FREE|STYLE: Akira, R-Kav, Ruby, Cybele + VNZMA best dressed

On Wednesday the so-talented-it-hurts Australian designer Akira Isogawa will be special guest at a function to launch his designs for Designer Rugs in New Zealand.  This will be the brands’ third collaboration, and is named HIRAMEKI (‘Inspiration’), and references Akira’s current runway collections.



Apparently more ornate and internationally-inspired than his preceding collections for Designer Rugs, Hirameki’s designs include elaborate textiles and new methods of rendering the designs, largely drawn from fabrics found during his travels.  For example, there is the the introduction of bamboo as a renewable material in Akira’s Ayame and Shibori designs – two of five in the collection – and Shibori- and Batik-dyeing are both represented.

The Akira for Designer Rugs collection is hand made and can be custom coloured and sized.




And now for an Akira-related anecdote for you:  at RAFW 2006 I was about six months pregnant and queueing outside a very select Akira Isogawa show, precious GA invitation clutched in hand.

After an eternity the doors opened and the seated guests were allowed to enter.  As I was near the front I asked the doormen if I could quietly go in and rest my feet.  “No, you’re GA” was the answer.  “No she’s not, she’s PA!”  cried Australian fashion journalist Patty Huntington, who I didn’t know at the time, “PREGNANT!”  Needless to say I was swiftly ushered in.  Goes without saying the show was exquisite – and that Patty has been my fashion journo idol ever since.

While we are talking ‘so talented it hurts’, Sydney-based New Zealand hairstylist Richard Kavanagh has just released his new campaign for Rodney Wayne spring 2012.

Entitled ‘Mothers. Daughters. Sisters.’ the campaign celebrates enduring partnerships between mums and daughters from all over New Zealand.  Three pairs of women based in fashion feature:  model mothers and daughters Brigette Berger & Lily Montana Griffiths, Esther Cronin and mum Sarah, and model Cait Kneller and her sister Sarah.


Rodney Wayne Spring/Summer 2012 – Sarah and Cait Kneller


“Throughout October I’m undertaking the largest hands-on training series ever held in New Zealand to ensure every senior stylist and technician at Rodney Wayne is completely versed in the key techniques and formulae of this campaign,” says Richard, who was appointed Creative Director for Rodney Wayne in 2010.
“Have fun with your hair this summer; a pop of colour, some choppy texture or precise classic lines – whatever your style, make sure it moves with you!”

To coincide with the release of the Rodney Wayne spring ’12 campaign, from November ’12 throughout summer (for a limited time), invite your mother, sister or daughter in with you when you book your appointment at one of Rodney Wayne’s 36 salons and your guest will receive a complimentary shampoo, scalp massage and finish.  You’ll both go into a prize draw, too.

We’ve long admired Ruby’s nimbleness and cleverness in creating limited edition capsule collections that drop into its stores to coincide with events like the New Zealand Fashion Festival.

Now Ruby has launched Ruby Resort, a a small collection of high summer pieces, sitting at an affordable price bracket between $59 – $269 with a focus on wearability, exciting colours and strong prints.


The range is described as having an ‘LA Skater’ feel, with a palette of bright peach, neon, khaki, white and animal print.
The first 200 purchases from the Resort range across the eight RUBY store locations will receive ‘the ultimate in summer goodie bags.’ 

Meadowlark (for cat lovers) and Cybèle (for dog lovers) have donated tee designs and fleshed out their ideas into a range of tote bags, mugs, and kids’ tees, with all proceeds to go to the SPCA Auckland’s  annual Paws Appeal Week.

Meadowlark’s Claire Hammon tells:  “It all started with an adorable big black cat called Samuel. He’s part of the office team here at Meadowlark and the inspiration for our latest collection – The Love Cats – which is full of feline references like kitty paws clutching semi-precious stones and whimsical cat earrings. He’s also part of the reason we’re stoked to be collaborating with the SPCA, who do an incredible job trying to ensure every cat (and every other animal besides) gets the love Samuel does. We've extended our Love Cats theme to create this special print and a necklace exclusively for the project.”



Cybele says of her design: “Our print is this little character that epitomises adorable and adoptable. He's inspired by the beloved pets I had as a child that came from the SPCA. He's also connected to the series of animal apparition prints from our upcoming Winter 13 collection ‘Nocturne’. They are overlaid with imagery of roses, and if you look closely that’s what makes up the texture of his fur.”



Everything – T-shirts, tote bags, mugs, and kids’ T-shirts – will go on sale online at from Saturday 3 November.  The Love Cats necklace can be bought online directly from Meadowlark at and $65.00 from the sale of each necklace will go to SPCA Auckland.



  Hollie Smith

Image c/- The A List


We’ve scoured The A-List’s red carpet shots and we give Hollie Smith in Zambesi the ‘Best Dressed’ award from last week’s VNZMAs.  Black can seem lazy, but not when it is shiny, backless and skintight, as well as adorned with colour via flowers in the wearer’s hair.  (Not so sure about the shoes but the rest is so good, so we’ll ignore them).  100% rock star, 100% red carpet, very beautiful.

– Julie Roulston

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