I photographed Supriya not long before Level 4 lockdown!  At the time, we didn’t know what lay ahead. But we shared a lovely sunny moment talking about the differences between chasing trends and following ones own style compass…

“I have been involved in the fashion industry for some time, before coming to Nelson and my current role with Jens Hansen jewellers. When I was younger I was much more tuned in to fashion – whatever was trending and all of that. But I think I became tired of that. I mean, it’s never ending.  And after awhile it is well, just not that satisfying.  I now find and wear things I love, that are made with quality materials and will last – quirky things like this bag. At the time it was quite expensive but I am so glad I bought it. I’ve had it and loved it for 8 years. It’s by ‘Lost Not Lonely’. These days I tend to have a kind of uniform – similar things that I have in multiples, like long sleeved silk shirts, A-line skirts, shift dresses and cigarette leg trousers. They work for me, my style, my lifestyle and they make me feel good. My skirt is from Zara, and my shoes are by Veja”


You might miss the details of Nicky’s style, distracted by her purple hair and colourful style.  While these bold things are the more noticeable ones, I also love the way she pays attention to the with little things.  Like mismatched (asymetric) earrings, layers of silver and gold jewellery and fabulous frames…

“I try not to come into town too much at this time of the year.  All of the sales are just too much! I almost always buy things on special.  My onesie, shoes, bag and bangles were all bought on special.  The jacket was given to me, but I dyed it.  It was off-white and didn’t really excite me so I dyed it orange.  I will often do this, changing things that I have so that they are more interesting…  Yes I do think that my taste in clothes is more expensive than my budget allows.  So I will almost always buy things at sale time. High quality is important and I know what I like, but I just can’t afford it at full price.  My onesie is from Beacon Hill in Hope and my shoes were from Whitwells of Motueka”.


How strong is your individual ‘look’?  Do you have just one or many looks that make up your sense of style? Is it a constant or is it a work in progress?  There is no right or wrong answer here in terms of what will grant you style, it’s personal and it could be anything.  Judy and I talked a little about her look, and her strong, defined style that grants her a  sense of ‘rightness’ for each outfit.  I captured some of our conversation in this week’s style story…

“I don’t know if I really plan it as such, but when I got this dress out I knew what kind of a look I wanted to create.  The earrings, they couldn’t be delicate.  Fine earrings would have just disappeared.  They needed to be structured, block earrings.  They needed to go with the dress, which is a stiff, Japanese coated cotton that’s a bit ‘crunchy’.  Because it is a solid colour and quite architectural I thought the look needed a similar kind of an earring for balance.  So I made a pair out of sterling silver and oxidized them black.  The dress and shoes are from ESS Lab in Melbourne, a favourite shop of mine”.


I am quite sure that one of the common denominators of great style is knowing your likes and dislikes independent of fashion.  So it was great to have this idea affirmed in Laura’s answer to my question, “what is your ‘style why’?”

“My style “why” is just being myself and wearing whatever I like in that moment! I don’t read fashion magazines really or look at what’s trending. I like to feel like I’m presenting a part of my personality through my clothes, and I don’t question who I am… I do like colour. Red was a big thing for a while and now I gravitate more toward blues and greens. I love a little touch of vintage with each outfit but the era of choice always changes.  My jacket is a vegan leather jacket from Guess, and my jeans are a high-waisted Korean brand that I love. The earrings are by Ms. Marnie and they’re called “Mostly Peace and love with a little bit of Go F Yourself”! Yes, the 80s sparkly shirt is an op-shop find along with the shoes”.


What I love about this outfit most is the simple colour palette of caramel and white, unifying everything without appearing too matched or contrived.  I also love the way a pair of white canvas sneakers keeps things youthful and streetwise.  I always learn from Julie’s style…

“Yes, this is a new dress, from Country Road, from this summer’s range. I do tend to buy something fresh each season, to update what I have. It keeps me current, and it means my style is always evolving. It has changed in recent years, as I have learnt a lot from being involved with local fashion shows and shoots, like the recent Shine fundraiser for Hospice. When others style you, especially ‘the pros’, you see things differently and learn from them.  This has definitely changed how I dress an shop for clothes.  My bag is from Shine and my shoes were from Trouble and Fox”.


As I grow older, and my wardrobe evolves, I’ve learned to measure value in how much I truly love something, not its label, dollar value or history.  Just the heart of it, and how it makes me feel.  Stealing the words of Japanese lifestyle celebrity Marie Kondo, to keep only that which ‘sparks joy’ is my aim.  A similar theme emerges from Leone’s style story this week…

“I was really feeling my 80’s kid self today.  The stonewash jacket is one of half a dozen I have bought and traded over the years.  To me it’s such a quintessential piece of that decade. I know people who just can’t deal with it, but it’s true love for me!  My jeans are by ‘Junkfood’ which are a label that do my favourite high waist cut. The denim waistcoat has been a long standing member of my wardrobe and became a staple this year, paired with a striped long sleeve. My bat necklace? I paid just a $1 for it at the Nelson market. I got my shoes from Creswell’s in Blenheim and I absolutely adore them. I aim to love everything I own as much as those shoes. They were worth every penny”.

Anete Smith, Richmond Hospice

This month’s real style interview is with Anete Smith, Nelson Tasman Hospice Manager.

Anete and I met through my workshop ‘Second Hand Style – How to Develop the Fashion Eye’ run earlier this year.  As part of the workshop learning, a practical ‘hands on’ shopping experience was arranged at Anete’s Richmond Hospice store.  Anete and I quickly discovered a mutual love of treasure hunting, and passion for more sustainable and empowering-to-women values around fashion and style…

How did you become involved in the Hospice charity?

After a long career as a visual merchandiser for large corporate businesses I wanted to use my skills instead for a good cause. Hospice is close to my heart and I began managing shops for them in Auckland’s North Shore before moving to the Nelson area to manage the Richmond shop.  

What do you love most about it?

Everything!  Creating an enticing shopping environment, making lots of money for Hospice, and the variety of stock we get in – no day is the same.

Who or what inspires your personal style?

As I get older I love simple shapes and natural fabrics  – but when my wilder side comes out I look to Frida Kahlo for inspiration. Colour, Art and Love.

Piece of style advice or wisdom you would want  your younger self to have known?

Keep doing what you are doing and don’t let others impact your style. You look great!

What do you do to be more sustainable fashionably speaking?

I only buy second-hand now. I love the choice and find high street shops far less interesting and varied.

What can you tell us about your store and the proceeds from sales?

Richmond shop sells over 4000 items each month. We process much more than that though with about a 70:30 split of donations being sellable to non-sellable.  We can only sell good quality, clean and working items.  The money raised through the four shops is an integral part of raising the 45% shortfall in funding for Hospice.  We get only 55% of our funding from the local DHB, which means that the fundraising is critical to enabling Hospice to continue to provide services for  free.



One thing I’ve noticed about Brooke is that while there’s something very effortless and comfortable about her chic look, there is a precision and attention to detail too.  I wondered, how much forethought goes into her outfits and how she does she go about dressing each morning?

“I didn’t really pre-plan this outfit or think about it too much.  Usually I dress based on how I’m feeling that day, and what I will be doing.  Today was about comfort.  This dress is so easy to wear, and it has that 1990s Kate Moss thing going on – the strappy slip dress, the snake-skin print.  The rest was styled from there.  My blazer was a second-hand find, and my shoes were bought locally from that pop-up store in Morrison Square.  Gold and silver layers of fine necklaces, well they just worked with the colours.  No, I don’t think you need to compromise style for comfort.  I like to feel good about how I look, even when I’m aiming to be comfortable”


I have known Angela for many years now, the both of us involved in local fashion.  She has always had an independent style sense, one that is self-assured and confidently put together.  I caught up with her to find out more…

“I don’t really like to play too much by rules.  I like to mix things up and experiment with unexpected ideas.  I’ll always go with what feels right to me. Like, black isn’t really meant to be a colour for me, but does it really matter? I love this coat, the details especially, and it works wonderfully with my dress.  Yes, I like to challenge things, sometimes even throwing a hand-grenade to fashion convention. That’s the art of it, I think.   That said, I do think that there is a science aspect to dressing well too.  There are some clothing shapes and styles that just don’t suit certain body shapes, and you can’t get past that.  I do love Trelise Cooper, and yes this dress is hers.  I love her playfulness and rebellious use of fabrics, and even the way she names her garments with that same cheeky rebellion.  This dress is called ‘For Fox Sake”!  Just brilliant”

Just a small one…

…so that I have the space to figure out where the blog is going!  Life (read: ‘being a Mum, holding down a ‘day-job’, being a Fashion Editor for Wild Tomato, and being a blogger, and trying to stay healthy and sane’) has been a bit too full on of late, and I need some time to get my ship together.  I hope you’ll understand, and be there when I return in September.

Sonya xx