Embracing winter layers on an outing with Admire

 

Thomas's winter layering with Admire

There’s something downright exciting about a sudden chill in the air, making you reach for your favourite sweater, that marks the changing season. Fast forward a month, and dressing well for winter is imperative for those wanting to get out and make the most of frosty recreation. Outfits have to multitask in fluctuating temperatures, functioning for both your cold morning battle scraping an ice-licked windscreen and the subsequent stop at the warm haven of the local cafe. Tempting as it is to forgo fashion to focus on comfort, there is a way to dress cosily for winter and look fabulous doing it. A little visual inspiration goes a long way. Our latest photo shoot with Admire magazine showcases our warmest, comfiest pieces and how they can be worn this season to make you the snug, stylish cold-weather warrior you were meant to be.

In another stunning collaboration with photographer David James, and stylist – Thomas’s own Ingrid Binsted-Pickering, our fashion shoot follows local models Fenella Smith and Josh Thomas as they eke out every last bit of open-air adventure despite the arrival of chilly autumn breezes. Ingrid says the idea for the photo shoot emerged out of, “staff members talking about what they would do on the weekends with their kids, partners, and friends – walks out at the Wairau lagoons, out to Pelorus Bridge, Picton and Marfells beach.” She adds that there was interest in, “how to be comfy, warm and casual but still look cool,” during cooler months.

Armoured with chunky knits and lots of layers, we set our models to explore Marlborough’s natural playgrounds, using White’s Bay, Rarangi, and Monkey Bay as backdrops. Our couple appear dressed in this season’s favoured wardrobe colours, clearly inspired by the transitioning landscape that surrounds them. Hues of khaki and forest green, rich navy, deep copper orange, mustard yellow and ox-blood burgundy feel like the right choice for venturing through the countryside on these cold but striking days.

Ingrid’s key to dressing this stylishly clad couple is working with clever layers. Conquer the flux of temperatures our Marlborough winters offer by adding or removing layers throughout the day to maintain the right temperature as you dart from warm interiors to nippy walks outdoors. It needn’t be complicated: just start with a Mons Royale, Icebreaker or similar merino piece for a soft, thin, warm base that can be worn close to the skin on its own or under chunky knits. Next, add layers with the huge range of long sleeve tees, plaid shirts, coats, puffers and knits from Commoners, RPM and Huffer we see coming through our doors.

Cosy winter fashion with Thomas's and Admire

It’s important to mix texture and colour as you layer for warmth on top while maintaining basic staples – a good pair of jeans for instance, on bottom. Nudie or G-star RAW’s new Lank jean work perfectly – chic and casual on a weekend wander partnered with a Huffer vest, resurging this season with newly released colours for men and women, worn over a long sleeve tee. Your winter wardrobe should let you feel stylishly relaxed and comfortable in whatever task you find yourself embarking on, be it a winter hike, ski weekend, or cosy dinner out.

If you’d like to see how easy finding the right layers can be, stop in to see one of our friendly staff who will be happy to help or have a look online for some ideas. Even if you’re just looking to add to your winter wardrobe, we have new styles and colours this season that are sure to work with your trusty favourites and give them a new lease on life.

 

Photography: David James

Stylist: Ingrid Binsted-Pickering

Makeup Artist: Amber-Louise Connor

Hair Stylist: Lizzie Nott

Models: Fenella Smith & Josh Thomas

Love letters and magazines – a photo shoot with Lonely and Admire

 

Moody lighting, the sound of Billie Holliday’s velvety voice crooning down the hallway of a vintage theatre – that’s the ambience of our latest photo shoot with Admire magazine.

The photo shoot was a collaboration between Thomas’s stylist Ingrid Binsted-Pickering and photographer David James – setting the scene for Lonely lingerie. “Lonely is such a feminine, comfort, feel-good label. With beautiful cuts, romantic colours, the lace and straps – it’s something quite unique and special in comparison to your regular lingerie,” says Ingrid, who was inspired by 1930s Paris and young starlets getting ready backstage. Featuring local dance teachers and dancers Gemma Adams and Elly Molloy, with the Boathouse Theatre as backdrop, brought its own local charm to this set.

New Zealand-based design house Lonely is an advocate for real women, celebrating their strength and individuality. Finding beauty in the unconventional gave rise to their Lonely Girls Project, a journal that allows women to post candid photos of themselves wearing Lonely, with no touch ups. The result is a series of portraits where the natural, unrestricted beauty of women from all walks of life is proudly displayed without an ounce of inhibition; it’s a poignant campaign for positive body image. Add to it the fact that their designs are incredibly comfortable, and you can see why women are so passionate about this label. At Thomas’s this range is hugely popular with customers of all ages. In the words of Lonely designer Helene Morris, Lonely is:

“For women who wear lingerie as a love letter to themselves.”

Bringing to life our favourite labels is what Ingrid does best, for this spread designing a theatrical scene to showcase our two starlets, as they prepare backstage for the spotlight. Choosing such an intimate label for this magazine spread was an obvious choice for Ingrid, who calls it, “a fashion piece to be worn and seen. The minute the girls put the lingerie on they were in love with the comfort and femininity of it.” Paired with luxe robes by Cathy Campbell, you can see why these are pieces meant to be shown off.

The Lonely shoot appears in Admire’s latest edition, out 7 April – and the second to last Marlborough edition before it merges with the Nelson/Tasman spread. Working with Admire has been a dream, as they highlight local talent, entertainment and foodie culture as well as giving insight into who’s who and what’s what in Marlborough. Get your copy now.

The Lonely range is available in-store at Thomas’s – take a cue from our shoot and become your own Lonely Girl.

Lonely at Thomas's by David James Photography

Photographer: David James

Stylist: Ingrid Binsted-Pickering

Makeup Artist: Grace Simpson

Hairdresser: Ashleigh Nott

Models: Gemma Adams & Elly Molloy

Robes by Cathy Campbell https://www.facebook.com/Cathy-Campbell-1539029719670100/?ref=ts&fref=ts

Special thanks to the Boathouse Theatre for the use of backstage.

 

Built to last – a new and an old favourite for Slow Fashion: Nudie Jeans & Kowtow

Nudie Jeans and Thomas's for Slow Fashion

Slow fashion for men

Swedish label Nudie Jeans has officially arrived at Thomas’s. This is a brand that aligns itself closely with the emerging slow-fashion movement, where quality takes precedence over quantity, timeless before trendy. Nudie Jeans joins some incredible labels that we have carried over the years who strive to make eco-friendly clothing that will stand the test of time through classic designs, organic materials, and superior craftsmanship.

Nudie Jeans at Thomas's

Nudie jeans is a label born from an absolute adoration of denim, from the way the fabric is made right down to the life and feel it takes on as it ages. If you’ve ever owned a favourite pair of jeans that’s lasted for years, known the way the soft fit feels like slipping into a second skin, then you understand the sort of experience Nudie Jeans aims to provide. But they know that experience doesn’t happen straight off the shelf; this is familiarity and maturity that can only happen over time. The mindset is that a good pair of jeans carries “history in every rip and repair, like pages in a diary.” Nudie jeans reflects you as an individual over time, meaning they need to be built to last.

Nudie Jeans from Sweden at Thomas's

Of course, Nudie jeans takes the task of building durable jeans to the highest level, using only organic cotton and insisting on production that is fair and transparent, a small step that hugely influences the quality of the final product. These are jeans that don’t care what the current trend is, instead focusing on how you feel and look in them. Once you’ve met your perfect pair, the company even offers repair kits to keep them a part of your wardrobe through the long haul. You will also see that they recycle and resell their older gear, yet another commitment to the eco-friendly nature of their label. It’s a mindset that feels good to wear.

A good pair of jeans carries “history in every rip and repair, like pages in a diary.”

Slow fashion for women

While we’re on the path of looking at labels that aim to make sustainable fashion, one of our absolute favourites is Kowtow. Kowtow slows the fashion world right down with their building block basics; timeless, multifunctional pieces like skirts that untangle to become shirts or simple dresses that layer under or over the louder collection pieces. Kowtow has been creating clothing that doesn’t just physically last, but escapes the need to be trendy with time-honoured classics you will wear over and over.

Kowtow at Thomas's

Kowtow evolved under the passionate guidance of Wellingtonian, Gosia Piatek. She found her niche in the fashion industry with a simple insistence that whatever she created, it had to be done ethically and sustainably. Kowtow has stuck to that, becoming certified Fairtrade and sustainable “from seed to garment”. By using only certified organic cotton and truly involving themselves in every stage of the line’s production, this is a label making waves on an international level for slow fashion.

There is beautiful structure even to Kowtow’s most basic pieces, sometimes voluminous with layered sleeves or generously wide pant legs, while at other times slouchy, flowy and relaxed.

There is beautiful structure even to Kowtow’s most basic pieces, sometimes voluminous with layered sleeves or generously wide pant legs, while at other times slouchy, flowy and relaxed. These are elements that make the line timeless; starting with simple, high-quality material and transforming it into a work of art through nothing more than shape and cut. Kowtow’s clothing is so incredibly multifunctional, dressing up or down with ease, that you find a million ways to wear one piece over the years. What’s amazing is how Kowtow manages to make every detail a signature of their philosophy embracing simplicity, durability and sustainability, from fabric and stitch to beautiful hemp buttons.

Kowtow comfort and style at Thomas's

You’ll never regret choosing classic pieces in high quality fabric with traditional cuts, which is why the slow fashion movement is gaining traction and guiding people away from fast fashion. So, if you’ve been wanting to slow your own world down a little and get off the treadmill, come in and see how these labels look and feel in person. It might just be the beginning of a journey with a piece you’ll be wearing for years to come.

Fall Trend Scouting with Thomas’s Stylist, Hamish

Fall trends with Thomas'sA new season is as exciting as it gets for the fashion world, and fall fashion is one of the most anticipated of them all. With so many layering opportunities, there’s a real chance to mix tried and true favourites with fresh-faced trends.

There’s a lot coming through our doors right now in preparation for that shift, and I’m already loving this season’s colourful ponchos and high-neck knitwear in fine merino and cashmere, all showing beautifully in charcoals, classic navy and blacks with highlights in bright yellows, brilliant leaf green and red. Caroline Sills and Kowtow are making an especially good case for grabbing something cosy to put on, as is Gestuz, below.

Fall trends at Thomas's

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paired with trendy high-waisted jeans sporting a worn look with holes and rips, it’s a memorable look to bring on a season that celebrates evenings by the fire, hot cups of tea in bed, and as much hygge as you can squeeze into a weekend.

Along with go-to knits for the season, here are some wishlist-worthy trends coming to Thomas’s:

Florals and prints– Still right at the front of the trend, from Tuesday’s sweet stitched florals (below left in the Amy dress) and boldly coloured stripes to colourful geometric birds adorning Karen Walker’s distinctive line (below right). We’re loving florals and prints, whether it’s an embellishment or the whole nine yards.


Tuesday Amy dress at Thomas'sKaren Walker Lugubrious dress at Thomas's

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bomber Jackets- Continuing with the floral and print motif, be prepared to arm yourself for cold weather with a chic bomber jacket, still popular this season with soft satins and floral motifs decorating the arms and back, as seen on Tuesday’s bomber jacket below.

 

Tuesday bomber at Thomas's

 

Detailed Sleeves-  You’re going to notice that detailed sleeves are embellishing classic styles with a fun, flirty signature look across the range, in the form of frills (Tuesday’s Zena dress); ruffles (Kate Sylvester’s Damaris dress below right); floral motifs; and cut-out details like this from Gestuz, below left.

Fall trends at Thomas's

Kate Sylvester Damaris dress at Thomas's

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Black Denim-  Black is still at the top, but 90s styles take the lead, moving away from ultra-skinny legs and onto straighter cuts with high waists. Ksubi (below), Diesel and G-Star deliver the perfect look for this trend.

Ksubi black jeans at Thomas's

‘Jogg Jean’- If you haven’t heard about Jogg jeans, your life is about to get way more comfortable. Once you put them on, they are like wearing a favourite pair of sweats disguised as jeans. Made from a sweatshirt-like material, they combine comfort with style. Diesel ‘Jogg’ jeans have been around for a few years, but they are quickly changing the face and feel of denim. (See two of our new styles below.) Once they’re on, you’ll never want to take them off.

Diesel Jogg jean at Thomas's

Diesel Jogg jeans at Thomas's

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wide Legs, Culottes and Skirts-  Wide leg pants (see below right from Gestuz) and silhouette-changing culottes are making a big statement this season. Finishing at the ankle, they beautifully pair with ankle booties and chunky knits on top (like this look from Caroline Sills below left). Of course, high hitting boots, just below the knee or just over, are making a comeback too, pairing perfectly with the parade of skirts coming through our doors. Maxi, circular, or pencil skirt; it doesn’t matter as long as it’s comfortable.

Fall Trends at Thomas'sFall Trends at Thomas's

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t forget updating your work wardrobe adds a little excitement to the daily routine. It may be as simple as adding a few new tailored shirts, cool blue or classic white, or one of our gorgeous jackets.

And there are always accessories to transform your old favourites – a new bag, scarf and the right colour lipstick can update a beautiful black dress in a moment. From the ever popular Deadly Ponies come these two beauties.

Deadly Ponies handbags at Thomas'sDeadly Ponies handbags at Thomas's

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, the best trend is the one that suits you. Check out our new fall range online or stop in store to try these trends and discover more ideas.

All this season’s best,

Hamish

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Q+A with Zambesi’s Liz Findlay

Liz Findlay from Zambesi talking to Thomas's

Liz Findlay by Marissa Findlay

 

One of the pleasures of working in a business like Thomas’s is bringing the best clothing and designs in the world for our customers to shop right here in Marlborough. Forming enduring relationships with the creative forces behind these designs is another pleasure. Working with Elisabeth and Neville Findlay from Zambesi which the husband and wife team founded in 1979 has always been a delight. Liz has kindly agreed to answer a few of our questions about the art and inspiration behind this leading NZ brand and its creators.

 

Q. You place great value in your clothing being entirely New Zealand made. How have you managed to sustain this while other designers have had to look overseas?

First of all we are very proud that we are New Zealand made. This is a commitment we made early on and we are determined to continue on this path. There are challenges and consequences, however, this is something that is very important to us at Zambesi. We have a workroom in Newton, Auckland which is a very creative environment for many sets of skills required to pattern and construct our garments.  

Q. How can we try to preserve, or re-introduce, specialist manufacturing and machinist skills in this country? How important is this?

By encouraging young people with the desire to make garments to take this on as a career move we could build a stronger manufacturing base. The construction of garments is an art and I feel it has been undervalued for some time.

 

The construction of garments is an art and I feel it has been undervalued for some time.

 

Q. We’ve heard you say you find inspiration in the fabric itself. Where else do you find inspiration – from your travels or from friends, people you meet?

I am continually inspired by the talented, creative staff around me in the workroom and our Zambesi stores. They are all individuals who wear the brand in their own way, keeping it real. We are so fortunate to have a loyal following which has been built over the years and this is inspirational as it continues to provide the challenge to create.    

Q. Do you have a particular Zambesi muse? What does she embody?

Not really a particular muse! I find myself thinking about what I would like to wear, or see being worn. Pieces that may be missing from my own wardrobe and re-creating pre-loved garments from the archive.

Q. You’ve been producing Zambesi collections for more than thirty years. Do you have a favourite collection from these years or does each new collection become your favourite?

I don’t think I have a favourite collection and in fact I think we have produced one great big collection that is ongoing.

Q. What is your favourite piece from the Spring/Summer 2016/17 collection?

I love to mix things up a little so that would mean several pieces!

 

 

Q. Who in the world would you most like to see wearing Zambesi?

Anyone with an imagination – head in the clouds, feet on the ground.

Q. Favourite spot in New Zealand?

Home! Anywhere with the family!

Q. Favourite city in the world?

I do love Paris! I am so lucky that I go twice a year to buy imports for our stores, so that is like going shopping for others which satisfies my desire to choose things.

Q. Who would you love to invite to dinner and what would you serve?

Leonard Cohen – something Greek!

Q. Favourite designer of all time – past or present?

Hard to choose! Maybe Martin Margiela.

Q. Any words you try to live by?

Don’t be afraid

Never give up

There is a crack in everything – that’s how the light gets in.

 

Two powerhouse New Zealand designers now have their own areas in store

Karen Walker concept area at Thomas's Lonely concept area at Thomas'sWe’re delighted to have launched new concept areas recently in store with two powerhouse Kiwi brands – Karen Walker and Lonely.

Karen Walker – one of New Zealand’s biggest fashion exports – made the news over the weekend with her decision not to show at New York Fashion Week this season. She’s been a regular on the New York fashion circuit for a decade but has just announced that with the changes in social media marketing New York no longer works for her. You can read more about it here. Brave call for a brave designer and it is testament to her status and influence that this decision isn’t likely to hurt her sales.

The Karen Walker aesthetic captures a sense of eccentric elegance and her clothes and accessories are beloved around the world, including by personalities such as Alexa Chung, Lorde, Rihanna, Gigi Hadid and Florence Welch. Come in and experience the Karen Walker phenomenon with a new spring range that is all about colour and distinctive patterns.

Karen Walker concept store at Thomas's“Fostering a sense of positive body image and freedom of expression, Lonely eschews conventional marketing, bringing its collections to life via the Lonely Girls Project, a journal featuring women around the world from all walks of life captured wearing Lonely in their way.”

These are the words of Helene Morris, Lonely designer, who along with Steve Ferguson makes up the Auckland-based Lonely duo. The Lonely Girls Project focuses on real women – of many sizes and shapes – being photographed in their underwear. And it is due to this refreshing approach to marketing, as well as the beautiful designs, that Lonely is fast gaining cult status across the globe.

These guys are big on Instagram. Follow along to find out more about the Lonely Girls Project.

Lonely - new range at Thomas'sLonely celebrates women’s strength and individuality with beautiful, and comfortable, lingerie, swimwear and clothing. This latest spring summer 2016 range was inspired by the movie Ghost World, starring Thora Birch and Scarlett Johansson.

Lonely is appealing to a broad range of women here in Marlborough – all ages are snapping up the lingerie and enjoying the flexibility of the clothing which can be dressed up or down. We’ve had great feedback and there’s more lingerie and lounge wear arriving at the end of the month and then again in November, when the swimwear will make its appearance.

Come in store and see what all the fuss is about. Our wonderful staff in womenswear would love to help you discover the Karen Walker and Lonely collections for yourself.

Image credit: In-store photographs by Peter Burge

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Spring into new fashion – what to look out for this season

Trends for Spring 2016 at Thomas's

At Thomas’s we like to stay at the forefront of fashion so we can offer you a broad selection of the best designs available, right here in Marlborough. As well as keeping our eye firmly fixed on design trends, we are also committed to supporting beautifully, ethically and sustainably made clothing, created from enduring and high quality fabrics. We want to sell you great clothes that last – so you can feel good while you look good!

Hamish is our fashion buyer and he and Tim frequent the fashion show front rows to keep up to date. We put some questions to Hamish about what to look out for in spring trends this year.

Spring 2016 Trends – Q&A with Hamish:

Q.  What are the main trends we should be looking out for in spring 2016 fashion?

A.  Off the shoulder styles are going to be strong, especial in preppy blue and white fabrics. Anything Victorian – ruffles, puffy sleeves, high-collar necklines and loads of flowers. Also look for lightweight denims and bomber jackets.

Q.  What’s else is happening in denim – are flares still the thing? Anything new?

A.  All our international brands are showing high-waisted straight leg jeans in light coloured denim, think 1990s, look for holes and raw edge hems. There has been a move on from flares, look for cropped bootlegs such as these from Neuw below. There is still dark and black denim as well as the boyfriend fit.

Neuw flared pant from Thomas's

Q.  What’s up in colours for this coming season?

A. Orange is strong, as is khaki, and look for white, prints, dusty pinks and light-coloured denim.

Spring 2016 Trends with Thomas's of Marlborough

Q. Is there a great difference between new ideas in men’s and womenswear?

A.  Fashion is always lead by women’s trends and men’s styling is taken from there, like colour, fabric and styling.

Q. What would be your favourite NZ label in store this spring – for men and women? What great things are Kiwi designers doing?

A. That would have to be Kowtow for women and Huffer for the guys – you can see both in the photos below. Both labels fit our Kiwi lifestyle, Kowtow uses organic cotton which has an amazing feel, and is so comfortable to wear.  We stock Kate Sylvester, Zambesi, Nyne, Workshop and have just opened our Karen Walker and Lonely concept area which is very exciting. We are so proud to stock so many outstanding NZ labels. It is very important to know your customer and keep true to that, it keeps people coming back season after season and that is what makes NZ labels so popular.

Kiwi cool from Kowtow - Sunday Jumpsuit 2Huffer for men from Thomas's

Q.  Which is your favourite international label in store?

A.  Ted Baker, both men’s and women’s. Their attention to detail is incredible, they use the best fabrics and cuts.

Q.  What labels do you recommend for those who want to be at the forefront of new trends?

A.  Karen Walker (see below left), Zambesi or international labels Ksubi or Diesel.

Q.  How about for those of us who are a little bit slower to get on board or who prefer a more classic look?

A.  Caroline Sills, or Obi, both have beautiful knitwear, dresses and pants and of course both are from NZ.

Q.  There’s a real feel of comfort in the new Camilla and Marc spring range, as witnessed in the image above. Is the comfort factor spread across other labels too?

A.  Comfort is the key to all labels – you will see brands do beautiful dresses for evening wear and casual clothing for the weekends.

Q.  And what’s your take on the must-have accessory for the coming months?

A.  Hoop earrings, mules for shoes and a Yu Mei bag.

You heard it here from Hamish first. Check out the new spring range online or come in store to see it for yourself. We have fantastic friendly staff who’re highly skilled at helping choose the perfect clothes for you.

We’ll leave the last word on the topic to the inimitable Vivienne Westwood, who once said “Fashion is very important. It is life-enhancing and, like everything that gives pleasure, it is worth doing well.” Couldn’t have said it better ourselves!

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