Dunedin diaries Day 1: Fashion Quarterly hits up iD Fashion Week with Holden Cascada


Fashion Quarterly’s editor Sally-Ann Mullin and creative director Marcel Gull have hit the road in Holden’s Cascada convertible on a journey to iD Dunedin Fashion Week.

Follow along as this fashionable duo give updates, conduct interviews and check out all the latest hotspots Dunedin has to offer on their #FQRoadTrip.


5.30am Wakeup call.
Hello from chilly Dunedin! We are excited to be in town for iD Fashion Week, although this ain’t no holiday and we are here on Serious Fashion Business. Our alarms go off early and we have just enough time to throw on our head-to-toe monochrome activewear and down a filter coffee before we make our way over to Les Mills to get our workout on. Hot tip (unfortunately learned the hard way): Wear an extra layer when walking to the gym in Dunedin at 5.45am in the morning.

6am Hit the gym.
We arrive at Les Mills Dunedin just in time to be put through a hardcore Grit Strength class where it felt like we worked out every muscle in our body, including many we didn’t even know we had. The trainer who took the class was next level – good looking and good at his job. High fives all round and we leave on an endorphin-high, ready to hit the ground running. It’s going to be a full on day of fashion and style.


7.30am Let’s get ready.
For the first part of the day, we both chose to wear Zambesi looks. Aside from the chance to wear some of the key pieces from the new AW17 collection, there is just something so quintessentially Dunedin about Neville and Liz Findlay’s aesthetic. Sally-Ann opted for an olive green wool coat – one of our favourite items in the collection – while Marcel metamorphosed into a local by donning head-to-toe black. Just as well he had thought to bring his vintage double breasted coat with him too, as the floral mesh shirt he was initially wearing really didn’t do much to keep the icy air out.


8.30am Road trip!
It was black and sleek; the Holden Cascada convertible was everything we wanted and more. Heated seats, heated steering wheel, heated everything. We hit the road and started taking in the sights. The city is architecturally beautiful and according to our concierge at the Scenic Southern Cross Hotel, it has the “most Victorian buildings of anywhere in the country”. We must say, after zipping around the city (with the top down obvs) and checking out building after building that are screaming to be converted into industrial loft apartments, we kinda believe him. After getting our bearings nailed in the busy city centre, we decide to get away from the hustle and bustle and go south towards St Clair Beach to dial in the rest of our Auckland-based Fashion Quarterly team for our weekly status update meeting. We type our destination S-T-C-L-A-I-R into the satellite navigation and are on our way immediately. This is so great – it’s like the perfect mobile office!

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9.30am FQ team status update meeting at St Clair Beach.
St Clair is a pretty little beachside neighbourhood to the south of Dunedin; think Herne Bay but with better surf. First on the agenda is scoping out all the cafes (pretty easy to do with the Cascada’s top still down), oohing and ahhing at the interiors. After dashing into Starfish Café (240 Forbury Rd, St Clair) for trim flat whites, we park up facing the surf so that we have a nice view for our upcoming team conference call. Getting them on the line was a breeze using the MyLink infotainment system and hands-free calling and it was like the Holden picked up Marcel’s iPhone like magic. We were talking to the entire FQ team within seconds and were very pleased to hear the team are holding down the fort more than adequately while we’re out of office. Thanks guys!


1pm Backseat chats with iD Fashion Week stalwart Tanya Carlson.
Post-call and post-lunch at Esplanade (2 Esplanade, Saint Clair), we dash back to the Dunedin Town Hall in the city centre to pick up designer Tanya Carlson, owner of NZ fashion label Carlson, Holden Cascada ambassador and judge for the iD International Emerging Designer Award. The Town Hall, the former location for the Emerging Designer Awards show, was a hive of activity, but we manage to spot Tanya in the crowd and wave her down. She joins Marcel in the roomy back seat for a quick chinwag. Unfortunately, she can’t chat for long because she is literally the busiest woman on earth this week: aside from being a judge in the Emerging Designer Awards, she also has a show on Thursday night with Adrian Hailwood, designed the beautiful pleated dress on the iD Fashion Week campaign poster and sits on the board, after being involved in some capacity with iD Fashion Week since 1999. Oh, and just when you think she couldn’t possibly fit anything else in, she tells us she is zipping off to attend the ballet tonight – she designed all the costumes, didn’t she?


4pm Scouting locations.
We pop into the new iD International Emerging Designer Awards fashion show location – the Dunedin Railway Station – to scope out which seats will have the best view and to see the catwalk construction in progress. This is quite possibly one of the coolest venues we’ve ever seen; there is an actual train up alongside the runway! We can’t wait to see the full effect when the fashion shows kick off tomorrow.


7pm Dinner time.
It’s been a long but enjoyable day, and we eat at a cute Japanese restaurant just down from the Octagon. Beautiful, clean and healthy cuisine is just the ticket after our travels. Between the early morning workout, our Dunedin venturing and all the amazing people we got to meet, we are both spent and part ways at 8pm. Bedtime tonight is 8.30pm – we want to be up and ready for all of tomorrow’s iD Fashion Week events. Plus, plenty of shopping! Stay tuned for more updates tomorrow.

xx Sally-Ann and Marcel

*This article is brought to you by Holden Cascada.