Fashion guru Rachel Zoe once said, 'Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak,' so we asked Kiwi celebrities to flash back to some of their favourite trend-setting times.
This typical touristy pose cuddling a koala was taken on a trip to Australia in 1990. It reminds me of an exciting new chapter in my life. I was 19 years old and going overseas for the first time without my family. My friend and I went to Surfers Paradise, where we spent the week hanging out at the beaches, bars and touristy spots.
You'll note my gorgeous bright pink bum bag, blue polkadot top and high-waisted white shorts. My hair is super curly, which during the '80s and '90s was the cool look! I'd often wear it up high with a scrunchie.
This Aussie trip was a great time and kicked off my life from a teenager into adulthood. I loved the independence, and a year later I moved into a flat with four girls, which was closer to the University of Auckland, where I was studying.
What a hipster!! In my defence, this was a 'going out' outfit. Being fresh out of drama school, almost everything is second-hand.
This was 2010, I was hanging out with people who were very cool and stylish, so I was challenged to think about what my own style might look like.
What you see here is a combination of 'old me' thrown together with 'what-I think-other-people-might-consider-to-be-cool', rounded off with 'things I actually like to wear'.
It's a bizarre mix at a time of experimentation for me. There's a hangover from my years playing around with the formal thing; waistcoats and blazers from op-shops or my dad's tie collection. But here I'm starting to learn that cut and size do matter.
Loafers and tight pants were a thing back then, but I wasn't a fan so it's interesting I ended up wearing them.
Who doesn't love a kid photo? Also, I love this photo. I'm absolutely myself and am basking in the appreciation and acceptance of my parents (in that moment at least); I'm innocent, open, just a delight.
We should all have a picture like this one to look at, something to use in order to remember that we are still that precious person underneath all our apparently 'adult' responsibilities and baggage and bullshit.
I've made it my mission to get back to being 'like her', to run gleefully towards what I enjoy and to say 'No' to things I don't like. Three-and-a-half year-olds can be fickle, but their lack of filter is quite inspiring. But I'm not a parent LOL.
On the subject of leotards, about 10 years ago I was inspired to walk into a dancewear shop and ask if they'd make me a unitard to wear to a Flashdance party. They asked me what colour, what sleeve length, did I want it high- or low- cut, this and that, and then they made it to my measurements. It's exactly what I wanted, in every way.
Every dress-up party I've been to since, I've worn it. There's always a way to make it make sense. Wearing it is confronting initially, but it's liberating, ultimately. I'm basically in a body stocking.
Violet-nude. To me it feels a little like deciding to go topless on a beach: no one else is and it's mad and inappropriate, but also awesome and secretly everyone wants to do [wear] it, too. When I wear my leotard, I'm embodying my childhood dreams to be a dancer/thespian/mime. I'm basically the girl in this photo, only purple and taller. It's my licence to be myself.
Big red, as it was later named by a colleague, was one of the first purchases I made where Mum didn't say, "I could make that" (though she later did replicate it).
You see, I'm the product of fabric store owners and an amazing seamstress mother. My clothes, up until my early 20s, were all made by The House of G – House of Gill.
This Alannah Hill top was one of my very early purchases using my TVNZ clothing allowance. Mum came to the store to look at it and advise – I was so thrilled when it passed her quality checks.
It's a top I've worn on every occasion; I could dress it up or down – for work or off-duty. For some reason I didn't even have my normal arm complex in it and it was the perfect top for wearing in the day and being able to throw on a jacket for a piece to camera or live cross at 6.
It was the backbone of my Europe correspondent wardrobe and at one stage must have been one of the hardest working and most well-travelled tops in television. My friend reckons it's probably featured on the news 500 times.
This was from a photoshoot when I left Shortland Street in 1996. I think my intention was to conquer the world by trying to be dark and mysterious. With hair like Hugh Grant.
Clearly it didn't work.
I remember being extremely happy with the shoot, I thought I looked cool and was completely unaware of how silly it would one day seem. I like the coat, but I'm worried if someone gave it to me today I wouldn't be able to do it up any more.
I remember this time in my fashion life very clearly. I was at university, had only recently turned 18, and was experiencing nightclubs for the first time.
I was taking fashion risks that I thought suited this new night-time lifestyle, including chokers, cheesecutters and big hoop earrings.
I don't think I had a hair straightener yet, so keeping my frizzy locks under wraps was a priority. This photo was taken at a club in Wellington in 2002, and I remember feeling really cool and grown-up.
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