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Q&A with Paula Ryan, Kylie Bax and Dame Trelise Cooper

Author: Irene Oster
by Irene Oster
Posted: Oct 08, 2015
people dress

Ballantynes inaugural fashion week is in full swing. Brittany Mann sat down with special guests Paula Ryan, Kylie Bax and Dame Trelise Cooper on opening night to discuss Cantabrians' fashion.

How would you describe Cantabrians' fashion sense?

PR: In New Zealand, people dress for the climate. People dress more formally in Christchurch than they do in the North Island, which is more beachy. They like their fashion here, they're really taking note of what's in style. People just dress a little more elegantly. It's like Paris compared to the south of France.

KB: They're more aware of what's going on in fashion internationally.

TC: I think Canterbury women are very stylish. I think they know how to get dressed up.

Is there a challenge you might pose to Cantabrians to improve their style?

PR: No, they should stay exactly as they are.

KB: If you think about Europe, there's so many countries and so many cultures that you are competing in a sense. [But] there's no competition in New Zealand, so it's great that places like Christchurch can set their own standard.

TC: Have the confidence to mash it all up. Your look needs to be cohesive, but it doesn't need to all match. I think it's important that you take some risks. And get out of black.If you think about nature, it puts colours together beautifully, and it's attractive. Women always tell me when they wear colour and they never have that they get a lot more attention, not just from men but other women. And that gives you confidence.

Have you added anything out of the ordinary to your wardrobe this spring?

PR: You're asking the wrong person [laughs]. I'm totally monochromatic – black, white and sand. I've tried to do floral but I don't look good. I even have trouble with stripes – I put them on and take them off.

KB: I have invested in more colour, but only in my handbags and shoes. I'm definitely a black and white girl.

What's a trend you never want to see again?

PR: Plus fours. [They] were what male golfers used to wear in the 30s, like a knickerbocker, and they came into fashion with hosiery underneath.

KB: I was going to say saggy trousers, but I'm not sure if boys have actually gotten rid of them yet.

TC: Onesies.

And a trend you'd quite like to see resurrected?

PR: I'd love to see people dressing up for evenings. People don't even dress up particularly for weddings. The only time you see people wearing hats is at the races and they wear those silly fascinators.

KB: Consider silhouette, just like the French. Not just looking in the mirror, thinking "That'll do" and walking out.

TC: I love the 20s era of tea dresses and delicate, gentle florals, prints that are washed out. So maybe that. See more: Beach wedding dresses nz

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Author: Irene Oster

Irene Oster

Member since: Sep 21, 2015
Published articles: 19

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