Friday, 2 December 2011

Hokianga Chic - exploring fashion in the heart of Northland

Hokianga Harbour looking over to the sand dunes...

It has been an exciting new start for me, that is since arriving back in the Hokianga, my creative photography juices have been flowing non-stop...where my own New Zealand journey began, has unearthed unexpected & magical treasures.

Any collaborative project has its elements of surprise, but returning to the place
I have had a great privilege to work with two of the most exciting artist in the area, who are doing what they love, creating unique pieces for you & I to enjoy!

MARIAN SMALE - artisan garments crafted for body & soul.

An independent fashion label, artisan of lots yummy, handcrafted stuff.

Marian's creations are hard to describe and even photograph, photos only partially convey the skill, artistry and creative vibe that goes into creating her garments, but when the opportunity came I jumped on board no hesitation.

Pure Kiwiana, the bush, abandoned batches in the landscape, it was the perfect backdrop for this edgy, unique label.

The garments all have a character of their own, often combining scrumptious vintage fabrics (which Marian has a great eye for finding on her regular visit to Opshops) with modern, versatile details...not to mention her handpainted pieces (an example in link)!

HOKIANGA CHIC photo shoot

We had a ball! A continuous flow of artistic ideas and energy. So much fun!

Thanks to the lovely model (Julia Marin Tracey)
who was very patient, donated her own clothes and handmade jewellery for us to use, even in the face of the cold & stampeding cows in the area!

Purple Handpainted Panel Skirt.

Brown skirt with ruffle trim

After the intial shots, taken in the garden surrounds of a local farm, we couldn't resist exploring the farmland even more. So camera in hand & equipped with gum boots, we hiked to find more interesting backdrops...

An amazing find was an abandoned Woofer shed, with tattered remnants of a previous life, but also an amazing array of character filled shots...

Blue & white Handpainted panel skirt

And yes, the model got to have her revenge and even got me in front of the camera...

One of the new additions to the collection are these Bloomer shorts; creating a modern look from a vintage design.

It amazed me the ease of which you could create a new look out of each set. 
Made for Summer & Winter, evening and day wear there is something to suit every fashionista's wardrobe!

Green Check Bloomer Shorts

Light brown florar Bloomer Shorts.

Red Green Check Bloomer Shorts.

Blue Pink Floral Bloomer Shorts.

Oh, and I dont want to forget about our lovely canine assistant, Maku. She also definitely got into the swing of it by the looks, posing perfectly for the camera!

So we spent hours & hours submerged in the Hokianga bushland and surround and still didn't tire...

Mrs Vintage - upcycling, recycling, vintage and new creations! ♥

More of a blast from the past...were these headband/ scarves! Another lovely creations from Hokianga based craftie, Julia Marin Tracey...

Simply gorgeuous!

Mrs Vintage head band/ scarf 

I hope, as well as, the great vintage pieces the photos show what a great time we had!

If any of the photos inspired you and you would like to find out more about either artist - check out their shops on the links at the end of this blog...or get crafting yourself!

There are a lot of amazing people creating out there, but  I do think their talents often go unsung.

I do feel like the battle to gain recognition for handmade Kiwi arts & crafts people has only just begun & it can only get bigger and better if we all choose to support the movement in some if you like what you see....SPREAD THE WORD...

This is my little homage & thanks...

Marian Smale @ or

Mrs Vintage @


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