French finesse

By Zoe Walker

Rebecca Bowering from Atelier Textiles. Photo / Babiche Martens
Rebecca Bowering from Atelier Textiles. Photo / Babiche Martens

Rebecca Bowering loves textiles. As owner and managing director of Atelier Textiles, Bowering often travels to Europe to source fabrics and textiles - trips that inspire her wardrobe and vintage style. She's also inspired by the soft furnishing industry and how the latest fabric trends are translated into the world of fashion. "Naturally I find myself being inclined to favour similar fabrics and colours that are being launched in my industry. In fact, it's amazing how quickly my style adapts to what I see for work," she explains. Auckland-based Bowering describes her style as "layered, feminine and floaty, with a soft, almost French, edge" - she tells us more.

Who are your favourite designers or labels?

I love AllSaints Spitalfields, Repertoire, Trelise Cooper, Kingan Jones and Moochi, as well as a number of small French designers.

What was the last item of clothing you bought?

A striped Verge "hoodie", which works perfectly with my French gumboots and doesn't require a change of clothing when I want to go for a walk.

What item of clothing or accessory do you want to buy next?

I need some new costume jewellery and accessories, like scarves, just to spice up my wardrobe.

Who does the best shoes?

I prefer the fit and look of European shoes and boots, and I'm never averse to a heel.

What is your favourite fabric to wear?

Silk - it is just so lovely against the skin.

Your favourite shop?

I am an avid Trade Me fan because I love the thrill of the chase and finding a treasure.

Do you have a favourite chain store?

In New Zealand I love Smith & Caugheys, and no trip to Paris is complete without a visit to Galeries La Fayette and Zara.

What's your fragrance?


What do you wear when relaxing at home?

Leggings or jeans, my French gumboots, and a comfy, oversized top.

What is your most cherished fashion item?

A Trelise Cooper multi-coloured silk dress I bought a few years back. I thought it would be a "two-minute wonder" but I still love it.

What do you wear to work?

I live in dresses, with heels in summer or tights and boots in winter, and I love layering with long scarves or necklaces. I love interesting fabrics and colours with a feminine and eclectic feel.

Most stylish city?

Has to be Paris - I love it.

Who is your ultimate fashion plate?

I admire anyone whose style is their own and who can carry off an outfit with confidence.

Where do you shop online?

The only place I have shopped online for clothes is AllSaints Spitalfields (

Describe the best outfit you've ever worn.

I don't think I have one favourite that stands out - it depends on my mood, and what fabrics I'm being inspired by at the time. Although I do remember a certain party, age 7, when I dressed up as a bunch of grapes!

What one item from your wardrobe do you put on and immediately feel great in?

In a tiny shop in the back of St Germain in Paris, I bought an up-and-coming French designer's shift dress. It is the most gorgeous shade of blue with a graphic design in off-white and taupe/grey.

- NZ Herald

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