Style File: Anjali Stewart and Rachel Easting from twenty-seven names

Designers Anjali Stewart (left) and Rachel Easting (right) from twenty-seven names.

Anjali Stewart and Rachel Easting are the designers of beloved local label twenty-seven names and the pair met in school bonding over a shared love of music and art. Fast-forward twenty years and the duo celebrated a decade of twenty-seven names late last year which is a notable milestone in the often risky business of fashion. They’ve just released their latest collection “Leave no stone unturned” for Autumn 2017 which they celebrated at New Zealand Fashion Week last year with a beautiful exhibition of stunning images.

We caught up with Anjali and Rachel to find out more about their latest collection, what inspires them and what made them become designers.

Tell us about your latest collection?
Last year we dreamed big, inviting Emma Watson, Beyoncé and Helen Clark to our dinner party. We still haven’t heard back from them yet, maybe their RSVPs got lost in the post, maybe their calendars were a bit tight…?  This year, we decided to look closer to home for a higher hit rate. It’s not always about the stars of your favourite Netflix show, or the movers and shakers, or the people winning those gold medals. More often, we’re inspired by our friends, our sisters, our team, our mothers.

We took the twenty-seven names team on a road trip with James K. Lowe, and these photographs are the result. Against the ever-inspiring backdrops of Te Henga (Bethells Beach) and Woodhill forest, we see that even in the same clothes we are all individuals. Each of us brings our own stories and our own beauty to the mix: the hair we hated as a teenager, the freckles we tried to wash off. Why couldn’t we have pencil thin eyebrows like everyone else? Whatever it was that made us different, we wanted to change it. But our mums were right, dammit! That difference is where the beauty lies.

Maybe loving these things about ourselves is something that comes with age (like a taste for early nights and a plush dressing gown) but maybe it shouldn’t have to. If we can see ourselves in the photographs, in the clothes, we can see that perfection isn’t a prerequisite to beauty. Your eye might jump to that thing you hate to see reflected in a photograph, but what happens when you look for a little longer? And what would happen if, instead of asking “How do I look?” we asked “What will I do today?”

Looks from twenty-seven names Autumn 2017 collection “Leave no stone unturned”

What made you become designers?
We have always collaborated on projects together from our earliest of days, starting twenty-seven names has meant we could do this every day.

What inspires you?
We are heavily influenced by contemporary art – namely artists like Vanessa Beecroft and Tracey Emin. Presenting our collections when the range is finally finished is the part we both enjoy the most. We always look to contemporary artists for inspiration while we’re designing our collections and before our photo shoots.  And also the usual suspects music – especially hip-hop, books – especially music ones, our friends and Elaine from Seinfeld.

What is your all-⁠⁠⁠⁠time favourite purchase?
The same thing everyday – coffee.

Looks from twenty-seven names Autumn 2017 collection “Leave no stone unturned”

What wardrobe item should every woman invest in?
A well-made winter coat.

What has been the highlight of your career/s so far?
Opening our flagship store in Newmarket. Rufus Knight designed the space and we really couldn’t happier with how everything came together. We put a lot of love and man hours into the fit out and we’re really stoked with the space.

What can’t you live without?
The 3 f’s family, friends, and food.

Images supplied.

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