emma wears dress: Kowtow, leggings: King + Jones, sneakers: Spring Court, "I wear these shoes just about every day."
Emma is wearing pants+Marimekko top from Mutual Muse, bassike denim jacket
gorman and monk house design bags
Second hand bassike top from Mutual Muse, bassike pants, BNG necklace (Turkish)
This tea set came out with my Mum's Nana from England to NZ in the late 1800s.
top/pants: gorman, shoes: Rollie, glasses: Bailey Nelson
Tee: gorman, jacket: Max (NZ), pants: bassike, boots: Bared
Second hand Alpha 60 dress from Mutual Muse, layered over dress: Topshop, jeans: Uniqlo, boots: Bared
A close up of this BNG necklace from Turkey
"These boots are Maison Margiela and I found them way on sale, then loved them so much I bought a back up pair." dress: Claud Maus, jeans: Dr Denim, boots: Maison Margiela, vest BNG (Turkey)
Emma wears top: Gorman, pants: Kowtow, shoes: Zomp and necklce: Savers
"I did sort of notice as I was tidying my wardrobe for today there was a hell of a lot more print than there was five years ago. "

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171 Sydney Road, Brunswick
Monday-Saturday: 11-5
Sunday 11-4:30