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May 14, 2007 | by  | in Uncategorised | [ssba]

Fashion Update

Modern Love

by Sven

Modern Love is the new funky store recently opened on Left Bank Arcade, named after a song by owner Helen Howard’s idol, David Bowie.

Never out of the fashion loop, we at Salient fashion have been aware of this fabulous little store since it opened on the Plimmer Stairs, however, it’s not such a secret anymore, as since its move, store owner Helen has seen double the foot traffic.

Helen has a thing for the 80’s, evident when you sift through the racks of tee-shirts, leopard print leggings and colourful childlike jewellery.

The fabulous attire and accessories, mainly sourced from Melbourne and Sydney are usually exclusive to Modern Love, such as the ‘Lady Luck Rules OK’ jewellery. A good thing, as Helen believes this jewellery completely reflects what Modern Love is about. It’s fun, funky, colourful, a little wacky and very cute.

For all this gear she stocks, Helen does not have to travel out her door to get it. Oh, the beauty of the internet. She found Lime Drop, a new (and exclusive) label she is getting in, over MySpace. Through this label Helen reveals there will be a lot of leotards and footless tights, “which is exciting because I love leotards” as well as women’s pencil skirts, jeans and, luckily for the fashion minded boys out there, (such as ourselves) she’s also getting in a range of boys’ wear.

Not just tee-shirts, there will be hoodies too, the motive being “it’s good having boys’ stuff, boys need more stuff”.

Yes we do.

The store was set up in the name of ‘fun’. Says Helen, “I just want it to be fun really, it’s a shop that doesn’t take stuff too serious. There are rainbows, unicorns, and fun stuff to look at and fun stuff to buy. I don’t want to stock any stuff that’s to pretentious or over-priced.”

Making her clothing and accessories affordable is a driving motive for Helen. “I want to sell stuff that people can afford, like when people go to Melbourne and shop up large, whereas I can just bring some of those labels over here so Wellingtonians can still get some awesome clothes for cheap and not have to take a plane ride to Melbourne and do big shopping sprees over there.”

In the near future, plans include making Modern Love printed tees, with 80’s song name on them. Think ‘Love is a Battlefield’ and ‘You Give Love a Bad Name’. She will also be stocking more Real Hot Bitches merchandise as well as getting in shoes, magazines and expanding into more boys’ wear. Helen wants Modern Love to be a hang out spot, where they can come in “read magazines, have a cup of tea, kind of like a library but not so quiet,” she laughs.

Madame Fancy Pants

by Lance

After its recent opening on Cuba Street, the new look Madame Fancy Pants store offers a larger range of pretty things, including MFP jewellery along with the works of local and international designers.

Claire’s unique label name came from a combination of childhood nicknames – her nana called her “little madam”, her mum called her “fancy pants”.

“I never wanted anything that was really serious…I could never go by my own name coz that just sounds silly, ‘Claire Terry Jewellery’.”

She set up shop on the Plimmer Steps around six months ago after selling jewellery through a number of local boutiques for some time, but says she never thought she’d make it to Cuba Street. “I just thought I’d have a little shop. It was just nice to get down [from the Plimmer Steps].”

Each piece of her range is a work of art, often “take days and days and days [to make]…like those letters you write to friends and you write some of it and put away and then go ‘oh that’s right’ and write a little bit more. It’s taken me quite a while to go ‘okay, I’m going to stop now. That’s it’.”

A lot of her stock by other designers is found from just searching on the internet for new, pretty things. “There are just so many talented people out there making beautiful things. You just go ‘oh my God, that’s so amazing, I have to sell it, I have to show people it’,” she says.

Before becoming a jewellery designer, Claire was a jazz/folk singer and studied at jazz school until she developed vocal nodules, which swiftly ended her singing career and “broke my heart”.

“I could never just do a job at a desk, it drives me insane when I do something like that for more than a week, so I had to get that creativity back in some other form.”

Claire says it’s always exciting and flattering to see people wearing her jewellery. “It’s just really neat and it’s interesting to see the different pieces people choose and wonder what drew them to it.”

Though the new store opening has delayed productions temporarily, Claire says she can’t wait to get back into jewellery-making, and there may even be ‘Mini Fancy Pants’ children’s stock coming soon.

Madame Fancy Pants
217 Cuba Street


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