Style File: Petra Benton

Designer Petra Benton.

Petra Benton is making a mark on the local fashion industry with her eponymous label that is now in its second season and is gathering momentum as a talent to watch. The designer has always been fascinated with creative pursuits and is excited to be sharing her brand of strong, crisp womenswear with the release of her latest Petra Benton collection.

We caught up with Petra to find out more about her brand, what inspires her and what you would never catch her wearing!

Tell us about your latest collection?
For Summer 2016, PB.2 Biro is an exploration and adaptation of a strong, confident woman’s essential summer workwear wardrobe. The Petra Benton woman works hard, she knows her own style, and she enjoys her womanhood, and as such in Biro the beauty of the female form is always present, where hints of summer skin play a strong role. From the sleek one-shoulder of the Biro shirt, and the graceful deep-V of the Nala and Emily shirts, through to the fluid and sleek skirts which wrap around the waist and slip gently over the body. Alike, the subtle splits of the wrap skirts and dresses allow for a glimpse of leg through movement. With a clean, fresh palate of office-worthy stripes and crisp neutrals, PB.2 Biro is a fresh, confident presentation on female beauty and power. Clean, sharp, refined, and strong.

What made you become a designer?
I have always, since a small child, been driven to create things, whether that be food recipes, drawings, sports routines, or clothing. As I grew older, I became obsessed with beauty and the world of fashion. Through study at AUT I learnt pattern making, and that opened my eyes to a whole new avenue of opportunities with what I could imagine and create. Being able to envision and then draw something, and then go through the pattern and toile process to realise its actuality, is such a rewarding and proud process. With the PB brand, I adore women, and adore seeing confident, strong women, so I wanted to establish a company that would enable women to look and feel strong and beautiful and in control.

What inspires you?
Human nature, science, architecture, literature, texture, routines, restrictions, and confident women.

Looks from Petra Benton’s PB.2 Biro collection.

Describe your personal style and how it influences your brand?
My personal style is quite clean and restrained. I prefer neutral colours, refined shapes, and sharp, crisp fabrics. This influences across into the PB brand, with the office-influenced moods and crisp, sharp lines. The Petra Benton brand is not a direct translation of my personal style, but rather more an idealised, dream-version of it.

What is your all-time favourite purchase?
My boxing membership.

What wardrobe item should every woman invest in?
For winter, a beautiful wool coat to wrap up in and keep you feeling warm and comforted. For summer, an amazing pair of sunglasses you feel gorgeous in.

Do you have a style rule you always obey?
If you feel comfortable, confident, and beautiful in something, then you should wear it. What you feel about yourself projects outwards, so find what makes you feel like the most confident, strong version of yourself, and wear that. Also, drink a lot of water. If your skin is luminous and glowing, then your outfit looks instantly better.

Looks from Petra Benton’s PB.2 Biro collection.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?
I celebrate baby highlights, but believe there are the big highlights yet to come. A highlight as a student however, was definitely being a finalist in the ID Emerging Designer Awards and meeting British Milliner Stephen Jones – such an incredible experience!

What can’t you live without?
Mascara, lip balm, and exercise. Excess mascara and lip balm make everything better, and getting a sweat on daily helps to keep a clear mind and healthy perspective in all areas of life.

Finish this sentence – You would never catch me wearing…
Never say never! As human beings we’re so ever-changing, and people and places evolve. I don’t believe in placing any rules or absolutes on yourself style-wise. Trying new things is great!

Images supplied.

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