The secrets of stylists

Flicking through magazines, those appealing fashion pages are as much to do with the stylist as the clothes. Viva asks a few of these on-trend professionals to share some of their know-how.

Karen Inderbitzen Waller is a freelance stylist and photographer. Photo / Supplied
Karen Inderbitzen Waller is a freelance stylist and photographer. Photo / Supplied

KAREN INDERBITZEN WALLER

Freelance stylist and photographer Karen Inderbitzen Waller contributes frequently to publications including No, Metro and more. She has styled Kate Sylvester's runway shows, campaigns and lookbooks, and also works with Crane Brothers and Nom*D.

A secret or unexpected store you love?
I love Modern Miss, Violet Fagan's immaculate vintage store in Dunedin - like stepping into Grace Kelly's wardrobe in Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window.

One piece that can instantly update the wardrobe for spring?
A sweet floral dress. Kate Sylvester's new spring summer collection is super-romantic.

The piece that every woman should have in her wardrobe... A never fail vintage dress that you can be sure no one else will turn up in.

Best way to update a look with accessories?
Start with great new season shoes and a stack of new magazines for inspiration.

Best place for lingerie?
The Silk Drawer in Auckland, Wheels & Dollbaby in Sydney, Chantal Thomass in Paris. Lonely Hearts and Kate Sylvester also make amazing lingerie.
01-08-2012 07:00:40
Best place for spring dresses?
Trawl through St Kevin's Arcade or Modern Miss for cool vintage styles.

Best place for denim?
Fabric in Auckland's High St has a great international selection, Route 66 in Sydney has great rockabilly Levi's. Karen Walker also cuts a good high-waisted jean.

How do you shop the new season collections?
I am always overseas before the season changes and am sure to update with new shoes and bits and pieces I find on my travels. Before I head away I am sure to place orders with my favourite New Zealand designers which always include Kate Sylvester and Nom*D. I also love Lonely Hearts, Karen Walker and Zambesi.

Your key purchase for spring?
Reversible pyjama style shorts from Nom*D, their prints for spring/summer are incredibly cool. Also the laser-cut leather from Kate Sylvester. Her leather pieces are always a favourite and an all-year staple in my wardrobe.

Your personal wardrobe fail-safe piece?
YSL killer heels from Tom Ford's last collection, and a vast amount of tailored jackets and pencil skirts.

What do you buy from designers?
I love good tailoring, quality knitwear, and fun, more risky pieces to pull out when everything else feels boring, I stay away from things that feel too derivative of international designers or too trend-driven. I like classics.

What do you buy from chain stores?
Coming from a textile family I am a bit of a fabric snob and can't stand scratchy cheap fabrics mostly used in chainstore pieces so I tend to avoid those stores. For basics I shop at Petit Bateau in Paris, it's all cottons and classic cuts for tee shirts, singlets and sweaters. The quality is long-lasting. In Auckland, Petit Bateau is stocked at Jaimie Boutique.

What do you buy elsewhere?
I love the headpieces, veils, hats from years gone by and tend to use a lot of these kinds of vintage finds in my shoots and shows. I am always on the lookout at markets, op shops and vintage stores. It's always a thrill to find vintage treasure still intact.

Favourite spring trend?
The romance of many of the collections. Red is stunning, especially colour-blocked and nothing says spring more than an inspiring floral, worn with a sexier, harder edge.

RACHEL MORTON

A freelance stylist who contributes to magazines including Urbis and Metro, Morton also works with designer Juliette Hogan to style runway shows and campaigns, and has styled lookbooks for Standard Issue.

A secret or unexpected store that you love?
Kmart is a place I keep borrowing from for shoots, and unexpectedly find myself buying from too. It is great for fast fashion items you don't want to invest too much money in. I've picked up coloured jeans, grey leopard print jeans and a great Aztec blanket jacket.

One piece that can instantly update the wardrobe for spring?
A splash of neon. I picked up a hot pink necklace from Forever New for a shoot recently that is very "Tom Binns inspired" that I've been wearing non-stop. I love neon worn back with pale grey or beige.

The piece that every woman should have in her wardrobe ...
A timeless little black dress that fits well, that you feel great in. It sounds like a cliche but it's true. Every woman needs a dress you can rely on and know you will feel great in if asked to something at the last minute. Invest in one and you'll have it forever. That and a classic trench coat and a perfect nude heel.

Best way to update a look?
Accessories are a quick way to re-invent a look. A new bag can make whatever you wear feel fresh.

Best place for lingerie?
I love Stella McCartney lingerie, available at Bendon - particularly love the leopard prints.

How do you shop the new season collections?
As I see all the ranges and lookbooks a season ahead, I tend to pick my favourites and try to fill holes or update items in my wardrobe and invest in one or two pieces rather than lots of small items. Invest in a beautifully made coat you will have forever but pick a "trend" piece from a chain store that will be over by next season. It's good to try to plan before you hit the shops. Think about what you need, and what you love.

Your personal wardrobe failsafe piece?
My leather jacket is my fast solution. That, and scarves and grey cashmere are my most worn items.

Is there something you collect in your own wardrobe?
When I find something I like, I tend to buy a lot of it until I find my "next" thing. At the moment, it's printed trousers. Great for spring and summer with T-shirting, light cashmere and a blazer or a casual jacket. In terms of collecting, I love shoes and bags... my latest love is my Miu Miu bag from Net-a-Porter.

What do you buy from chain stores?
I buy a lot of basics from Country Road - I live in their T-shirting, grey sweatshirts and pants.

What do you buy elsewhere?
Victorian Gilt is amazing, and now based on Waiheke Island, there is always a treasure to be found.

LOUISE HILSZ

Market editor and stylist for Simply You and Simply You Living, Louise Hilsz is a self-confessed colour junkie.

A secret or unexpected store that you love?
Recently while sourcing for a shoot, I visited a crazy fabric emporium in Onehunga, Antique Fabric & Lace. Not only did it have a brilliant selection of lace but my eyes lit up at the array of sequin motifs in every style you could imagine. I plan on investing in all sorts to decorate my jackets.

Your favourite place to shop online?
I love eBay and have for years. You find unique pieces that are such a surprise when they arrive on your doorstep. Shopfatal stocks some of my favourite designers like Jeremy Scott, KTZ, Moonspoon Saloon and House of Holland. I can't shop locally for these brands so being able to purchase them online is a real treat.

One piece that can instantly update the wardrobe for spring?
Statement necklaces. Vibrant, jewelled necklaces instantly add a point of difference and change a dress from one season to the next. Plenty of stores are stocking them this season and there's something to suit every price range. Passionata stocks some beautiful vintage pieces that you will keep in your jewellery box for years to come or for an instant fix, hit chain stores like Lovisa.

Best place for shoes?
Runway in Newmarket stocks some fabulous brands such as Stella McCartney and Marc by Marc Jacobs. Andrea Biani is also bringing in some unique styles that I am in love with.

Best place for lingerie?
Smith & Caughey's Queen St have a fantastic selection and the staff there are excellent at fitting you in the right size. They stock Triumph which has an extensive range for bigger busts which suits me well.

How do you shop the new season collections?
I'm a colour junkie so there is always plenty to choose from come spring. I take a look at my winter wardrobe and think to myself it's time for change, mix it up and don't always go for the same thing. I love wearing dresses so stock up on them first - a dress sorts out your outfit in one go. I try to fill in gaps using colour. I'll often go to wear an outfit and think I need this style of shoe but in blue, not purple so I keep my eye out for that colour, same goes for jackets, sunglasses and bags.

Your key purchase for spring?
A floral shirt. The perfect trans-seasonal piece for when it's not quite warm enough for sleeveless but you still want to wear something that makes you feel summer is not too far away.

Is there something you collect in your own wardrobe?
I have a soft spot for sunglasses. I have collected dozens over the years and I feel like I can never have too many. Some I'll buy and wear once or twice and then there are others that get worn on a daily basis. I'm always on the hunt for a new pair and the more unconventional and out-there the better. Sherry from Sunglass Bar is my adviser. She has imported some amazing, hard-to-find styles for me that I will treasure forever and she keeps me updated with what to buy next. I'm very tempted to buy the Alexander McQueen visor, it's not often they sell the sunglasses from the runway. Every sunglass collection needs a UV protected designer visor.

What do you buy from designers?
I like to buy show-stopping, crazy pieces. When World sent a fluoro pink raincoat down the runway for their men's collection I had to buy it, and what an investment - it keeps me dry and looks fabulous. I like to wear colour and pattern every day so I don't invest in timeless classics, I go the opposite. Every collection always has the stand-out editorial pieces that shows off the creativity of the designer; these are the pieces I invest in.

Favourite spring trend?
I love pastel candy colours so I'm very keen to see them in full force this spring. I like wearing pastel prints as you can team them with different colours. You need to be careful with pastel as it can have similar effects as wearing white, so a print is ideal as it breaks up the block colour.

GRETA VAN DE STAR

A freelance stylist, Greta van de Star has produced work for magazines including Remix, M2 Woman, Cosmopolitan Bride UK, The Guide, NZ Weddings and Metro, and styled music videos for local bands Unknown Mortal Orchestra and She's So Rad.

A secret or unexpected store that you love?
Opshops, anywhere but central Auckland. I'm addicted to sifting through old boxes to find treasure. If you don't enjoy the hunt, I recently discovered Let's Go Retro in Swanson on a trip home from Piha. It's a very well-curated store with everything from Crown Lynn dinner sets, button collections, old medicine bottles and vintage dresses. I bought a black Japanese silk dress with a cream lace collar in perfect condition.

Your favourite place to shop online?
The Outnet is great for a splurge on something special, and Asos for brands like Whistles and See by Chloe. They have a mix of interesting smaller French and British brands, and I've noticed they also support some of our New Zealand favourites like Twenty-seven Names.

The piece that every woman should have in her wardrobe ...
The perfect silk shirt. There is something about the drape of the fabric and the way it feels on your skin; you feel especially feminine. I tend to toughen it up with a leather jacket or skirt. Top places for silk shirts in Auckland are Equipment at Fabric, Liam, and Sherie Muijs.

Best way to update a look with accessories?
Go large. If you want to invest then head to Wunderkammer on Ponsonby Rd, their rings are one-off, and made and designed in NZ. You won't find anything else like it. For something quick and affordable I'd go to Lovisa in St Luke's Mall. They're jam-packed with loud pieces that are going to give you something to talk about.

Best place for lingerie?
Lonely Hearts, hands down. High waist underwear and soft cup bras in the most delicious, delicate lace, and just so comfy.

Best place for spring dresses?
I'm looking forward to the new Penny Sage collection, by designer Kate Megaw. She will be recutting her favourite pieces in beautiful sorbet tones. The designs are perfectly simple, highly romantic and make you want to dance.

Best place for denim?
Jeans shopping isn't easy for anyone. I love Wrangler - there's room inside those jeans for curves and they do great high-waisted styles.

How do you shop the new season collections?
I peek in my wardrobe and see what I'm missing, write a list and make myself stick to it - unless something incredible pops up. It's easy to get caught up in all the latest trends and new collections but you really want to stick to buying a couple of special pieces to enhance what you have. You don't need a lot, just the right pieces.

Your favourite collection for spring?
Just one? Really? Locally, I have always had a soft spot for Ingrid Starnes. She has a strong aesthetic which is ultra-feminine and luxurious. Her dresses are the right measure of girly yet functional, the collection a dedication to beautiful detail - a sharp pleat, a pocket trim.

Your personal wardrobe fail-safe piece?
A simple navy and white striped tee. It goes with anything and with a smudge of red lippy you feel very French.

Is there something you collect in your own wardrobe?
Dresses. Mainly vintage. I have 20-plus, yet not enough. I'm also a sucker for vintage and knitted hats.

What do you buy from chain stores?
Stockings and socks. Glassons and Farmers always have a great selection, and Kmart have some fun safari style packs at the moment. Animal prints and earth tones. Perfect to team with heels. I never want to hide them away.

Favourite spring trend?
Floral prints are always a favourite, and I love preppy trousers and blazers. I tend to buy items that will last beyond one season over the latest trends.

KYLIE COOKE

A stylist for fashion, film and TV, Kylie Cooke has worked on campaigns for Overland, Servilles and more. She was also the key stylist for New Zealand's Next Top Model.

Your favourite place to shop online?
I love to browse Net-a-Porter, Far Fetch, Polyvore and Luisaviaroma but mostly it's "wish-list" shopping for me... If I do buy online I tend to purchase from Shopbop, ASOS and recently, Boohoo.

One piece that can instantly update the wardrobe for spring?
A pair of printed pants is an easy way to instantly refresh your spring wardrobe. The trick is to be sure and ground them with a solid coloured top and minimalist heels.

The piece that every woman should have in her wardrobe ...
There's really at least 10 things a woman should have in her wardrobe but if I can choose just one I would say it's a coat. I'm a huge fan of the humble coat. Be it trench, pea or car, this is an investment piece you'll wear forever, even if you fluctuate in size.

Best way to update a look with accessories?
Collars are a fun addition to your accessories cache. From Saben's studded version for the tough girl in you to a pretty pearl peter pan collar from Diva, they'll give a blouse, dress or sweater an effortless spring update.

Best place for shoes?
Kathryn Wilson's Shoebox currently residing outside Shed 4, Wellesley St. The summer collection includes loads of chic heels, wedges, flat form sandals and flats. Her heels are so well balanced you can dance all night in them and they won't cost you the earth.

Best place for spring dresses?
The holy trinity of local designers - Kate, Karen or Trelise - or for something a little less structured head to Miss Crabb's for her "Rise" dress, it's a guaranteed good time.

Best place for denim?
If you have cash to splash then it has to be Fabric but for denim on a budget Glassons can not be beaten.

How do you shop the new season collections?
Initially I go with my instincts, I have quite defined taste so I like to follow my gut. Colour, pattern and print always appeal and as I tend to wear pants a great deal, I'm always searching for the right blouse or top to work back into my wardrobe. I've been inclined to buy lots of small pieces in the past but as I have an extensive wardrobe I'm trying a new approach of less is more.

Your favourite collection for spring?
My favourite collections for spring are a tie between Zambesi's, and Kate Sylvester's "All My Heart". My man-style tendencies love the camo print pieces by Zambesi and I adore the sentiment embroidered on shirt collars and printed on T-shirts, the subtle Victorian influences, the pretty colour palette and beautifully complementary jewellery collaboration with Mirabelle by Kate Sylvester.

Your key purchase for spring?
I'm desperate for a Nom*D Snoodie and their Souvenir print overalls. The Snoodie because I'm obsessed with all forms of headdress: hats, caps, turbans, head scarves and the overalls because I'm always partial to a onesie. I admire the way they've used iconic Kiwi imagery in their unique Nom*D way and I don't think they'll ever date.

Is there something you collect in your own wardrobe?
There are a number of items I collect but I'm constantly working on building my collection of jumpsuits. When I have enough of them I'll wear them daily like a uniform.

What do you buy from chain stores?
I'm a massive fan of accessories and chain stores are a brilliant place to pick up inexpensive statement pieces that amp up any outfit. I'm always picking up sparkly bits and pieces from Lovisa, Diva and Dotti.

Favourite spring trend?
The printed pant for sure. Anyone who knows me knows I've always loved what I call "a crazy pant", I wear them regardless of whether they're on trend or not. Simply put they appeal to my sartorial sensibilities.

- NZ Herald

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