Tessa J

I met Tessa behind the scenes at a Shine fashion show.  I was instantly struck by her independent yet well developed sense of fashion, which I admire.  This is less common in younger women, and so I am very much looking forward to photographing Tessa as part of the real style project…

“I would say my style is generally quite casual with a slight boho flair. I enjoy combining more modern pieces with second hand items, including those pinched from Mum’s wardrobe! The blouse and belt I am wearing are both about thirty years old and I found them in her wardrobe.  Of course I love the fact that they have the sentimental value, being Mum’s, but also the colours and print of the shirt are beautiful when you look closely. Also, despite their age, both pieces are in perfect condition, being really high quality and well looked after.  That is probably the most prominent lesson learnt in the last few years – Buy pieces that you really love and buy quality that you know will last.  Disposable fashion is definitely not the future!  Fashion is important to me because I like to feel comfortable and confident in myself, and what I wear makes a big difference.  I also love art and see clothes and jewelry as an extension of this”.

My Style

This outfit is one I’d like to think of as a ‘grown up’ outfit.  To me, it’s very sensible, and in keeping with the expectations of how I ought to dress.  Not necessarily boring (I hope!), grown up dressing for me is about playing by the rules.  Social-cultural ones, the unwritten ones that relate to our age, peer group and place of work.  Fitting in.  That said, I’d like to think that although it’s not very adventurous, it’s still very ‘me’ and has that essence of individuality that I admire in others…

Styling Notes

I chose to work my colour palatte from the silk top.  I wore a pink lip-stick (a rarity!) and  a green cardigan, which are accent colours in the silk print.  My anchor colour was black (shoes, earrings, bag) and grey is a natural companion this, perfect for my pants.

My earrings were really the statement piece for this outfit – they are Ronja Schipper earrings, that I purchased from Nelson’s Red Gallery.  They are made from re-cycled bicycle inner tubes!  It is rare that I buy spontaneously, but when I saw these I was struck by how clever and beautiful they are.  Once in a while, it’s good to follow your heart, and these earrings are a heart piece.

Give recognition to pieces that for whatever reason speak to your heart.  Filling your wardrobe with ‘heart’ items will guarantee you a fabulous personal style

My bag is an old favourite, although it is starting to show signs of serious wear and tear! I love it for many reasons, most of all that it is a vintage crocodile-skin handbag from the 1950s (an educated guess).  I had the chain strap added for practicality.  I like to be hands free!  Sometimes the signs of wear actually add value to me.  They say ‘authenticity’ and ‘character’ and I rate these two values highly.

Both my cardigan and my silk top were purchased from Shine, the silk top by Nelson designer Julian Danger.  My trousers are also by a Nelson Designer Liann Bellis, a designer who features well in my wardrobe.  However cheekily, I was actually  lucky to  pick these babies up second-hand!  My bag was purchased some years ago from Tula & Niles (no longer running, but cute in its day), and my shoes are ballerina flats that I found at Hannah’s.  As noted, my earrings were from Red Gallery, and my greenstone ring is a vintage piece I discovered at Eclectic.



Catherine and I talked about her recent trip overseas and how the right outfit really can help us to feel more elegant, stylish and beautiful.  Like this week’s ensemble, one bought in Rome, which makes her feel a million bucks.  And it really does show, as the photos prove…

“It certainly is an experience, shopping in some of those high-end designer stores overseas.  Many of them have doormen, that are a bit like bouncers I suppose!  Very intimidating.  And when we were there I was always dressed as a tourist, with sneakers and jeans.  Not really a picture of their typical customer!   But the assistant in the shop was incredibly helpful and the outfit is just perfect in so many ways.  The fit, styling and quality of the workmanship is amazing.  I honestly feel transformed in it.  It is from Dolce & Gabanna!  My husband adores their marketing imagery, their campaign.  I am not so sure this outfit screams ‘Dolce & Gabanna’, but I plan to have it forever.  No, the earrings are not from them, but you are right, they could be!  I got them here in Nelson, from Shine”

Morrison Styles

Ligliana Garwood, Merric Sales Assistant

I know of Ligliana through her daughter Isabella, who modelled for Admire magazine when I was Fashion Editor there.  Both Isabella and Ligliana are stunning, naturally photogenic women, although Ligliana is not convinced and needs to be reminded of this!  She was a reluctant style subject, but as I am sure you will agree, she shouldn’t be…

“I have always loved fashion.  I have Italian heritage and a love of style is a big part of my upbringing and culture. From an early age I would raid my older sister’s wardrobe for clothes.  She was a couple of years older than me, and some of her things were much cooler than mine!  So it isn’t that surprising that I have long been involved in fashion retail.  I really do enjoy what I do.  I especially love talking and interacting with customers, helping them and getting to know them a little bit.  The best buzz is when someone comes in asking for ‘this, that and something else’, and I can go and find pieces for them.  I like to help them with outfit styling, and in making choices that are the best for them. It really is fantastic when you feel you’ve made someone happy and made a positive difference, however small.”

Ligliana wears top ($39.99), 7/8 stretch pants ($49.99), and black mesh tie up jacket ($29.99), all from Merric at Morrison Square.  Her necklace ($15.00) and ring ($10.00) are also from Merric.

My Style

I love my dungarees.  I wish I had discovered them sooner than 43 years into my life.  They make me feel youthful, boyish, and nerdy but cute.  And happy! Clearly these adjectives are good ones for me and my personal style.  They resonate with me.  Along with a pair of Doc Martens, a vintage blazer and a button up blouse, I feel ready to take on anything or anyone…

Styling Notes

This look revolves around the dungarees.  They are made from a velvety corduroy and I bought them purposefully on ‘the big side’.  Being a little loose, they are more flattering and have plenty of room for layers.  The opaque tights are essential – you won’t catch me wearing shorts of that length without them!

I love the white button-up shirt underneath.  It is such a clean, crisp combination that hints at some kind of school uniform.  My new black Doc Marten shoes were a perfect match for this nerdy vibe, as were the geeky glasses.

Style tip:  Neutral colours always work well together!  They also help to moderate more quirky or adventurous styles

My colour palatte was intentionally neutral, so to moderate the quirky look of the dungarees.  And to further raise it up to a level acceptable for the office, I chose to wear a more structured blazer. In this case, I went for a retro early 1990s one bought from a charity shop not so long ago.  The tan and black tweed colour combination is classic, and the golden tan-coloured tones of the blazer connect well with subtle details of other pieces in my look: the gold stitching on my Docs, the leather patch on my dungarees and my golden watch-pendant.

I didn’t plan it, but interestingly my bag, dungarees and white blouse were all purchases from Trouble & Fox.  My Doc Marten shoes were a very recent find from an shoe sale pop-up shop in the Richmond Mall.  I couldn’t believe my eyes when I found them – they are a pointed toe, classic leather style and the only pair left was my size!  My blazer was borrowed from my Trade Me shop.  I struggled to sell it, interestingly.  Such a find, and so perfect with this outfit.  Finally, my glasses are Age Eyewear frames from Matthews Eyewear and my watch pendant an Eclectic find.

Morrison Styles

Kendyl Fouhy, Moochi Store Manager

I have known Kendyl for many years now, having worked with her on fashion editorial shoots as a make-up artist for Wild Tomato magazine.  And I think I have a mild case of girl crush on her!  Her bubbly, positive personality is infectious, and she is a boon for Morrison Square’s new Moochi Store, as Store Manager.  Her style is pretty fabulous too…

“Yes, I have always loved fashion! As a kid, I loved playing dress ups. From letting my big sister dress me in my mums clothing and lippy, to going through that ‘tom-boy’ stage.  I cut all my hair off and only shopped at Hallenstein’s. From that extreme, I spent my 20s working with designer fashion and with a fashion makeup brand. I do love Moochi!  It’s a label that lets me be whoever I want to.  The style is classic and clean and the base of everything. From there, I can build whatever I want. I can go from a black, minimalistic and slick look, to a T-shirt, jeans and kicks style. As I get older, I’m much more interested in investing in pieces that I will keep for years.  Moochi is perfect for that”.

Kendyl’s slip ($289), denim jacket ($299), cropped top ($199), handbag ($229), shoes ($329), earrings ($69.99) and scarf (on handbag, $79.99) are all available from Nelons’s Moochi store at Morrison Square.





Morrison Styles

Angela Moss, Hartley’s Retail Assistant

I have known Angela for many years, as she has worked in fashion retail for some time.  However, I never knew her story.  I didn’t know about her genuine passion for clothes, and family history in dress-making.  It’s fantastic to be able to photograph her style and to find out a little more about the women behind the clothes….

“I have always loved fashion, and you could say that it is in our family.  We were tobacco farmers from the Motueka Valley, but my parents were a little unusual for the local culture in that they loved the arts, and encouraged the same in us.  My mother and my grandmother were very skilled dressmakers.  I had the most amazing outfits, beautifully coordinated and expertly made.  My mother always dressed impeccably, and had the most incredible outfits.  I regret that we didn’t keep some of them!  Being involved in fashion retail was quite natural for me I suppose you could say.  I do love clothes very much, and what I am wearing today, from Hartley’s is very me, very easy to wear.  Beautiful”

Angela wears top by Layered ($220) and skirt by Verge ($230) both from Hartleys at Morrison Square.


The event that spurred this reaction from Maria in the cover shot gave us both the giggles.  Shoots always involve good chats and laughter with Maria.  And stories too, this week stories about a rough Los Angeles neighbourhood that has a great market, and from which Maria sourced her track-suit….

“We just got back from the States and the scale of what they have over there, second hand, is mind-blowing.  Street-wear from the 1980s and 1990s is trending big over there at the moment.  It’s not really my cup of tea, but my boys like that sort of stuff.  This track suit was from one my ‘secret’ spots in LA, a pretty rough place where you really just don’t feel so safe.  Lots of stolen goods being hawked and that sort of thing.  But the place is amazing!  I don’t go there so much to buy for the shop, but I go there for myself.  No, the tracksuit isn’t any kind of a label, but yes it is very 1980s.  I do like a certain 80’s style which I incorporate from time to time into my everyday look. I am a matchy matchy kind of a girl, so this tracksuit is very me”.

My Style

When I went through the images to choose for this post, I was struck by the oddity of my boots.  I must admit that I don’t think they were a top choice, stylistically speaking.  Black boots or even some Docs or brogues probably would have kept the critics happier.  But here’s the deal – I don’t always dress for the pursuit of some sort of styled perfection.  Sometimes I choose things because they make me feel a certain way.  And I needed those boots last Friday.

Styling Notes

This look revolves around the dress.  It’s an authentic 1990s dress, in a maxi style that’s being re-hashed right now in main-stream fashion.  I love the rich rust colour and the bold black dots, and most of all I love the maxi length with floaty pleats.

While black might have been a first choice for accessories, I went for caramel tones.  I think this adds colour depth and texture in a way that black can’t.  The bag and belt blend so well, and tie in perfectly with the tortoise-shell sunglasses.

Black tights, a black watch and my old faithful black sleeveless coat-dress (with large circular eyelets)  keep the black spots connected.  I chose to work with the graphic spots by selecting earrings that repeated the form.  I liked that they were white – I never like to be too ‘matchy-matchy’, although the gold tones beautifully with the coppery detail of my belt buckle and bag details.  In the same vein, my heavy studded off-white boots were a bit of a contrast, chosen based on how I wanted to feel that day.  Strong and powerful, inspite of my floaty and feminine dress, and a little bit rebellious too.

My dress was an exciting treasure that I found at the Richmond Salvation Army Op-shop, quite recently.  My bag was also a second-hand find, although I bought it from Nostalgia in Nelson, some years ago now.  Both my Karen Walker glasses and Wynn Hamlyn coat were investment pieces bought on Layby from Palm.  My jewellery is a mixture of old and new, charity shop and chainstore, with statement earrings by my talented older sister Marita Green (similar ones are available from Craig Potton Gallery).


A workmate ‘set us up’, so to speak.  She thought Leone and I would get along fantastically, and saw in Leone someone with a unique point of view on personal style and fashion.  She was right (thanks Pauline!) …..

“I love fashion because it is a form of expression. I have always been obsessed with clothes, and opshopping since I was a wee grasshopper with my Mum and Dad.  Of course the cost is a factor.  You get a thrill when you find something amazing for next to nothing! Fashion has given me confidence to be me, and really not give a rats about what others think. I dress for me. Yes, I think being different is important and probably always has been.  When I was a teen, I always found it funny how on mufti-day most people were wearing a uniform of what was ‘in fashion’. I was quiet I suppose, but never afraid to wear what I wanted to.  I know that intrigued some people. I have often been noticed for my unique style. Now I don’t care so much about any of that, I just dress the way I do because it’s me”.