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By Diana Clarke
April 10, 2015
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By Diana Clarke
April 10, 2015
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There is no shortage of women’s fashion in Auckland. The place is a womenswear breeding ground. From chain stores, to opshops, markets to designer boutiques, you’ll find the lot scattered around big city’s ‘burbs. To do the city’s fashion offerings justice, you’d have to spend weeks traversing stores and trawling the racks, but for when you’re in a fashion emergency, or in need of a quick fashion fix, here are a few stores you should check out.

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1. Fabric

You’ve got to be prepared to spend a paycheck when you go to Fabric. Commes des Garcons, Isabel Marant and Wynn Hamlyn are amongst the labels on offer. It’s got a sport luxe, casual, tomboy vibe, and everything on the racks could be worn with sneakers. Luckily New Balance is aplenty on the shop floor.

5 High Street, Auckland CBD

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2. The Department Store

It is fitting that womenswear inhabits the top floor of the Department Store. Because it is a little bit heavenly up there. A mix of labels that complement each other without being too alike; you’ll find the best of Topshop, as well as Neuw, Tigerlily, Chaos & Harmony and plenty more big hitting brands. Aside from the top floor, you’ve got lingerie, swimwear and bridal on the first floor and Karen Walker and Black Box on the ground. What’s more, after you’ve exhausted the clothing racks, you can head over to Lucy and the Powder Room for some pampering, or Stephen Marr for a quick blow dry.

10 Northcroft Street, Takapuna

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3. Karen Walker

The local designer that can do no wrong. She could recreate neon spandex and still reign queen of fashion week. Her stuff is featured annually in New York Fashion Week, which is a testament to the quality of her designs. Always on trend with a quirk or too thrown in, her fashion and jewellery are worn nationwide. But it is her eyewear that has gained the most traction overseas, including Hollywood where celebs seem to be sporting KW to protect their peepers and hide from the paps.

18 Te Ara Tahuhu Walking Street, Britomart

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4. Maaike and Co

This boutique is really eclectic in its product. Little curated stores tend to have a core look, with all the brands on offer sticking to a certain style. But at Maaike and Co you can pick up a silk gown, a pair of paint-splattered sneakers and a recyclable soy candle all at once. You’ll find Kowtow, Nom*D and Nyne amongst the shelves, along with the label Maaike itself, which is right up there with the best of New Zealand designs.

179/183 Karangahape Road, Auckland CBD

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5. Lonely

The best way to make any outfit better looking is to accessorise with underwear.  And the best underwear to wear is Lonely. When you think about it, Lonely is kind of a sad name for a lingerie brand, but it works for Lonely. Because their underwear doesn’t look or feel as though it is made with your significant other in mind. It is comfortable, practical and really really ridiculously good looking.

Shop 7, 130 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby

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6. Ruby

Ruby is the sweetheart of New Zealand made womenswear. The label’s colour palette changes with the season, and there is usually a token seasonal print that you can prepare yourself to see dressing every second female in town. Their lines are always sophisticated and classy, with an underlying cuteness that will probably win you over and have you buying top, skirt and dress, all in the same fabric.

4 High Street, Auckland CBD

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7. A Little Shop

This place is underrated. It is this kind of upmarket, carefully curated boutique that Auckland needs more of. And anyone hoping to fill that market gap should take note from A Little Shop. Find Maurie & Eve, Stylestalker and Blak amongst a heap of other local and international brands. It’s mostly high end prices but they have decent sales going all the time, so it’s a good pit stop for those on a budget.

177 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby

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8. Superette

Is there really need for a blurb? Superette is the ultimate convenience store for a one stop fashion update. The shop looks like a museum of awesome.  There are clothes, and they are great. Think Ksubi, Stolen Girlfriends, Bassike and Deadly Ponies. But they also have homeware, knick-knacks, art and accessories that make the place look like a little haven of high fashion.

34 Nuffield Street, Newmarket

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9. Lana Boutique

It is easy to overlook, but Lana’s stocks international brands that are worth crossing the bridge for. Kudos to Lana herself, who always curates the shop floor to perfection. You’ll find a healthy mixture of leading brands and up and comers, from Bec & Brifge, to Shakuhachi, to Senso and Saben. At Lana finding something you love, and will continue to love, is basically a given.

3/21 Hurstmere Road, Takapuna

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10. Sass & Bide

Sass & Bide’s window mannequins are better dressed than I am.  The two designers, Sarah-Jane Clarke and Heidi Middleton, met in London in 1999 selling bespoke denim label, and went on to create a label that has successfully achieved world domination. The look behind the label is the union of unlikely looks. Clashing colours, masculine shapes mixed with feminine detailing, lace and metal, it’s all a bit obscure but it work

85 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby

Published on April 10, 2015 by Diana Clarke

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