The fashion scene in Dunedin is typically known for Nom*D’s dark aesthetic and Tanya Carlson’s runway gowns, but a host of stylish boutiques on the outskirts of The Octagon, on Moray Place, showcase a much wider eye for design.
At this year’s iD Fashion Show, Dada Boutique owner Marie Strauss sent models down the runway with balloon accessories. Not one to shy away from bold colours and a bit of quirk, her store in the Moray Arts Quarter, has a loyal following. She stocks her own Dada Collection label, with mostly one-off garments made from French and Italian fabrics, and the new Dada Knit label with 100 percent fine merino, as well as top-end Australian and New Zealand brands.
Over the road, not-for-profit design store Guild is run by a collective of designers, who take turns in running the store. Twelve labels are permanently in residence, including Melanie Child’s up-cycled denim and Chris Idour’s contemporary jewellery, with a revolving line-up of pop-up brands. If you are new to town, this should be your first stop to quickly acquaint yourself with local fashion.
Next to the thoughtfully curated Mint Gallery, Vull Design is a well-travelled interiors stockist, including Auckland’s charming Claybird Ceramics and Love Warriors of Sweden’s dreamy photo art.
After lunch at the local favourite, Dog With Two Tails Café, a must-visit store is Preservation Society. With a passion for natural fibres, owner Violet Faigan literally fills the store, floor-to-ceiling, on tiered racks, with vintage items mostly from the 1920s-1950s, including delicate tea dresses and velvet and silk garments.
Hand-crafted ceramics, glass and jewellery that show the fingerprint of the maker are found at Quadrant Gallery, which stocks a range of New Zealand artists, including owner David McLeod’s jewellery.
If you are wondering about the temperature during a winter shopping spree, Dunedin designer Jane Avery’s luxurious Lapin coats are made for you. Eco rabbit fur from Central Otago and vintage Kashmiri, Indian and Pakistani textiles are used in these exuberant jackets, made all the more special by a consultation with the designer.