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April 19, 2010 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

Spacey as

I giggled while scanning the invitation to Wellington’s new ‘fashion space’. Invite only, refreshments provided, and clothes from the A-list of New Zealand designers? Sounds wonderful, thanks. What I believed to be an exclusive gathering of Wellington’s fashion elite turned out to be, of course, an evening of drinking, smoking and socialising with anyone who had heard about the free booze. The cocktails were silly—coffee vodka or minty pineappley yum—and free. I have never seen so many DSLRs slung over shoulders in my life. A shaven-haired goddess entwined in a sea of drapery swooped about, her leggings simply continuing to cover her feet, with a wedge heel attached. The ‘entertainment’ was bizarre, the queue for drinks seemingly eternal. People I had never seen nor heard of introduced themselves to me, confessing their hope to ‘make contacts’. Walk, walk, fashion baby. Pretentious much?

But the designs, the designs! When I last visited they had a small range, but supposedly this has increased somewhat. Go take a look for yourself. I enjoyed bending over glass cabinets trying to determine the uses of the hand-made Deadly Ponies accessories, as they were almost incomprehensible. Lela Jacob’s range includes a lot of beautiful, monochrome drapery, including some particularly lovely, simple mesh dresses. That seemed to be theme of the Service Depot; as a friend described it, it is “a lot of chunky knit and drapey mesh”. This, however, should not turn you off; the combination of Lonely Hearts, Company of Strangers, and Stolen Girlfriends Club alone should be enough to lure you in for a browse. But let’s ignore the Deborah Sweeney designs.

It is a lovely large space, which could be used for shows and events in the future. The grungy warehouse feel is a nice contrast to the beautiful fabrics and immaculate accessories. And it is, apparently, “destined to become the fashion destination of choice for Wellingtonians, and visitors alike”. It’s located at number 2 Lombard Street, behind the Manners Mall Post Office. Go have a squiz. Even if it isn’t on a day when there is second-hand smoke and booze to be consumed in huge quantities, you will find it an enjoyable experience; in fact, it is surely desirable to avoid being papped by Sunday Star Times photographers.

Visit their fashionably minimalist website at


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