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Friday Follies: A Flying Auckland Visit

A weekend or so ago, I took a flying visit to Auckland, indulging in a Saturday to roam around several neighborhoods (K Road, Ponsonby, Herne Bay) and reconnect with some old friends before they left New Zealand. Here’s some of the great places I visited…and one or two not-so-great ones.

Cherry Bishop dress, retro cut, in Japanese cotton with – are you ready? – BUNNIES.

Cherry Bishop’s store in Herne Bay is stocked with well-cut retro-style dresses she’s designed. Two points of difference here: her skirts are flatteringly pleated into waistbands, not gathered. I prefer this tremendously – it makes the dresses more polished and flexible. And she picks out delicious fabrics that you won’t see on 200 other retro-istas, including Japanese cottons and patterns with New Zealand flair. The velvets of her winter dresses are thick and scrumptious, too.

Annex boutique on Ponsonby Road is unexpectedly charming, with stylish foundation pieces like Three Dots and Petit Bateau tees and knitwear, and chic French hair clips and barrettes. “I try to have things you can’t get online,” says the smiling owner.

Avant-garde Scotties boutique has both Auckland and Wellington branches. In Auckland, tucked away in Herne Bay, they have a small branch with a high-end recycle boutique. The sale rack there had some fantastic deals for $100 and under.

Not so great: K Road…otherwise known as Karangahape Road, the local “alternative” hipster strip…it’s also lost several places that gave it charm, like excellent used bookstores and fabric shops. I’ve outgrown the trendy t-shirt and unremarkable vintage stores that remain. And Nostalgia Restaurant, also known as Prohibition, is certainly a beautiful locale. A friend and I, asking if we might have afternoon tea despite our jeans, were dumped at a table outside by an icily soignee woman, who gave us a grubby drinks menu and…ignored us. Not even ow! Honestly, “sorry, ladies, we have a dress code,” would have been better.

Luckily dreamy Jafa Cafe washed the bad taste out of my mouth. From the lushest pancakes ever seen to vegan raw food platters, they have something for everybody, and it’s casual-as.

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Friday Follies: When Orange Attacks and Rainbows Return

The Rainbow Troupe is returning to Out in the Square on Saturday, January 19th – look for them onstage between 12:15 and 12:45!

The Rainbow Troupe for 2013, see them at Out in the Square tomorrow!

The Rainbow Troupe for 2013, see them at Out in the Square tomorrow!

Macklemore, the rapper who brought us Thrift Shop, supports queer rights and gay marriage, and his song “Same Love” went viral. Video below. Food for thought while poppin’ tags.

A great post on skirt lengths. In fact I think I love her blog, Extra Petite, in general. Makeup for beginners, and her “how to look older” post can also be read as “how to be very casual yet a touch polished.” Related: how to turn a straight skirt into a pencil skirt.

All that damn orange that the stores were trying to sell us in spring – is anybody wearing it? Anyone? I’m only seeing it deployed in shoes – people are keeping it as far from their faces as possible. I’m playing with jewel tones this summer – mustard, violet, cobalt – despite my pale complextion, courtesy of MAC Chili lipstick. Redheads, this is a good one for us!

I enjoy reading about travel, but many intense travel blogs seem to be by cocky male twentysomethings, extolling living out of an exquisitely curated backpack. Two travel blogs by women to inspire us. The Bold Soul moved to Paris at age 45, built a new career, and a new life. And Legal Nomads, about a woman who quit her job in law to travel, eat interesting food, and write. She has wise words on travel, traveling alone as a woman, and reverse culture shock/returning somewhere after a long time. Most of my international travel has been alone or only periodically accompanied and I hope to do an RTW (round-the-world) sometime in the next ten years.


Friday Follies: Boom, I Got Your Girlfriends

A Style Enthused Young Woman makes so much classic East Coast style superfresh. Click to view her Tumblr.

Blog crushes of the week: for a dose of urban femme realness, check out the  Tumblrs Femme Dreamboat and A Style Enthused Young Woman.  After reading these, my heart went pitter-pat. Then I went and put on lots of bright lipstick. Lots.

And for my USA and Europe readers, here is an enchanting Wellington sewing blog by my friend Joy – not just great sewing projects, but a lovely slice of Kiwi life – A Charm of Magpies.

Let’s say you love retro looks, especially the curve-flattering silhouettes of the 40s and 50s, but you stop short of the full-scale vintage-pinup-everything look. This discussion at You Look Fabulous about “bombshell” style is for you. And me. More on this soon, in fact.

The sweet urbanity of those Tumblrs reminds me that I am going to be in the U.S.A. later this year. I’ll be there from May 4th to June 4th. My itinerary: New Haven, CT; New York, NY; Philadelphia, PA; Bryn Mawr, PA; Los Angeles, CA. When I’m in New Haven and Philadelphia, I have some free time. Just sayin’!

And I’m going to be at this blogger meetup here in Wellington next Sunday! Last time looked lovely and I’m really looking forwards to it.

Finally, a 21st-century remix of an 80s classic. Hot pink hasn’t looked better since.