The Retail Revisit: Kate Sylvester Winter 2012

I thought with the recent opening of the Kate Sylvester Flagship store, now was as good a time as any to introduce a new segment to the blog. It's all well and good to blog the latest shows or collections but what about when the ranges hit the stores? What to do when you've gone from oft seen web images to seeing things up close and personal? Refreshing the mind with what is available now, once you've had time to digest a collection and process any concepts the designer had shown six months ago, is a great way to see how trends and perhaps your style has shifted over that time and allows you to pinpoint what really does speak to you and your individual aesthetic and where your money is best spent. Garments or overall styled looks that had you squealing, "Oooh! I like that! Ohhh, that pant is AMAZING! I'm DEFINITELY getting into metallic puce next season! Of course I am going to wear camo PVC with fringing and I'm going to OWN it!" when they hit the runways, with the models, the lights, the music, the instantaneous viral blog coverage....well, they may talk in a different language once the hype has settled and you're faced with your day job and your pay packet. A little recap [like the reasoning behind New Zealand Fashion Festival] is in order.

I bring you: The Retail Revisit**

When Kate Sylvester circumvented NZFW 2011 to showcase her Winter 2012 collection 'The Secretary' at the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, those picked to attend must have known they're were in for something good. Something very, very good. So when images and video of the show emerged, those of us unable* to attend were at once impressed and upset they had missed out on something that seemed so worthy of seeing in person. Yes, yes it's a fashion show but that's just it: the show part really would have been something to see. 
Campaign image via Kate Sylvester
Cut to present day and Kate Sylvester has just opened a flagship store in the Britomart Precinct; more specifically in the Seafarers Building alongside other iconic Kiwi labels, WORLD and Zambesi. The official opening party on Wednesday was attended by one of my favourite blogs, FourEyes and I can see strong elements of the Kate Sylvester aesthetic in the store fit out.  The current visual merchandising references the campaign imagery and show; plants, typewriter's and red pencils which convey and enhance the theme of the 'The Secretary' range. 
Campaign image via Kate Sylvester
Personally, I was intoxicated by the imagery of the campaign and although I have been to the High Street store to get hands-on with the clothes, I will definitely be heading into the new store to soak up the atmosphere, take a memo on the range and most likely end up lining the Boss's pocket. 
Put the Britomart Precinct and the newly opened Kate Sylvester Flagship store on your weekend must-do list.

My pick's from the range are sitting ridiculously in the "ALL OF IT" zone on the Buy-O-Meter but if I my hands were bound - in red rope, no less - I would have to choose:
The sheerness and overlapping of the 'Severine' dress had me at 'sheerness and overlapping'  - especially in the ink colourway - and the shirt is destined for the wardrobe for the neck detail while I'm in love with the soft minty hue of the skirt - even better it's in a tough girl fabrication.
The spotty cardi [like a staple wardrobe item went nuts!] is a no-brainer of a need-it item and THAT coat - I love that coat with it's mix of stuffy tweed and leather sleeves.

The ladylike trench coat with it's bad-ass hardware is an investment piece with punch while the innocent hue and shape of the scattered sequin dress reveals your underlying naughtiness - literally.

The colour palette ranging from vintage hues to dreamy pastels, sombre tones and a vibrant red sit right in my fashion-zone, while the light sheerness to pure bulky texture of the fabrics appeal to my aesthetic of masculine/feminine and wearing opposites. There is plenty of detail to whet the appetite; gold hardware, studding, sequins and [my favourite] the suspender or harness-like collar closure while the floral print with it's red rope binding is so wearable. The lingerie and optical ranges are covetable as well. I have yet to discover whether the hosiery is in production but have managed to find a pair that can replicate the look in the form of reversed cuban heeled seamed stockings - keep a look out for that post coming soon.

Pop into any Kate Sylvester store to see the new range or see the many styles also available online here.

*[I was not unable to attend, I was uninvited but I am a nobody, so that is to be expected :)]
**[I totally copyright this term yo! Back away...]


  1. Is it weird I feel the need to buy a box of red pencils, a typewriter and a bunch of red friendship bracelets?

  2. This collection is so wearable and so so good!


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