Monday, December 20, 2010

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Still Life in the Ponsonby News

Find Still Life at Scotties in Auckland and Wellington and NG Boutique in Christchurch.

Kindest thanks to Pebbles Hooper.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Caper

This 'Lace Caper Dress'  is made from a fabric called Modal.
Which is made from beech trees.  


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Picnic Dress

Here's the technical:  This is cut from the same pattern as the lovely Anais Dress
that I did for Winter, 

only I have turned her into a faux-wrap style and shaped petals into her sleeve.  
She is in a printed silk chiffon, overdyed in a tea colour, and with a raw-edged hem.  
Wear her with Beth Ellery's underpinnings for decorum.  
If decorum is your thing.

Now here's the philosophical:  How to explain the phenomena of a sheer chiffon dress?  
Weightless, unconstricting, her sheerness is a relic of times when underpinnings gave you backbone.  
Now you have to hold yourself up, and what you select for underneath can clearly be seen, select wisely.  We can see your integrity or lack of it.  Are you wholesome?  Or insouciant?  Are you severe, or louche?  Are you cold?  Pop a cardi on.  We love you already for wearing our dress. Hope to see you at the picnic.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Freshly Delivered at Scotties Boutique

The Diviner Top

The Diviner Top, Back View

The Apero Skirt

The Apero Dress

The Arcadia Dress
All Fresh and New at Scotties Boutique and NG Boutique.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Slow Frockage

(I'm cutting a limited amount of these and some other beauties still being made, 
and releasing them into store from mid-September, 
just in time for your aperitif, 
while you contemplate your evenings unfolding
 in the perfect serenity of being beautifully dressed... 
go get your toenails done and pop the flutes in the Frigidaire.  
Most importantly, fetch the hammock down from the attic.  
There's no better place to plan your happiness
 than from a hammock in the dappled shade of a Summer late afternoon.)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Bless You

Still Life in the Sydney Morning Herald

The lovely, the hardworking, the talented Sasha Titchkosky from Koskela in her Still Life dress.  
Good news: I have one here on the rack if you would like it? 
 Just let me know.
Kindest thanks to you, Libby, for sending this to me.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Gimlet anyone?

The Black dress in the middle? The Gimlet dress.  Like the cocktail: a classic, but incisive, tasteful and emboldening.  Try it and see.  All those compliments will be very nourishing.  At Scotties in Auckland and Wellington and in Christchurch at NG Boutique.

No greater compliment

I don't think a greater compliment exists 
than to have an fashion editor famed for her acuity and taste 
wear a Still Life dress for her Editor's Letter portrait.  
I feel very honoured.
I'm going to pour a little glass of sherry
and offer a toast of gratitute.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Shall we have some more? We think yes, darlings, very much so.  Some fresh new Anais Tops are hanging on my rack, ready to ship out to your favorite Still Life haunts. Do you know it takes me an hour to stitch the snaps on?  Such dedication.  Think of me when you get your maid (or man) to snap you in, because I'm thinking of you: your elegance is my obsession.  Perhaps I should get out more?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Feel that? The creeping chill...? Antidote below.

See this coat?  Imagine the sleeves a little longer and at their hem, a curved cuff.  You can flip the cuff up, or down, at whim.  (Up, at the Opera, with a box of chocs tucked under you arm, ready for the third act and your own sweet encore with that tenor.  Down, St Petersburg in the troika, sleigh bells jingling, hanky-panky under the bearskin knee rug.)  So versatile.  Incorporate the gesture into your come-hither repertoire: a glance, a little cuff flip, a little moue of the lip.  And add pockets, deep plungey ones.  Plunge, look smoulderingly enticing yet low-maintainence and independent.  Carry your own snooker-cue chalk in them, see?  The collar still frames the face, the sleeves are still copied from a 1960's couture pattern, the binding is still from Japan, the cosy elegance enhanced even, by these subtle but gracious and thoughtful additions.  All yours at Scotties Auckland and Wellington, and Perugia in Melbourne.  Delivered this week.  Let me know if they run out.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Fresh Delivery!

Ah, the indispensible!  Just arrived at NG Boutique in Christchurch and Scotties in Auckland.  The Gold Skirt, perfect for now and also for then.  Do you know I can cut you one all of your very own but slightly longer?  All you have to do is ask.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Fashion Quarterly Profile

Yaaaay!!  Fashion Quarterly!! Click on the article to have a closer look.  The garments featured in this issue will be delivered into Scotties in Auckland and Wellington and NG Boutique in Christchurch this week.  Please let me know if I can help you get your hands on them.  Contact me here.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Welcome to Still Life

The star

Isn't she a honey?  She's called the Anais Dress.  Have a look through all the posts, each one has a dress from the Still Life Winter 2010 range.  I think this one looks the most soignee. The post called Delicious Relic describes the detail of this dress, which started off as a top, inspired by a vintage find.  I made the lovely Marilyn Sainty have a look at my work when I was feeling unsettled: take it down into a dress, she said, looking at the Anais Top with her impeccable eye.  And then we had a cup of tea.  She makes the best salt dishes the world has ever known.  I admire her no end.  You can buy this dress at her Scotties Boutique in Auckland and Wellington, at NG Boutique in Christchurch, at Syrup in Hampton in Melbourne and at Perugia in Elsternwick in Melbourne (+613 95760268).

Grace and ease

The Melie Dress:  don't you love the colour? Sort of lavendery in the reflect, but sincerely grey.  I am quite proud of this one.  She fits all kinds of shapes, just twist and tie the belt, and then plunge your hands deep in the pockets and fish out that droll shade of lipstick you purloined from the chemist. You could keep all kinds of things in there. Look at the square tilt to the back neckline.  Nice, huh?  And squared in the front too.  Feel how stiff the interfacing is that I used.  Nice grunty old-fashioned stuff.  Does precision neckline like no other.  Look at the horizontal tucks at the hem.  I drove my machinist mad with those.  But she understands me and I am grateful.  This dress took so long to make!  It was worth it don't you think?  She's called the Melie Dress and you can get her at Scotties Boutique in Auckland and Wellington, NGBoutique in Christchurch  and at Perugia in Elsternwick in Melbourne (+613 95760268)

Exquisite slouch: you need this dress!

You know that feeling when you slip a new dress on and instantly feel like it's yours, already your touchstone dress and your favorite?  This is mine: the Gimlet Dress.  You could pop this one on my headstone as an indicator of my modus operandi: elegant comfort is what I strive for.  I am very happy with this dress, and I recommend it to you as the modicum of versatility and wearability, whether lurking about the billiard table, or sharpening pencils for your latest professor, in fact for any of the jobs on the list.  Go to Scotties Boutique in Auckland or Wellington.  Go to NG Boutique in Christchurch.  Go to Syrup Boutique in Hampton in Melbourne.  Tell them you simply must have one.  Demand a re-order if they have run out.  I'll make you one in another colour if you like, just let the lovely ladies at Scotties or Syrup know.  Tell them I said so.

Delicious relic

The Anais Top:  This darling came from a vintage find, a 1930's top that had been meddled-with in the 1970's.  I don't know if you can see them on the picture, but it has the most beguiling little diamond-shaped inserts at the waist.  I triple-stitched them for emphasis.  Topstitching is like punctuation in fashion.  Triple-underscore in other words, I'm vigorously indicating the beauty and placement of those diamond-shaped waist details. So shapely.  And I hitched up the sides of the top, kind of like an elegant negligence.  Wait till you see it.  (Scotties Boutique in Auckland and Wellington, NG Boutique in Christchurch,  Syrup Boutique in Hampton in Melbourne, Perugia in Melbourne +613 95760268)  You'll need a maid for this one, too, seriously: the back is all snapped up, 6 snaps mounted on grosgrain ribbon.  Husband will love to be your undoing.  He'll need to practice going slow.  Snap...snap...snap...pause for effect...snap.

And the skirt?  Let me know if you want one and I'll send it via your local Still Life stockist.  I love mine.  Scotties Boutique have this skirt in a wool pieced with polyester in two textures of charcoaly black, sublime.  You will wear it to death, I promise you.  It has an elastic waist and those mad slouchly pockets, perfect for Winteriness, when you are craving some cosy but still feel feisty, and want to stomp about in your boots, or leg it with a bit of heel.

Seriously beautiful dress...

Looks vintage, doesn't she?  I love that.  Work some lace over some linen, pleats, pockets, draw-cord through the neckline in parachute silk, a skirt in merino jersey...string a bit of yarn around the waist (you'll have to do that bit yourself)...the best part is the back!  Foiled!  You can't see it!  You'll have to visit it in situ! (Scotties Boutique in Auckland and Wellington and Perugia in Melbourne (+613 95760268)) The back of the waist is drawn in with a chinese button and falls to form a sort of swoosh about the hem.  Sigh.  My favorite detail, in a dress delicious with detail, you'll love this one long-time, I tell you.

Cyd Dress

Perugia in Elsternwick in Melbourne (613 957602680) has this one in Red, and Syrup in Hampton has it in Black.  Have they sold out?  Shall I cut them some more?  We solved the knee-in-Winter quandry by making the hem straight, and now its usefulness and elegance is complete.  You can belt her high under the bust (that's where I belt everything) or lower like in the picture.  Or smock it without the belt and drift about with your hands in your pockets looking guileless.  

Perfect coat...

Of course you need a coat.  This is from a vintage pattern from the late 1950's, when they really knew how to cut an elegant sleeve.  Regard the balance; shapely don't you think?  Perfect I thought, but everyone wanted pockets and long sleeves.  So I solved it: the long sleeves flip up to form a cuff and let you wear your elbow-length kid gloves that your grandma left you.  Bracelets on the outside.  You'll still be able to see them when your hands are in the pockets.  And where else are you going to pop your hankie?  Tucked into your cleavage?  I think not.  Call up Scotties Boutique in Auckland and Wellington and demand your "Couturier Coat".   Or call Perugia in Elsternwick in Melbourne on 613 95760268 and pre-order.  Do it now.  Winter is  honing in on you, even though you can't possibly imagine it will ever come.

Sharp Shift

See that shoulder line?  That's from an old Givenchy pattern.  Sharp, isn't it?  Impeccable line, this dress, even if I do say so myself.  She has a long zip at the back that forms a pleat.  And pockets!  Ahhhh.  A little a-line to the skirt in the vintage manner.  Damn flattering. Get yours at Syrup Boutique in Melbourne.  It comes with a different belt, one made from feathers and grosgrain ribbon.  How lovely is that?

Garance Top

This sleeve occupied me for quite some time.  I pinned and sheared and shaped and now I think it's just right.  Buy it at Perugia in Elsternwick, Victoria, Australia (Phone 613 95760268).  It comes in White satin-crepe.  Piercingly correct for Winter 2010.

The Yves Dress

Now here's a piece: this is based on a pattern from the 1960's, when necks and armholes were quite strictly  fitted, but hems were shooting high above the knee. Now there's a conflict.  What does this say about the psyche?  I am yearning to get more of this lace.  Do you like how I expressed myself by chopping a hole in its compexity to let a little of the simplicity show through?  It was too perfect.  I had to mess with it.