On my trip to Christchurch last week, I just had enough time to sneak a visit to the nearest retail stop being Merivale Mall. Avoiding the drilling and building works was a bit of a challenge, but I was not put off. I did feel that there was a real mis-match of stores within, but there was enough to keep me interested to venture a look around, with Andrea Biani, Quinns, Rouche and Storm just a few of the retail stores located in this suburban pocket. It was a mad dash given that it was nearly closing time.
Quinn’s has an assortment of clothing designers including Trelise Cooper, Helen Cherry, Workshop, Maison Scotch, Firetrap, Diesel and Sass and Bide not to mention a small but adequate array of shoes including United Nude. I was quite taken with what looked to be some brightly coloured plastic belts in canary yellow and burnt orange that quite literally smelt of bubblegum.
The service from the retail team was outstanding. Even Mrs Quinn lent a helping hand and trotted off to return with a couple of new items yet to be put on the shelf that she thought I might be interested in. There were a number of customers in the store, all being well looked after, and a range of clothes that would suit all ages. I ended up buying a top from the Firetrap label and a lovely pair of black suede high-heeled shoes from B Makowsky. Last pair and in my size – had to buy them. I had originally planned to buy only plain practical flat shoes, should I be tempted to buy any shoes at all!
Fashion labels such as Trelise Cooper and Paula Ryan tend to cater for the more mature shopper, whereas Maison Scotch, Firetrap, Diesel and Sass and Bide definitely cater for a younger market that tend to wear more fitted clothing, with a definite look towards what is fashionable now.
My other quick visit was to Rouche who showcases lots of NZ designers including Karen Walker, Clare Bloom and Deborah Sweeney and a decent range of sunglasses and jewellery is also on offer. There was one lovely dress that caught my friend Miss M’s eye – she had just started looking for an outfit for her daughter’s big day. A dark navy linen dress with pleated bodice and slightly open back and at a modest knee-length would be a perfect mother of the bride outfit.
Rouche would not be out-of-place if it was to be positioned in Auckland’s High Street. Beautiful bold colours graced the windows – a particularly lovely yellow knee-length belted dress caught my eye and that of one of the customers who was keen to come back the next day to try it on. I would definitely recommend popping in, if you like to dress in a contemporary manner, and are well versed in the looks of the current season.
Retail Newsflash: Christchurch has had a boost to its fashion houses with the re-opening of Plume now located at 176 Papanui Road, Merivale. Definitely on top of my shopping list to visit next time. Selling Zambesi, Martin Margiela, Costume National and many more wonderful designers. What is style is well defined by this store.
I wish I could have stayed longer but I did enjoy the little pockets of retail surprises that Christchurch had to offer and will be looking forward to coming back, sometime soon.