Ladies Who Lunch – Taste of New Zealand

Ladies who Lunch in Auckland’s BIG little City

Over the four days preceding the finale of New Zealand’s biggest tournament Taste of New Zealand has handpicked restaurants, wineries and musicians from all over the country, to bring you the ultimate culinary experience in Auckland’s inner city haven, Victoria Park.

This year we are very excited to announce ‘The Ladies who Lunch’ an afternoon where you can join us for the most stunning day of gourmet food, fine wine, fabulous personalities and the latest fashion. This is an exclusive event and only 20 tables of 10 will be available.

The ‘Ladies who Lunch’ afternoon will be hosted by stylist Angela Stone.

Annabel Langbein will be there to talk to you about her new book ‘Free Range in The City’ – this book will be launched at Taste of New Zealand and all who attend the luncheon will receive a signed copy to take home.

During the day award-winning chefs Warren Turnbull and Josh Emett will present to you their signature dishes, along with a special dish designed especially for you by Ben Bayly from The Grove. These dishes will be matched with fine New Zealand wines served by one of New Zealand’s top sommeliers. All of this will take place in the luxurious surrounds of the Carlton Corporate Marquee.

We have also planned a very special Style Session with some of BIG little City’s premium fashion labels, in addition to a special performance by jazz vocalist Caitlin Smith.


During the Taste of New Zealand festival BIG little City will be running a best dressed competition – so dress to impress ladies!

The ‘Ladies who Lunch’ will be held at Taste of New Zealand in Victoria Park on Thursday 20th October between 12-4pm.

Your day will include:

  • Fast track entry to the event
  • A glass of Laurent Perrier on arrival
  • An exquisite 3 course taster menu prepared by award-winning chefs
  • A four hour beverage package including a fine selection of New Zealand wines, premium beers and non-alcoholic beverages
  • Live entertainment by Caitlin Smith
  • A goodie bag including a signed copy of Annabel Langbein’s latest book ‘Free Range in the City’
  • Exclusive Style Sessions
  • $30 worth of crowns (event currency)
  • 2 x General Admission tickets for you to come and visit the show again or give to friends


Avenues Magazine – October 2011

What to wear for Cup Week 2011

Fashion forward by Kate Preece

Forget blacks and greys; it’s time to think in polychrome. As Cup Week looms on Christchurch’s calendar, so, too, does the opportunity to embrace all things fun and frivolous, if only for one week.

While the landscape of Christchurch has changed in nearly every possible way, Cup and Show Week heralds a return to some semblance of normality. It offers an excuse to dress in your finest, to blend in with the crowd, or to take out a fashion title.

If haute couture feels as foreign as it sounds, consider putting your fashion fate in the hands of someone else, such as designer Gillian Melhop.





“I have clients who plan a year ahead [for their Cup Week outfits], and also book me at least eight months ahead, as I only take on a certain number of clients, as I am the designer, cutter and machinist,” Gillian says from Thailand, where she is on a fabric-sourcing trip.

Putting together the perfect outfit is not necessarily a time-consuming process; it could take just three days, depending on the commitments of both parties. And the cost? Anything from $1000 to more than $3000, Gillian says.

“I would not be surprised if a lot of people make their outfits [this year],” says stylist Angela Stone, who has enlisted Gillian’s talents to transform fabric she found in Wellington. “I’m always on the lookout,” Angela says, which explains how a working weekend in Sydney included a few hours at Spanish label Zara and the purchase of her raceday heels from David Jones.

Australia, known for being more fashion-focused that New Zealand, can provide more than a wardrobe top-up; it can give us an indication of what’s to come.

“Very high, pointy, stiletto shoes,” Angela says. “And pumps, lots of pumps, but lots of points.” There’ll be bows, plenty of high shine and natural colours, she adds, along with the continued presence of espadrilles and wedges – “which give you height without the pressure of wearing high heels”.

For Cup Week, though, remember heel-stoppers. The little discs will save your stilettos sinking into the grass and assuming that golf-tee look. Angela wouldn’t leave home without them.

Whether she’s heading to Auckland to tend to her newly launched fashion label, or skipping across the ditch to fulfill her personal shopper role, Angela’s schedule is a busy one.

“I wear so many hats, sometimes I forget who I am,” jokes the style guru, who joins Avenues after a meeting in a car looking at material swatches and before she picks her children up from school.

For the third year in a row, she’s wearing the fashion co-ordinator hat for Cup and Show Week, ensuring the smooth running of both Addington and Riccarton’s fashion competitions – two very different events.

Asked whether women can wear the same outfit to Riccarton’s New Zealand Cup Day and to Addington’s New Zealand Trotting Cup Day, Angela responds: “They can, if they wish to, but would you? That’s what I say to them, ‘would you?’ ” Even the fashion clueless can understand Angela’s message. She explains that a day at Riccarton requires a more conservative, design-orientated look – “Riccarton attracts the elite” – but neither event is the place for a cocktail dress.

“Think couture, not cocktail.”

“It’s a little jacket and a gorgeous little skirt, or a beautiful dress with jacket. It’s not about a tunic or a fashion trend. It’s about pure elegance and style.”

Christchurch’s retail industry might be on shaky ground, but there are still plenty of places at which to secure a winning look. Asked where to direct a keen shopper in Christchurch, Angela replies: “I would probably take them straight to Lynn Woods and, if they didn’t have that type of budget, I’d be taking them to Westfield [Riccarton]. It has a fantastic range.”

Trelise Cooper, Jane Daniels and Cue have racewear options, as do Stax and Forever New, a shop offering affordability and a sexy edge. “I think we’re going to see a lot of Forever New. Beautiful colours, high fashion, straight out of Australia,” Angela says.

There are fewer choices for headwear, but there’s still occasion-wear store Park Avenue, which sources the majority of its hats from Melbourne, and Christchurch milliner Katrina Burgess, who has set up shop in her mother’s house after losing her two-year-old Redcliffs home in the earthquakes.

“Everyone can wear a hat,” Katrina says, with conviction. Age, shape and size might influence what type of hat or fascinator, but “there’s always a hat for you”.

Katrina, who has been making hats for 14 years, believes hats should be fun and can be inexpensive. Her range starts at $95 and climbs to about $300, which might involve a week’s work.

The sky’s the limit, when it comes to hats. They can be as “out there” or as conservative as you like. However, first coordinate your outfit, as its look not only influences the hat’s colours, but also the design.

A structured outfit demands a structured hat. For a suit, think a Jackie Kennedy-esque pillbox or a top hat, whereas floaty dresses are perfect for elegant broad-brimmed hats. Last year’s Lindauer best-dressed lady at Addington sported a fedora with her fashion-forward jacket and hot pants ensemble.

A good rule of thumb for a hat’s size is to stay within the width of your shoulders, although petite women at risk of being overshadowed are best matched with a smaller hat. It’s also important to keep hair off the face, as a busy hat shouldn’t have to compete with stray strands.

Face shape is also a consideration.

“I personally have got a long face and I look better in round hats that are like the cloche-style, more ’20s look,” says Katrina. However, she advises those with round faces to steer clear of hats with round crowns.

Katrina can practically reinvent the wheel when it comes to hats. An old hat can easily be given a makeover and colour-matching is not a problem. Katrina created a new shade of blue spray paint last year in order to match the Trelise Cooper outfit worn by the runner-up at Addington.

Katrina and Angela both emphasise the importance of a hat or fascinator for a raceday outfit. “It’s the icing on the cake,” the milliner says. They hope England’s new duchess will inspire this year’s fashions, as well as encourage more hat wearing.

Men can look to the stars for inspiration, too. “We’re looking for the next George Clooney,” Angela says.

Brands such as Cutler and Working Style are good starting points, as are Merivale menswear shops Colombus & Ware and Sergios.

Paul Dean, owner of Sergios, thinks it’s not just women who should be getting excited about dressing up for Cup Day.

“Whether you’re entering the best-dressed man or just want to be a well-dressed man, it’s a great excuse to treat yourself.”

Suits are heading back to a more classical, tailored look, he says. Jackets are slightly shorter with narrower lapels, trousers more tapered in the leg and the fabrics are fine.

Paul believes men have a good understanding of fashion dos and don’ts, taking their style cues from men in the media. “It’s a silent message, but it’s still quite powerful,” Paul says.

However, all the E! in the world won’t save an outfit if it’s matched with the wrong accessories. Adding your favourite wraparound sunnies to your raceday attire is as bad as wearing sneakers with a suit.

“I don’t think ‘she’ll be right’ and suits go hand in hand. ‘I’m sure that’ll be fine’ is probably not quite good enough,” says Paul, who, like Katrina, will be a judge at Addington this year.

Angela Stone says judges look beneath the jacket, meaning shirts must be well laundered and pressed nicely, too. It’s a top-to-toe assessment, so a watch is better left at home if it isn’t a dressy one.

“This is a major makeover, for a serious title,” says Angela. “I have judging sheets on what the judges need to be looking for and they are serious. I get right down to the nitty-gritty,” which includes personal grooming.

“Guys need to have a serious look at themselves from the neck up and not just their hair. Their face and their skin. Personal grooming needs to be top of the line.”

The overall look can also be destroyed by the wrong choice of footwear. The ideal emulates the look of the suit, which, if made from the refined fabrics in fashion, means thick soles are out.

“If they’re big and clumpy, it doesn’t matter if they’re black, brown or pink, they’re ugly,” Paul says, adding that men should consider purchasing a pair of dress shoes for raceday.

“Just because you’re not going to wear it four times a week, fives times a week, doesn’t mean they’re a bad buy.”

As long as you get the right advice and the right fit, a suit will go the distance, taking you from raceday smart to wedding-guest-ready. Paul’s decided to get his raceday suit made this year, using fabric from Italian company Loro Piana’s Zelander range, new to our shores, yet made from New Zealand merino.

As for what’s coming for the spring/summer season, our busy fashionistas say we’re in for collections of colour. Whether it’s block colouring or colourful prints, shelves should soon resemble rainbows. Those who fear animal prints are going to get a shock, with the overseas trend seeing it springing up in every facet of fashion.

“In scarves, hats, shoes – shoes are big, hon, in animal print. Just pretend you are wearing black and don’t get hung up on it,” Angela says.

Gillian Melhop sees some of the 1970s coming back – “the loose jacket hanging from the shoulders, rolled-up sleeves, colourful prints made up into pant suits” – with quite an eclectic feel.

The forecast for Cup Week? An event bigger than ever.

“It’s going to be a fun week, and we all need it,” Angela says.



Mink Photography

Mink photography is leading makeover and portrait studio based in Takapuna and owned by Sarah Breslin and Lester de Vere, which provides a unique and personal approach to your makeover photo shoot experience, that celebrates not only you but whats important in your world.

Together with Angela we would love to give you the opportunity to experience what it is to be minked with a one hour pampering makeover with our leading makeup artist, who using MAC and Smashbox products will create an individual look for you – sharing her insider beauty  secrets and tips.

Following this you are then guided through a professional studio shoot with our award winning photographer LESTER de VERE who works his magic and produces sensational images for you.

You also receive a free 10″ x 7″ portrait of your choice to keep as the perfect memento of your experience.   This is a gorgeous time for you, spent in our Takapuna based studio which is 10mins from downtown Auckland, you can combine the day by including family or loved ones in the shoot, and then have lunch or dinner out to celebrate your new look.