Gal of style – Michelle Yvette


A classic approach to fashion


For 25-year-old fashion designer, Michelle Yvette, there was no way she could ever be persuaded to take up a more reliable career path, despite attempts by some to "warn me off".And, in just three years the naysayers have been silenced as this ambitious young woman has already achieved a number of coups.


In fact, before graduating from Massey University's Design degree programme where she majored in fashion, Yvette's work had already registered on the fashion radar thanks to  Lord of the Rings star – Viggo Mortneson – who kindly wore a bespoke shirt by her hand to the film's premiere.

Then, in 2006 Michelle Yvette launched her eponymous fashion label. The next logical step was Air New Zealand Fashion Week '08 where her design nous and flair were noticed by the right people and she bagged a $10,000 Verge Development Grant for 'Best new entrant' to Fashion Week.


Yvette's design principles are simple, using high-luxe fabrics to create structured garments she aims to "bring a sense of beauty, class and femininity back into the conservative woman's wardrobe". It sounds good to us. Watch this space…

By Marion Farrell


Describe your personal style:

I love to look feminine and classic, often wearing high heels to accommodate my lack of height! My weekend look is a little more low key but I still dress my jeans up by accessorising with a neck scarf or my favourite  Zsiska bling jewellery.

Where do you shop?

At my retail store in Herne Bay – having my own shop is a bit like your dream wardrobe on steroids!

I love to mix it up  with other bits like  basics from chain stores to counterbalance my designer pieces. I love shoes and bags so this is where my shopping time is spent. A lot of my shoes I pick up overseas and each pair has a story to tell.


Who is your favourite New Zealand designer?

I would have to say Trelise Cooper. I don't really wear her clothing but her style is similar to mine in the way of
fabrics, bows and pretty bits. She continues to be a  real inspiration to me on many levels.

What is your current favourite item of clothing?

I would have to say my Michelle Yvette raro vest!

It is fab, I can wear it by itself or layer it over a long shirt and add a belt. I am also big on leggings still – will they ever go out of fashion?!

What were your best buys this Summer? What have you already bought for Autumn?

My best buy for summer would have to be the beautiful range of hand made Zsiska jewellery, I want to keep it all! Oh and this equestrian print scarf I found in a little back-street boutique.

For Autumn I have already claimed numerous samples from my range and picked up a new pair of black gloss shine leggings.

What is your favourite fashion purchase/garment/outfit of all time?

Well I have had this pleated front coat in my wardrobe that I made in my very first season – all those years ago. I absolutely love it and wear it to death. I still produce them each season in different fabrics, so I will be in need of a new one this winter.

What has been your biggest fashion mistake?

Ooh, ha! You did not want to see me try to dress myself when I was young. My mother told me I looked like a Christmas tree once as I catwalked out of my room with ALL my fav items on at once! Who would have thought I would turn out to be a Fashion Designer! Stranger things have happened.

If you were invited to attend the Academy Awards, who would you ask to design a dress for you?

I would definitely be designing my own dress  – it would be a dream come true.

You would rather eat your own shirt than wear…

One of those tragic '80s dresses that were strapless, short, had large tiered frills and was commonly made out of a nasty metallic fabric. Get my drift? I think it's pretty safe to say that look will never ever come back into fashion. Let's hope that comment doesn't come back to haunt me and you see a Michelle Yvette version in my window in seasons to come.


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