Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Great Expectations

I went to Melbourne with great expectations of fashion-forward people strutting the streets and an insight into coming styles for its younger sister city, Wellington. However, I left with little to write home about – thus my delayed reaction in blogging.
What I saw in the shops was very on-trend and I made many significant purchases for the winter season, including three coats of varying styles and shoulder-enhancing dresses. But more on that soon. What I saw on the racks was quite removed from what people wore on the streets. Melbounites seem to be a casual bunch, clothes for comfort rather than flaunting couture.

There were a few exceptions in the teenage wearers – they seem to be embracing the leggings/cropped singlet look with great vigour. Hopefully the sudden temperature drop in Wellington will save us from the navel- and bum-bearing in the coming seasons, although the youth always seem to battle it out whatever the weather determines. I had a slight expectation of some male-legging action due to a Melbourne informant saying he had spotted male versions of jeggings outside university. How very Russell Brand. He so aptly asked whether they were to be referred to as “meggings” and were they a crime against nature. My vote is yes on both. I thought I saw some in Auckland while I was up that way, but it may have just been Auckland rain causing his painfully tight red jeans to stick to his pins. I await further spotting.

Wellington sees itself as being pretty fashionable, and it is, but it dawned on me that although we are fast adopters of trends we all end up wearing somewhat of a uniform. There are always those who buck the trend, but when something comes in Wellingtonians seem to put it on their eager bodies before working out if it’s really for them or not. For Melbournites the fashion is more available, with a bounty of stores for all shapes and styles, so I guess there’s less inclination to all wear the same thing. Wellington’s so focussed on being cool, that it almost cancels itself out. What is so cool about wearing the same thing as everyone else, no matter how “on” it is.

I guess that’s why Aucklanders that come down here mention how uptight Wellingtonians are about what they wear and just keep on going with their jeans and jandals.

As for my purchases, two stores I fell in love with were Dangerfield – so awesome for the goth/rock/alternative look that’s often hard to find as original and not just emulating something that’s “cool”. I also loved Quick Brown Fox – another quirky/alternative find that had plenty to offer in the way of originality. I went into two outlets of each of those stores and came out bags a-swingin’ all four times. Thankfully not wearing items purchased at the counterpart store on a previous mission.

Favourite buys: Quick Brown Fox coat, Black Friday dress, Dangerfield handbag, whistle watch necklance. Other things of note: I somehow managed to avoid buying a leather jacket – there was such an abundance that I just didn’t want to go there. I’ll make do with the three other coats that I bought.


  1. Did you manage to make it to Friends of Couture? Love that shop!

  2. I did infact, and very much liked it too. I didn't buy anything there though - it was on my last day of shopping and I was quite over it all by that time. I can't believe I just said that, but I think you experienced the same weird phenomenon!