This year has treated Welly residents to a crisp, bright Winter this year, free of sullying rain.
That bright and relatively windless weather has given me permission to leave my raincoat at home and experiment with layers. As a Wellingtonian, I've been piling on coats and jumpers over dresses, to get the most out of my wardrobe through 'transitional' dressing. So what is transitional dressing, I hear you ask? Simply speaking, it refers to clothes that seamlessly ‘transition’ you through seasons, from winter-to-spring, without having to buy a whole new wardrobe. The idea with transitional dressing is pretty simple. Buy a few new items, mix them in with your existing wardrobe, adopt a few rules to styling them, edit out some strictly summer-only items and you’re set.
It won’t come as a surprise to anyone who has been following ‘The Residents’ for a while that I am a big fan of the beautiful clothes designed and made in New Zealand by Annabelle Wilson, the designer behind the brand ‘Wilson Trollope’. This Winter season, just like the mixing of seasons in my wardrobe, her Cactaceae has been mixing desert imagery in with practical warm dressing for these cold winter months. Annabelle was inspired by the scientific drawings of Cactuses she found in one of her family’s old books in the attic. These precise, clinical images of Cacti she found gave rise to the story of a lady artist, who spends the day in the desert looking at the plants and sketching them before the sunset of blush purple and blue falls.
Cactaceae is the perfect collection for layering this year when you live in an unpredictable climate like Poneke. You’ll find a carefully curated range of lady-like coats, dresses, shirts, skirts and tops that channel this years trend for film heroine 50’s styles and complementary colour with purpose. Many of them can be mixed in, adding something a bit extra to your already existing classic pieces, and will take you through 2017. Wilson Trollope creates timeless garments that don’t age based on trends. They are made to last for years to come and I for one will be passing them onto Revill junior.
Now on sale (can I get a ‘Woop!’), Wilson Trollope’s Cactaceae Collection is perfect to wear throughout Winter in Wellington, keeping you stylish and warm. Mix it up with a biker jacket or some leather biker boots for a tougher edge on your desert damsel. And with the lack of wind, all you’ll need is an umbrella if the rain starts to fall.
Each piece in the collection is transitional, meaning it can be worn multiple ways, no matter the temperature. If you find yourself catching a chill, simply layer on a coat or shirt to transform your look. I paired up with my friend Megan from Mode & Methodology to show you how versatile these Wilson Trollope items can be when you mix and match in unexpected ways.
Look 1: The 'New' New York Gamine
For days when the sun is shining, wear a coloured or the black Jewel Dress with a Stripe Jumper pullover, maybe over a crisp, white Wanderer Shirt. This kind of look is perfect for transitioning from the office to going out at night on the town. Just remove your outer layers and reveal the elegance within. To me, it feels like off-guard Audrey Hepburn, waltzing through New York. Accessorise with simple black suede heels or bad ass leather boots/Doc Martins. Don’t forget this season's key statement tassel earrings in peppermint black and white stripes (also available from Wilson Trollope in store)!
Jewel Dress in Black: Was $340 now $204; Wanderer Shirt: Was $229 now $179; Stripe Jumper: $299. Earrings available in store, subject to availability. Bag by Pedro's Bluff, available online or in store.
Look 2: The Succulent Socialite
Who says you can have too many layers? Channel Elizabeth Taylor by throwing a broad cape-like-coat like this Globe Coat carelessly over a Night Bloom Blazer. Sport a pale pink and charcoal patterned Cactus Top underneath and watch them gasp at how you managed to pull off so many textures and patterns flawlessly. Rich silk underneath beautifully contrasts thick warm wool on the outside. Pair with a kick-ass pair of tailored pants, heels as high as you can take and large 'don't f*%k with me' sunglasses + diamonds to finish the look.
Look 3: The Colourful Cacti
Colour in Winter will brighten up your Wellington day, even in the grimmest of settings. Have you been drinking the Cactus juice? You might wonder – especially when wearing Wilson Trollope’s blooming bright Kaleidoscope Dress. Megan paired this with large cross earrings (also available from Wilson Trollope) that evoke Baz Luhrmann's Romeo and Juliet and cut through with this white bright Wanderer Shirt. Matched with high heels that want to be taken out, this is a look that will have them wondering what light through yonder window breaks?
Look 4: The Parisian Librarian
I chose the Night Bloom Skirt and Mirage Top, a hydrangea blue blouse. Together this classic combo made me feel like a 1940’s Parisian girl, waiting for her artist girlfriend to arrive. I wanted to sing and dance as I jumped around Edward Street, outside Little Beer Quarter and Meow. These garments are so sturdily constructed that they will take you through all seasons, helping you build a reliable investment wardrobe. Wilson Trollope uses high-quality natural fabrics that last and line their coats for warmth. This outfit is one I’d feel equally comfortable wearing to the office or out to a show. Yes, it is a bit more covered up that is trendy right now. But I’ll be having the last laugh when the sun sets on a cold Winter night and the rest of the girls are in booty shorts.
Four Seasons. One Day. That’s what Crowded House sang about New Zealand. It pretty much sums up why transitional dressing and these quality made in New Zealand garments by a local Wellingtonian are worth investing in (although even they would be surprised by Cacti growing in Wellington in Winter).
All photos taken by the epic Ashley Church of Dinosaurtoast.