The natural elegance of Anne Wilson

By Zoe Walker

Boutique owner Anne Wilson offers her refreshing take on style.

Anne Wilson with her dog Noodle in her Ponsonby Rd boutique, Annex. Photo / Babiche Martens
Anne Wilson with her dog Noodle in her Ponsonby Rd boutique, Annex. Photo / Babiche Martens

You will often find Anne Wilson and her dog Noodle behind the counter of her Ponsonby Rd boutique Annex, which offers a selection of homewares, fashion and accessories - garments from French label Petit Bateau, ceramics from Katherine Smyth and more. This chic, simple approach reflects Wilson's own impeccable personal style, which she describes as understated, or "thrown together in a hurry", and often involves a piece of statement jewellery.

She opened her store in Christchurch in 2006, but relocated to Auckland last year after it was destroyed in the earthquake. Originally housed in the Design Foundry building, Wilson moved to Ponsonby Rd in February. She continues to make her distinctive and detailed paper dresses out of vintage maps, something she began two and a half years ago as a "wall filler" for the store. "But customers wanted to buy them, so the Travel Wardrobe was launched."

My favourite piece of jewellery is probably a baguette diamond ring my partner Paul gave me nearly 10 years ago. We still haven't tied the knot but the intention is there.

My favourite accessories are, because I wear my hair up, earrings. My favourites are grey Rarotongan pearls my cousin gave me, though I am having a bit of a tortoiseshell hoop thing at the moment.

My love for fashion began with Seventeen magazine and my mother's sewing machine. I had a subscription at the local bookshop. The magazines were months old by the time they arrived.

My style evolution: ten years ago I was running Scotties in Wellington and as Marilyn Sainty's style made a huge impression on me, I don't think I have changed very much.

The designer that I respect the most is Dries van Noten. All women can wear his clothes. He marches to the beat of his own drum using art and historical references, and he doesn't advertise.

The most cherished item in my wardrobe is a pair of Lanvin perspex heeled shoes. I had a Cinderella moment while trapped in a moon boot for months following a car accident. I saw these beautiful shoes online and had to have them. Fortunately they did fit.

The best piece of style advice I've ever had is that style remains after fashion fades. We need to keep the cringe factor low when looking at old photos. Advice not always taken when I look back at experimental perms and XOS shoulder pads.

The most stylish city in the world is Milan. It is Italian, but northern, sophisticated and self assured... and the home of Prada.

I'm at my happiest when whizzing down a mountain on my Volkl skis or basking on a white sand beach.

My approach to beauty is more talk than action. I am hopeless at regimes and never remember to drink water. I am, however, conscientiously trialling a NZ range of skincare called Obiqo that I hope to stock at Annex.

A few favourite stylish places I love include The French Cafe: so perfect. The Ritz Paris, so opulent and you never know who you will see. Scotties, for so many beautiful things.

Collections make me feel anxious. Also having lost so much "stuff" in the Christchurch earthquakes, I prefer to walk lightly on the Earth. However, I have noticed I have a lot of bangles at the moment.

- NZ Herald

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_a4 at 31 Aug 2014 06:04:42 Processing Time: 624ms