Gal of Style: Katie-Maree Cole

After receiving numerous awards throughout her degree, including being chosen as a finalist in the Air New Zealand Inspiring New Zealanders competition by Karen Walker, Katie-Maree Cole has launched her first directional range, “Painted. me” after success of her basics merino range in 2009.

The FashioNZ team caught up with Katie-Maree to talk all things fashion!

Tell us about your new collection, ‘Painted. Me’
Spring/ summer 2010 is a playful capsule collection tinkering with the transformation clothes can bring. Influenced by the imaginative novel ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’ and the Japanese flirtation with individual style. I tried to capture the beautiful aesthetic of the movie in silk/ cotton and linen garments that are feminine and luxurious.

What do you love about being a designer?
I love how every season you get to learn something new about what you’re researching, your world is constantly getting bigger.

What inspires you?
The intricacies of life– but to narrow it down a wee bit – I get inspired by meeting and seeing other creative people who are passionate about what they do, whether it’s creating beautiful clothes, food, movies or music.

Describe your personal style.
My personal style is a bit of a mixed bag as I dress completely to my mood each day, but it is always made up of quality natural fabrics with a lot of colour and texture.

Where do you shop?
I usually do a bit of a mixture of op-shopping (the best trips are when I am on holiday in a new town I haven’t explored before) and then I try and pick up some of my favourite designer pieces for the season. The Department Store opened 5 minutes from where I live so most of my money is being spent there at the moment!

Who is your favourite New Zealand designer?
While studying I completed my work experience at Karen Walker and ever since then I have followed her label closely, I always love her prints and am so inspired by her international success.

What’s your must-have buy for this summer?
Well, despite the fact that I have my head in next winter’s wools and velvets I think a new summer dress is always a must – something that is colourful and easy to wear.

What is your all time favourite fashion purchase/garment/outfit?
It would have to be a toss-up between a Marc Jacobs polka dot playsuit I got last year from Workshop and a black and white check woolen blazer from a recycle boutique that was a bargain.

You would rather eat your own shirt than wear…
Without a doubt it would be fishnet stockings.  I wore too many of those for dancing when I was growing up!

Painted. me will be available in Auckland and Wellington and from launching soon.  Check out a few of our favourite picks from the collection below.




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