Fashion Festival: Street Style Markets around Aotearoa

This story is part of the Stuff Festival of Fashion, presented by Samsung. See more of the festival here.

For better or for worse, a lot of fashion reporting and writing focuses on the aspirational. What you should wear, what products you should buy, how one simple style hack will change your life.

It’s inspiring for sure, but it doesn’t always reflect the way most of us Actually dressing for our everyday lives, which can be just as inspiring.

Take the street style. It’s often a beautiful, sparkly, and accessorized escape. It may be incredibly clever and humorous (hello Rihanna’s playful, self-referential version of a pregnancy announcement) but these streets don’t look like the streets I live on.

So, to highlight the perfectly flawed “real people” style, we hit the streets and went people-watching at some weekend markets around Aotearoa. The result is this photo essay showcasing Kiwi style in its purest purity.

There are beautifully eccentric regional differences, but each person has their own unique look and vibe. Here they are in their own clothes.

At the Auckland Central Flea Market

Joseph Mushin, 28, was pictured wearing what he describes as “Sunday vibes”.

Farmer Anna Harding is wearing “clothes I got from the little Dargaville theater costume clearance sale.” Tommy Fowlie, a 26-year-old social work student, wears a shirt found at a New York operations store.

Christina’s wool cardigan is a dream. But she kept her origins close to her chest.

Daniel Bartlett, 27, was a little more forthcoming with the details. He works as a supply chain analyst and chose to wear the “grandma’s quilted jacket” for a trip to the market.

Digital Marketer Chris Oliveira, 26, wears super soft pajamas from Kmart. Asked to describe her outfit, Amelia Pillay, 22, who works in customer relations, replied “casual”.

Model maker Glen Wilkin Holland, 65 and older, cuts a fine figure in a bespoke jacket from Auckland menswear store Strangely Normal.

Terry, 62, works in education. Not one to overthink an outfit, Terry prefers to keep it simple and wear “just what I like to wear.”

At the Cambridge Farmer’s Market

On weekends, Hannah Blackwood, 21, and Sarah Johnstone, 24, opt for “comfortable and casual” clothes. It’s a welcome change from what they wear to their job as court attendants.

Artist Fee Teat, 46, picked up her floral print dress locally, from the Cambridge Leven shop. Natural linen is “nice and cool in hot weather”.

Dione Bax, 14 (daughter of model Kylie Bax) loves “summer fashion and beautiful clothes”. Her white skirt, from Cotton On, does the job perfectly.

Although not too keen on labels, Brett Monkley, 59, considers himself “conservative” when it comes to fashion. Manager of a waste recycling company, Monkley chose these shorts and this t-shirt during a family trip to Los Angeles.

During the week, Darryl Parker, 56, works for the police. Once the weekend is over, the “raglan-style beach hippie” likes to express himself more. He bought this pair of Converse in Barcelona.

Medical assistant Hiromi Colquhoun, 35, favors a refined color palette when it comes to clothing. Colquhoun keeps outfits casual by sticking to “two colors, no more than three.” His large woven bag, purchased in Auckland, is perfect for bringing home some market loot.

Retiree Jennifer Cleary, 74, loves bright pink, and we love it on her too. Bright colors are commonplace in Cleary’s outfit rotation. She has a “closet full of colors”.

At Wellington Harbor Market

Student Olga Mugisho, 20 years old.

Ross Giblin

Student Olga Mugisho, 20 years old.

Olga Mugisho, 20, shows glasses borrowed from a friend, a shirt bought online from Shein and pants from Cotton On. The hair extensions were made by a friend.

Writer and indexer, Lee Slater, 51.

Ross Giblin

Writer and indexer, Lee Slater, 51.

Writer and indexer Lee Slater, 51, wears a Volcom cap, Brutus of London shirt, Raglan Shoe Company shoes and jeans from the Wellington Mandatory boutique.

Sustainable travel writer, Sarah Bennett, 50.

Ross Giblin

Sustainable travel writer, Sarah Bennett, 50.

Enduring writer Sarah Bennett, 50, says these floral pants are from “some store your mom would take you to”. An op-shop hat, New Zealand designer earrings, a scarf from a Florence flea market and a Gorman t-shirt complete the look.

Busker Tairū Karaitiana, 60 years old.

Ross Giblin

Busker Tairū Karaitiana, 60 years old.

Tairū Karaitiana wears a hat made from two op-shop finds and assembled by a seamstress. The rest of the outfit is second-hand or from an op-shop. The 60-year-old plays an Ibanez guitar.

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