Fashion Plate: Kirsten Morrell

By Zoe Walker

Songstress Kirsten Morrell talks us through what she deems her pragmatic approach to style.

Kirsten Morrell. Photo / Babiche Martens
Kirsten Morrell. Photo / Babiche Martens

With her distinctive voice and blaze of red hair, singer Kirsten Morrell will be familiar to many. The former Goldenhorse frontwoman released her first solo album in 2009 and earlier this year performed with the NZ Symphony Orchestra where she wore a specially created garment by designer Liz Mitchell.

Morrell will again go back to her classical roots as part of the chorus in the New Zealand Opera's double bill of Cavalleria Rusticana & Pagliacci (Cav & Pag), opening in Auckland tomorrow. Known as a bit of a fashion plate, Morrell has a penchant for Kate Sylvester and a style that she describes as quirky. The singer tells us more.

How would a friend describe your style?

Possibly a bit nanna-ish, possibly a bit Kate Moss. (Really! our engineer once said, "Kirsten you're the NZ Kate Moss". I think he was joking.) Practical. I think my friends would actually say my style is pragmatic and pretty. Most of the time I'm trying to cope with having red hair.

Your favourite accessory?

I'm quite a magpie for earrings and jewellery. Last year I went to India for my brother's wedding and part of my Indian family's female cultural/clothing identity is the Hyderabadi pearl earrings and necklaces that they all own. When I got back to New Zealand, I arrived back to a small package on the table. My very own pearl earrings. I love them!

Describe the best outfit you've ever worn.

I've been so lucky being on stage so much, I get to wear cool outfits. Tthe sari at my brother's wedding. The Kitten outfit for NZ musical Petty Crime. The silk green and pink flower velvet dress by Kate Sylvester I wore during Goldenhorse/NZSO gigs. A little red dress by Karen Walker. The hand painted Pacific flower dress and corset by Liz Mitchell.

Your favourite designers?

Kate Sylvester, Trelise Cooper, Vivienne Westwood and World. Because they are strong independent women (and men) who make beautiful and stylish clothes.

Who does the best shoes?

I like Miu Miu, Jimmy Choo, Kurt Keiger. Actually I like old-style Clarks. I really like British designer Emma Hope. I don't own any, but she makes really pretty ballet and pump style shoes in the most gorgeous shades of velvet.

What is your beauty routine, and favourite products?

I love Aesop products. You can get them at World boutique shops and they are all natural, all recyclable materials. I like Dr Haushka and Lavera sunblock; I love Kiehls skincare range but I can't afford it at the moment. I love New Zealand honey and flaxseed oil, and I eat this as part of my beauty routine, really .. . just like a honey bee!

Most cherished item?

My Cornish grandmother's locket and ring. In the locket is a picture of George, her brother who fought in the Great War, which apparently wasn't so great. George fought in and survived the battle in Ypres.

Leopard print: yes or no?

No in New Zealand, yes in London - feels punky and cool there; no Westie hang-ups.

What item do you put on and immediately feel great in?

A Kate Sylvester dress. It's electric/navy blue with subtle leopard print and fringed shoulders and side toggles and it's not too tight across my tummy. It has pockets. I love dresses with pockets. I feel brave and sexy wearing it.

What is your favourite decade, style-wise?

The 18th century - loads of material, low broad necklines that show off your... neck. Bows, frills, petticoats and lace. An abundance of fantasy and ornamentation. That and the emergence of the best opera by Mozart.

* Tickets $49.50 - $187.50, from The Edge. Ph (09) 357 3355.

- NZ Herald

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