Features

Andrea Moore celebrates 15 years in NZ fashion

Andrea Moore celebrates 15 years in New Zealand fashion by capturing the singularity of her loyal customers

Andrea Moore (centre) with Zeenat Wilkinson, Mercy Brewer, Michelle Walshe and Angie Liu

Andrea Moore (centre) with Zeenat Wilkinson, Mercy Brewer, Michelle Walshe and Angie Liu

 

Sitting with Andrea Moore in her Ponsonby workroom, it’s strikingly apparent that hers is a brand with a plan. Shoe samples are lined up on a bench ready to be tweaked for next season; rack upon rack of spring /summer 2015 garments bursting with colour sit fresh from the campaign photo shoot held the day before; and a makeshift light box has been set up in the window for snapping stills to appear on the brand’s ever-growing social media accounts.
This year marks 15 in the fashion industry for Andrea, who began her career selling her hand-dyed mesh tops into Karen Walker, Flame and Starfish stores with help from her father, who ran the business side. As her label grew, Andrea’s partner Brian Molloy came on board, facilitating the brand’s move from Wellington to Auckland six years ago. He helped align Andrea with a production company and moved production offshore as the brand began working with stockists in Australia and Singapore. Andrea is now expanding into China and Korea with her latest collection. Her Chinese agent aims to introduce the brand’s clothing, eyewear, handbags and footwear into local boutiques, while the label’s playful accessories are the focus in Korea.

To mark her 15-year milestone, the spring/summer campaign captures four personalities that are representative of the brand. Michelle Walshe, director of production company Augusto and one of Andrea’s muses; Scottish artist and model, Mercy Brewer; Angie Liu, assistant manager at Andrea Moore in High Street, Auckland, and Chinese social media expert; and freelance stylist Zeenat Wilkinson, all wear the new collection, which is inspired by Russian folk art, stars and the signature horse motif. “Michelle told me that the only time she doesn’t think about anything is when she’s on a horse,” Andrea reflects. “She said there’s a healthy amount of fear, physical courage and peace, and everything you feel on a horse, you experience in life. That’s where our horse emblem came through.”

With Andrea’s penchant for beautiful patterns and vibrant colours bearing a feminine, playful aesthetic, she has used her foray into accessories and footwear to create a masculine juxtaposition, or “creative tension”. This juggling act represents her customer base. “A lot of women who wear Andrea Moore are strong personalities, work hard and are juggling all the time. Our clothes do the work for them. They can forget about what they’re wearing and get on with what they’re doing. Michelle put it perfectly when she said to me, ‘There are pieces that push me out of my comfort zone but are refined enough to make me feel good about myself’.”

Michelle Walshe

MICHELLE WALSHE
Film director and director of production company, Augusto

Describe your personal style.
I work full time and I have four kids so I tend to buy good-quality items I know will go together because I often get dressed in the dark if the kids have brought their mattresses into our room and I don’t want to wake them!

What’s your approach when it comes to pattern and prints?
In the last couple of years I’ve really enjoyed wearing floral prints. To make them casual and not too fancy and girly, I’ll wear a beautiful floral silk shirt, tidy pants and loafers.

Do you power dress?
I’m a film director and a company director, so I have really different style requirements on set compared with a boardroom. If I have a meeting that I feel like I need to step up for, putting on a sharp blazer and some sassy shoes absolutely makes me feel the part.

What do you think your style says about you?
I like to think I look relaxed and comfortable in what I choose to wear but that I have a sense of style.

Zeenat Wilkinson

ZEENAT WILKINSON
Freelance fashion stylist

Describe your personal style.
Feminine but a little boyish. I love oversized coats, man shirts, pants, skirts with kitten heels. I look for timeless, unique pieces that whisper style rather than scream fashion.

What draws you to Andrea Moore?
The beautiful prints, luxe fabrics and patterns, but there is also a diversity in silhouettes, which makes it super easy to shop there.

What’s your approach to fashion?
I spend very little time planning my outfits, but I always start from the feet up. On days when I’m shooting, I’m in oversized jumpers and pants but for showroom visits I might play around with the newest purchase in my wardrobe.

You divide your time between NZ and India – does your style differ in each?
I try and steer clear of dressing head-to-toe black in Mumbai; I go for lighter colours, more boho vibes with cool prints and accessories.

Is your style driven by trends?
I like playing with one statement item that might be ‘on trend’ but doesn’t invade my personal style. I recently purchased a bell-sleeve Ellery top, which I will wear with Andrea Moore jeans or something very simple.

Mercy Brewer

MERCY BREWER
Artist and model

What kind of artist are you?
I paint, I draw, I love working with fabrics. I’m very inspired by medieval periods and the Renaissance, so it tends to have a historical flavour, which is why I love deep, rich colours – golds and jewels.

Describe your personal style.
People look twice at me, like there’s something not quite right! I’ve been known to wear puffy, ankle-length skirts, I love headpieces and long lean looks as well. I’m not a dedicated follower of fashion; I still have clothes I’ve had since the 80s.

What draws you to Andrea Moore?
Her clothes almost bring me into a fresh, modern time period. It’s the opposite of what I usually wear but forces me to look contemporary, not quite so other-worldly. Her clothes are worthy of a second glance but they don’t try hard.

What has modelling taught you about styling and fashion?
To believe in yourself and your gut fashion instinct. As Heidi Klum says, “In fashion, one day you’re in and the next, you’re out.”

What do you think your style says to other people about you?
I don’t really care! I’ve always been fascinated by people’s changing perception of you depending on what you’re wearing and I’m really not interested in people who judge books by their covers. I prefer people that give me the time of day when I’ve got my gardening gear on!

Angie Liu

ANGIE LIU
Assistant manager at Andrea Moore High St, Auckland

Describe your personal style.
I like bold colours and love to wear pattern on pattern.

What draws you to Andrea Moore?
The colours and patterns. I really love the silk International Shirt Dress from the AW15 collection, worn with a leather jacket and boots.

How do you approach fashion?
I have so many styles but I dress depending on how I feel. When I’m not working I tend to wear more plain colours – like a plain skirt with a printed T-shirt. I wear patterns every day so in the weekend I’m more casual.

What do you think your style says about you?
My friends think I can wear anything. If they see something that looks dramatic they immediately think I can wear it and that it will look normal on me.

Is there any Chinese influence in the way you dress?
I’m more European in the way I dress. Chinese people don’t really wear colourful things, they tend to wear pale shades, not bold beautiful colours. We have more of a yellow skin tone, so a lot of people don’t want to bring the yellow into their clothes or wear bright lipstick. But I like bright lip colours with a matte finish and a smoky eye.

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