Shortland Street Star’s favourite fashion moments

Shortland Street celebrates its twenty-fifth birthday this week on May 25th which is an epic milestone for the nation’s longest running drama. Produced by South Pacific Pictures, Shortland Street has had many memorable fashion moments over its long run as the costumes form an integral part of creating the many characters who have graced it’s set and our screens.

We chatted to four of the show’s current stars about their favourite fashion moments from the show, what their go-to New Zealand labels are and how their character’s costumes effect how they play a scene.

Luke Patrick from Shortland Street

Actor Luke Patrick as Frank Connelly. Images courtesy of South Pacific Pictures.

Luke Patrick plays Frank Connelly.

What is your favourite wardrobe item and why?
Lost Monarchy – cool design and it’s a light cotton tailored shirt.

How would you describe your character’s personal style and how has it evolved since you joined the show?
Grungy, rock n roll look – it hasn’t really evolved because Frank’s life (emotional state) hasn’t really changed enough for him to change his look.

What are your favourite New Zealand labels to wear when you’re not in character?
Hallensteins/Barkers – love their clothes, well priced and great quality with amazing styles.

Have you had a memorable wardrobe moment since you joined the show?
Yes – wearing nothing running on the beach last year with a penis sock on lol.

How does your character’s outfit effect how you play a scene or storyline?
It reflects the characters emotionally state and how they move and interact – which then helps me to become that character emotionally/physically.

Laurel Devenie from Shortland Street

Actor Laurel Devenie as Kate Nathan. Images courtesy of South Pacific Pictures.

Laurel Devenie plays Kate Nathan

What is your favourite wardrobe item and why?
A really simple beautiful black shift from Pearl I got years ago that I’ve worn so often and can dress up or down. I love Pearl clothes. They’re always elegant and simple and hang beautifully. And they’re made like a piece of art.

How would you describe your character’s personal style and how has it evolved since you joined the show?
Kate is a struggling solo mum who works hard to make ends meet and support her family. Her style reflects this. She is practical and down to earth. Sometimes she’s a little eccentric with her choices just like her but she very rarely wears any jewellery and lives in jeans which I think is a pretty accurate picture of her lifestyle. There have been some interesting clashes with Sass’s character. They are so very different in how they express themselves in the world and what their priorities are and when you look at how different their wardrobes are you can see why!

What are your favourite New Zealand labels to wear when you’re not in character?
Heavy loose grey woollen jersey from Wixii. Gah!!! So comfortable and so cool. Wixii’s fabrics are divine. A red beanie I got in an op shop years ago that is a good way of hiding messy hair on a wintery Sunday.

Have you had a memorable wardrobe moment since you joined the show?
Onesie party!

How does your character’s outfit effect how you play a scene or storyline?
In a huge way. Sometimes it can be challenging to feel comfortable in clothes that are really different to ones that I might choose but that’s part of the work. And then sometimes a jacket or something can really lift you into the feeling of the scene and it can really help with the imaginative given circumstances. It’s very intricately linked and I guess that’s part of your job as the actor to embrace all the different offers that come and use it to your advantage. But I’ve always found it challenging when first encountering a costume. Sometimes you can find yourself thinking ‘oh really? I gotta wear that and feel good about myself?’ But that’s pretty of normal actor neurosis. And often just paranoia or self consciousness.

I’ve always loved dressing up. I had a huge chest of dress ups as a kid and still do. Plus regular op shop missions with my auntie or grandma (my grandma used to run a theatre wardrobe and I’d spend hours in there when I went to visit her). I would come back with all sorts of things. Even so, clothes are very reflective and influential in regard to one’s body image and feeling comfortable in your own skin and I think that’s something you have to keep encountering in this job.

Tane Williams Acca from Shortland Street

Actor Tane Williams-Accra as Ali Karim. Images courtesy of South Pacific Pictures.

Tane Williams-Accra plays Ali Karim

What is your favourite wardrobe item and why?
My favourite personal wardrobe item right is probably my pair of high top tan New Balance sneakers. They’re wicked.

How would you describe your character’s personal style and how has it evolved since you joined the show?
Ali definitely dresses for convenience not style. However he’s slowly beginning to wear clothes that are more appealing which is quite nice.

What are your favourite New Zealand labels to wear when you’re not in character?
My favourite labels to wear are probably those that my friends have made. The first being LSS created by my friend Rachel Beck and the second ILL MAGIK made by the bro Theo Arraj.

Have you had a memorable wardrobe moment since you joined the show?
Most memorable wardrobe moment would be Ali’s khaki cargo pants. Damn they ugly!

How does your character’s outfit effect how you play a scene or storyline?
Ali’s wardrobe does effect the way I play scenes because he doesn’t dress to be hot or cool he dresses for convenience. This allows me to effortlessly play a goober.

Kerry-Lee Dewing from Shortland Street

Actor Kerry-Lee Dewing as Kylie Brown. Images courtesy of South Pacific Pictures.

Kerry-Lee Dewing plays Kylie Brown 

What is your favourite wardrobe item and why?
I have a pair of silk Assembly label pants that I love. I’m all about loose, easy items to wear.

How would you describe your character’s personal style and how has it evolved since you joined the show?
My characters style is ever-changing and continues to evolve as she matures. Her wardrobe has at times been influenced by certain life events, practicality or even partners. I think overall it’s gone from sporty fluro bold choice items – as you do when you’re young, brave, carefree and finding your identity – to a slightly more refined (safe) wardrobe. She likes lace and leather with pops of colour.

What are your favourite New Zealand labels to wear when you’re not in character?
I’m not much of ‘label’ wearer to be honest. I’m more likely to be wearing a New Zealand designed item of jewellery than clothing itself.

Have you had a memorable wardrobe moment since you joined the show?
I’d say as a whole, Kylie’s early days, when she wore tight-fitting fluro coloured dresses was a pretty memorable period.

How does your character’s outfit effect how you play a scene or storyline?
Wardrobe is certainly integral to how I identify with the character. Literally stepping into her shoes. Most of the time I trust the designers and their interpretation of Kylie’s choices at a particular time, but if something feels like it’s going to restrict my performance physically then I make suggestions accordingly.

On Thursday 25th May we have an interview with Shortland Street’s costume designer Nicola Newman on 25 years of the show’s costumes, how each character’s style is created and her favourite wardrobe moments from the show.

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