Explore the city's best boutiques and stores with this inspiring guide and then refuel at the nearest cafe or restaurant.
Art prints at the Auckland Art Gallery Shop
The Auckland Art Gallery Shop is the perfect place to pick up a print from one of the selected works showing in the gallery. New Zealand designer Deadly Ponies has collaborated with the gallery on an exclusive range of leather wallets. Take the time to admire the new Home AKL Exhibition (until October 22) and pick up a print or a postcard featuring the works of celebrated Pacific artists John Pule or Shigeyuki Kihara on your way out.
Auckland Art Gallery, cnr Kitchener and Wellesley Sts. (09) 379 1349.
Bespoke fragrances at Jo Malone
For a special fragrance purchase, Jo Malone has myriad options on offer for both men and women, from the woody aroma of wild fig and cassis to the light floral of french lime blossom. Bespoke fragrances are also part of the Jo Malone experience, inviting you to combine different fragrances to create your own signature scent. From the interiors to the packaging, this is one brand that knows how to engage your senses. Jo Malone, Atrium on Takutai, 37 Te Ara Tahuhu, Britomart.
(09) 309 4418.
From bespoke suiting to a selection of carefully curated men's accessories, Crane Brothers have provided men with garments that stand the test of time. Invest in a made-to-measure suit in a selection of premium fabrics, sniff out the perfect cologne from the exclusive range of Penhaligon's fragrances or choose from a range of luxurious pure Italian silk paisley print pocket squares. It's the perfect way to add an elegant pop of colour to a tailored jacket, for both men and women.
Crane Brothers, 2/4 High St. (09) 377 5333.
Dries Van Noten at Scotties Boutique
Belgian fashion designer Dries Van Noten's designs are synonymous with an effortless modernity, sitting comfortably alongside other intelligent labels such as Lanvin, Marni and Celine at Scotties Boutique. Pieces from Van Noten's spring 2012 collection are now available, from palm frond print cotton shorts to dresses featuring signature collage prints of 17th-century botanical etchings. Look forward to another collage print-heavy collection from Van Noten's autumn/winter 2012/2013 collection in store soon.
Scotties Boutique, 3 Lorne St. (09) 366 1664.
Earthshine Mineralize Skinfinish powder from M.A.C
As part of its new Heavenly Creature collection, the makeup experts at M.A.C have released this appropriately named Earthshine Mineralize Skinfinish powder, described as a "galaxy of supernova shades". With a high-frost metallic finish, it's sure to leave your skin looking out of this world. M.A.C Pro store, Atrium on Takutai, 35 Te Ara Tahuhu Walking St, Britomart. (09) 358 4200.
Film Festival tickets
The NZ International Film Festival has begun, and if you haven't bought any tickets yet, pick up a copy of the film guide from either The Civic box office or the SKYCITY Theatre box office and browse through the films on offer.
Highlights include an insight into the life of one of the world's most influential fashion magazine editors, the late Diana Vreeland in Diana Vreeland: The Eye has to Travel; a documentary on legendary fashion photographer Bert Stern in Bert Stern, Orignal Madman; and a documentary on artist Marina Abramovic in Marina Abramovic: The artist is present. The Civic box office, cnr of Queen and Wellesley Sts. (09) 357 3354.
Galleria bag from Prada
Named after Prada's first store in Milan, the iconic Galleria bag is now available in a deep purple spazzolato (polished leather with gold-plated hardware, snap closure and a double handle). Timeless elegance that will never go out of style from one of the world's most influential fashion houses. Prada, Customhouse, cnr Albert and Customs Sts. (09) 308 0745.
Harris Tweed: From Land to Street by Lara Platman at Unity Books, High St
Known for stocking obscure and interesting titles, Unity Books is a much-loved institution and it's here you'll find a wide range of books that can't be found elsewhere. From classic literature to coffee table collectables, they take their books seriously here. Lara Platman's photographic tribute to the Harris tweed cloth from Scotland is documented in this exceptional book, detailing the provenance and craftsmanship of a much-loved textile used by designers from Vivienne Westwood to Paul Smith. Unity Books, 19 High St. (09) 307 0731.
Inventory Magazine from Fabric
Hailing from Vancouver, Canada, this bi-annual publication is dedicated to in-depth articles on lifestyle, fashion, art and culture. Focusing less on the ostentatious elements of fashion and more on quality, craft and heritage, Inventory has featured interviews with designers that are also stocked at Fabric, from Margaret Howell to Yuketen designer Yuki Matsuda. Look out for the next issue: Issue 07, Fall-Winter 2012. Fabric, 5 High St. (09) 366 4528.
Jewellery from Partridge Jewellers
Known for its exquisite selection of fine-quality jewellery, Partridge Jewellers has been providing its discerning clientele with five generations of experience and savoir faire. Along with its own collections, Partridges also import a selection of pieces from leading international jewellery houses and is the premier representative of a selection of Swiss watch manufacturers from Cartier to Raymond Weil. This Calibre de Cartier automatic gold watch is a favourite, with an 18k pink gold case, roman numerals and an alligator skin strap. Partridge Jewellers, 112 Queen St. (09) 309 8925.
Kiehl's from Smith & Caughey's
Premium skin, hair and bodycare brand Kiehl's has garnered a loyal following here for its extensive range of products. Available from Smith and Caughey's, the Kiehl's concept store comes complete with brick wall interiors in homage to its New York roots and houses the complete range of Kiehl's products from face creams, eye serums, body lotions, men's grooming products - even dog shampoo. 261 Queen St, (09) 377 4770.
L'Artisan Parfumeur fragrances from World Beauty
L'Artisan Parfumeur is one of the most unique and iconoclastic fragrance houses in the world. Founded in Paris in 1976 by perfumer-chemist Jean Laporte, it's one of the first of a movement of exclusive niche fragrance houses inspired by nature and a desire to do things a little differently.
The Nuit de Tubereuse perfume in particular, is a sensational blend of tuberose, cardamom, clove, pink pepper, pepper, citrus, tuberose, orange blossom, ylang-ylang, rose, mango, angelica, gorse, sandalwood and palisander. Concocted by some of the world's master perfumers, L'Artisan Parfumeur fragrances leave a lasting impression.
World Beauty, 35 Vulcan Lane. (09) 377 0647.
Mexican Coffee from Trade Aid
Support ISMAM, an organisation representing 869 indigenous coffee growers in the southern part of Mexico's Chiapas region. With approximately 28 containers of coffee produced a year, funds from sales go towards providing members with pre-harvest financing and technical support, helping farmers to diversify into the production of other agricultural crops and reduce migration rates. Fair-trade and organic, this Mexican decaffeinated medium grind coffee is suitable for plunger or filter brewing methods.Organic Mexican Decaffeinated Medium Grind Coffee 200g available from Trade Aid ($9.99). Trade Aid, 28 High St. (09) 307 0884.
Leading sportswear brand Nike has a strong presence in the Britomart precinct, with a retail space highlighting the energy of the brand as well as emphasising its connection to New Zealand sports and leisure. The Britomart store, the first in New Zealand to open under the Nike name, will also be the base for a local running club and other community-based fitness events. Nike Britomart, 57 Tyler St. (09) 550 6453.
Outerwear from The North Face
The Spring 2012 Northern Hemisphere menswear shows saw a focus on technical sportswear, with designers injecting neoprene fabrics, waterproof raincoats and sporty shapes into their ready-to-wear collections. For the real deal, you can't look past active outdoor specialists The North Face. Puffer jackets, rucksacks and raincoats are available in myriad colours, taking you from hiking to the highways with ease.
The North Face, Retail Unit 4, 80 Queen St, Deloitte Centre. (09) 368 7218.
Picnic dress by Sylvester
Kate Sylvester's "naughty little sister" line for spring/summer 2012/2013 will be trickling into stores soon. Keep a look out for the Palms Cardigan, a lightweight cotton knit cardigan complete with a fun palm tree silhouette print ($265); or the playful Picnic dress in a nostalgic silk taffeta gingham ($365) Available from Kate Sylvester.
58 Tyler St, Britomart. (09) 307 3282.
This quaint and historical part of town was originally built in three parts from the 1900s to 1929. It is home to specialist independent boutiques such as The Cashmere Shop, Marbecks Classical music shop and Bast, a specialist leather retailer. It's also home to the popular T. Clark Men's Footwear store that sells quality men's shoes from Loake, R.M. Williams, Clarks and Hush Puppies. Expect the service from these stores to be knowledgeable, personable and a little bit old school. Just the way things used to be. 34-40 Queen St and 17-21 Custom St East. (09) 358 1777.
Retro prints at Strangely Normal
One of Auckland's much-loved menswear retailers, Strangely Normal has been around for over 30 years, operating out of its CBD location since 2006. The boutique sells a wide range of vintage sunglasses, belts, socks, hats, bolo ties and footwear. Focusing on retro-inspired menswear, particularly from the 50s and 60s, the boutique has a vast range of retro print shirts that feature vintage tattoo motifs, paisley prints, and tropical florals for the man who likes to make a subversive statement with his wardrobe. 19 O'Connell St. (09) 309 0600.
Sea life at Karen Walker
Karen Walker's quirky humour is highlighted once again within her Sea Monsters collection, inspired by sea militariana, Victorian ruffles and a dash of Brian Jones 60s Mod. Walker will soon make the move to the Britomart precinct, but for now make a trip to the designer's iconic O'Connell St boutique. The Launch Shift dress showcases Walker's retro-tinged deep sea paisley silk twill print to full effect. Available from August ($575).
Karen Walker, 15 O'Connell St. (09) 309 6299.
Tennis preppy at Lacoste
Sportswear with a preppy twist. Lacoste has come a long way from its humble tennis roots when Rene Lacoste garnered the name "the crocodile" due to his tenacity to never let go of his prey on the tennis court. The crocodile has since become a recognisable emblem for the brand, with a full fashion collection available from New Zealand's only flagship store.
Lacoste, Deloitte Tower, Unit 1, 80 Queen St. (09) 354 4831.
Underwear from The Silk Drawer
The best lingerie boutique in town, The Silk Drawer offers women beautifully made, high-end lingerie and underwear from internationally renowned brands such as Malizia and La Perla. Men's underwear is also available from Grigio Perla, along with sleek swimwear from Anna Club.
The Silk Drawer, 44 Courthouse Lane. (09) 358 5544.
Vans shoes at Pat Menzies
Vans have long been known for their cool sneakers and casual canvas shoes, and the best place to find Vans is at Pat Menzies. The team here know their shoes, stocking hard-to-find styles not only from Vans but also Dr Martens, Birkenstock, Converse and Keds. Check out the new earthy tones from Vans for the new season for both men and women, from deep burgundy red, desert browns, chambray blue and khaki greens or look forward to the Van Doren Series of limited edition high-top Vans with re-issued prints and patterns from the Vans archives. Pat Menzies Shoes, Canterbury Arcade, 174 Queen St. (09) 373 4955.
Continuing in its tradition of producing workwear-inspired separates and quality denim, Workshop's spring/summer collection highlights soft chambray shirting, preppy stripes and ochre-coloured chinos. The red camo print four-pocket work jacket is a favourite. Helen Cherry's sophisticated collections also sit alongside the denim in this much-loved store that also sells collections from international labels such as Marc by Marc Jacobs, Alexander Wang and Isabel Marant Etoile. Workshop, 16 High St. (09) 303 3735.
X-ray motifs by Stolen Girlfriends Club
Stolen Girlfriends Club have taken traditional ideals of lace and embroidery and turned them on their heads, in typical SGC fashion. Inspired by skeletons, skeletal lace dresses from its winter collection have since evolved into skeletal embroidery on shift dresses and anoraks.
Smith & Caughey's, Level 1, 261 Queen St. (09) 377 4770.
Yayoi Kusama for Louis Vuitton
Polka dots have never been more on trend. The highly anticipated collaboration between celebrated eccentric Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama and luxury brand Louis Vuitton has begun to arrive in store,with Kusama's signature polka dots featuring on iconic Louis Vuitton pieces from charming handbags, sunglasses and scarves to a ready-to-wear collection. The yellow and black Lockit MM Monogram Vernis Dots Infinity ($5200) is a particular favourite, adding a playful sense of humour to the famous fashion house. Louis Vuitton, 56 Queen St. (09) 358 5080.
As one of the country's most successful fashion houses, the Zambesi aesthetic has always stood the test of time with an impressive archive spanning 30 years. Look out for new season pieces for spring/summer 2012/2013 from signature sportswear-inspired pieces to slick tailoring, as well as a selection of camo and polka dot print shirts and dresses for an added dose of fun, Zambesi style. Zambesi, 56 Tyler St, Britomart. (09) 303 1701.