A passion for local fashion

By Zoe Walker

Showroom manager Ricci Matthews tells us about her passion for local fashion.

Ricci Matthews. Photo / Babiche Martens
Ricci Matthews. Photo / Babiche Martens

Fashion showroom managers work closely with designers, so it's a given that their pieces creep into their wardrobes. Ricci Matthews manages the showroom at Ciel PR, working with a range of established and emerging designers including Cybele, Blak, Pardon My French, Maaike and Jimmy D - labels she wears frequently (for winter she bought almost 15 dresses from her clients). Matthews, who previously lived in Sydney for nine years, where she also worked in fashion PR, tells us more about her style, passion for supporting local fashion, and some of her favourite stylish places.

I love New Zealand fashion because Kiwis are so aware of it and not just young ones. Kiwi woman in their 40s, 50s and upwards are so fashionable and are really switched on with how to age and still look stylish. We don't necessarily follow trends here, we just know what looks great and what suits our shape best.

The most treasured item in my wardrobe is my Chloe "Saskia" tote. I got it for my 30th birthday and it was my first "grown-up" hand bag. It took me three months to decide which one I wanted. I trawled Net-a-Porter daily as I really wanted a bag that wasn't common, and wasn't too safe in black or brown.

I call the colour "elephant". It's big with lots of great pockets and has Perspex handles. The best thing about it is, the more it wears, the better it looks.

The designer that I respect the most is Karl Lagerfeld. Well, I don't know if I respect him, but I am completely fascinated by him. He's famously quoted in the Valentino documentary as saying, to Valentino, "compared to us, the rest are making rags". I love his arrogance!

If I could have anyone's wardrobe ... Audrey Tatou plays Irene, a character in a French rom-com Priceless. It's a few years old now, but the wardrobe is my idea of perfection. I wanted it all. Cute movie also.

I'm obsessed with dresses. I have two racks of just dresses in my wardrobe. For autumn/winter, I ordered seven from Blak, three from Pardon My French, two from Jimmy D and two from Maaike.

Chain stores: love or hate? I hate non-New Zealand-owned chainstores. Admittedly I have bought online occasionally, but New Zealand retailers are seriously struggling. It is a really sad state of affairs the amount of non-New Zealand-owned stores making it impossible for local retailers to match in prices and in numbers. Quality clothing bought locally should reign superior.

For work and night, my style doesn't differ at all. I dress up for work as I work directly with our client's collections. I would hate to look like a scrub and be advising stylists on what would look great when I don't look great myself - why would they take notice of what I have to say? I wear heels until about 3pm and then ease into flats.

The best style advice I have ever received ... Less is more! Too many accessories make me feel cluttered.

My approach to beauty is to keep it simple. I very rarely wear much more than mascara on my eyes, But I am obsessed with a bright lip. M.A.C definitely is my go-to for poppy colours. My favourite at the moment is Scan-delicious.

I collect ... Pictures of my mum and dad from the 1960s and 1970s. Not necessarily together, but just cool photos of them being young and foolish. I have made them into my artworks, blown-up and framed on the wall.

- NZ Herald

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf02 at 26 Dec 2014 20:03:34 Processing Time: 465ms