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Style on the Street: Humans of St Johns

26 Nov 2015

I often joke that whenever the sun’s out, Wellingtonians seem to forget they have jobs. So I decided to join the party (who am I kidding, I had nothing else scheduled). I grabbed my girlfriend and made a beeline for St Johns Bar & Restaurant – Wellington’s quintessential sun-soaked bar (it does happen!) and swiftly ordered a jug of sangria to get us going.

While working on our pre-summer tans, we got lost admiring statement pieces sported by Wellingtons finest. What a fabulous blog idea, I thought. I started out searching for people wearing statement pieces. I ended up finding statement people. 

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It may be unfair, but we do tend to think that women are ahead when it comes to stylish, yet casual, dress.

Guy, however, in his loud (but tasteful) geometrical jumper, proves otherwise. That lush handlebar moustache completes one hell of a look. Guy bought his ‘The People Vs’ jumper from their flagship store while on holiday in Bali. For those envious of Guy’s style, The People Vs is available right here in Wellington at Superette on Victoria Street. 

After a slight interrogation from me over Guy's clothes, he casually mentioned that he is in fact in the business of fashion himself. He is the founder of Wellington clothing label, ALC Apparel. Well that just makes sense, doesn’t it? 

My chastising him for not sporting his own gear led to Guy cheekily whipping off his jumper to reveal an ALC t-shirt underneath. (While doing so, he also dropped in that ALC and Garage Project Beer had teamed up for their launch party just last week here at St Johns – hey, a bit of shameless marketing never hurts!).

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The next person to grab my eye was Sarah. She was hard to miss, decked out head-to-toe in white – my favourite colour! What did Mae West say? Too much of a good thing can be wonderful? A pink clutch and matching lippy gave the outfit an added dash of colour and panache. 

Turns out, Sarah is a recent Fashion Design graduate from Massey University and is off to New York next week to pursue this career path. An internship with Kelsey Genna in Palmerston North has given her connections in the fashion world and lined her up with an internship over in the Big Apple.

Steph had on a full-length black Miss Crabb gown, which she had teamed with a grunge, studded denim jacket. Steph stressed that irrespective of price tag dresses that gorgeous are made to be worn. Laughing at the idea of “special occasion dresses”, she said her denim jacket made her look a little more day-time, and a little less black tie. As a bonus, a floaty Miss Crabb was a tactical choice in anticipation of a long lunch, which inevitably results in a slight food baby! Can’t argue with that logic.

Kristine Crabb, the brains behind the beauty, is known for taking a subversive approach to beauty/fashion, creating timeless pieces that appeal to all shapes and sizes. You can find Miss Crabb in Wellington, stocked exclusively at The Service Depot on Wakefield Street. 

Beautiful as the dress is, the stand out of this outfit for me is the 750 stud strong denim jacket, which Steph hand-studded herself. It was modelled on a 2011 Ksubi eagle jacket she had lusted over for months. While her heart told her yes, her bank balance told her no to the $750 price tag. “Why pay that when I can make it myself?”. Instead, Steph discovered a pre-loved Bennetton denim jacket while scouring through Cuba Street's iconic Recycle Boutique. The jacket set her back a mere $10 and the studs were sourced from Trade Me. This was a DIY job that showed me being a lawyer doesn’t automatically make you vanilla.

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For a while I have been on the look out for a staple denim jacket to add to my wardrobe, (since before Steph, I swear!) so I was immediately drawn to Heather when I spotted her in the distance. (Heather grabbed this one at Emporium, one of Cuba Street's op-shop boutiques, for those also on the hunt). However, what I ended up lusting after were Heather’s sunglasses, which she got from Harry’s in Seatoun. Classic really - I am yet to meet an item from Harry’s I haven’t fallen in love with. A trip to Harry’s certainly extends your shopping day past a stroll around the CBD but it’s worth it. Harry’s tagline is ‘affordable luxury’ with a selection that ranges from local to international labels – something is bound to appeal to you.

Mikka Bee (pictured below) is Wellington born and bred and is a current Red Eleven model. No wonder he caught our attention! Mikka studied Interior Design at Auckland University, but recently moved back to Wellington for the “nice vibe” (he’s only human!). Friend Lily Van Buskirk is, would you believe it, also a model. Originally from Massachusetts, Lily is currently living in Dunedin and is just in Wellington for a short vacation. What a gorgeous duo they do make.

Lily and Mikka are walking proof that fashion doesn’t necessitate expensive and unattainable designer clothing. These simple, on point, outfits show us that all you really need is an eye for style. Of course it certainly helps that models can make any outfit look slightly more fabulous than your average Joe! 

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After a couple of hours I left St Johns thinking my task was done. But upon leaving I ran into a young girl at the lights with a real sense of style and joie de vivre. When I asked her for her story she told me she was a Wellington High student and that she was skateboarding to an afternoon exam. Remembering my own days of trooping to my Catholic school exams, shrouded in a long, regulation cardigan and a 20kg floor-length black skirt, I asked “Can you really wear that to your exam?” I envied her nonchalant response, “Yeah it’s a mufti school man!”

It seems Wellington has a whole lot of talent, and here is a mere snapshot of it. You know you’re in a great city when you can find a bunch of stylish humans within a three-meter radius of your chair. All the more reason to have a cheeky weekday session – for educational purposes of course.

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