Earlier this year my seamstressing work took me up to the New Zealand Fashion Week! I worked backstage at the Katherine Victoria runway show (catch an overview of it here) and I also worked the Designer Garage Sale for the brand over the weekend. This was an amazing experience and it was so awesome to see so many New Zealand designer’s and stockist’s work up close.
Our booth was situated across from the Hudson booth – a boutique store in Auckland and online that offers a range of international designer clothing so I got a good look at what they sell.
I spent the weekend drooling over this – the Ioanna Kourbala Destination – Kimono Dress. Over the weekend different people came and tried it on, the staff members swanned around in it – and it was calling to me. So finally at the end of the Sunday I went over and tried it on, I also tried the short white and short red but something about the sweep of this, the elegance, the extravagance held me enthralled. So I parted ways with my money – a huge bargain on sale, which also helped tip me over the edge.
I really wanted a backdrop that would highlight the piece, so off I trotted to the Botanical Gardens. I was so excited to find this native bush area. I grew up in a very small rural town next to a mountain range and I spent many weekends trekking through the bush. There is something so cosy about New Zealand bush, probably because it is always dark and green since we predominantly have evergreen trees here.
I wanted to go with some lovely vintage inspired lingerie for this look. With classic pinup hair and makeup I really wanted to go with an old Hollywood glamour look like actor’s promotional shots.
One of my favourite aspects of this dress is the embroidery. It’s such an exquisite detail and the fact that it is a bold raised cotton thread really makes it stand out. The assistants at Hudson told me that the embroidery is actually of the Greek Islands as Ioanna Kourbala is a Greek label which I think is such a beautiful detail and really makes it special.
I bought this dress in the size M which is the equivalent of an NZ size 12. This is quite a relaxed fit so I was happy with this size, I feel like I could size down easily but it would still work well a size larger. The waist ties are incredibly long which is awesome for wearing, but not so awesome for keeping out of the mud. They wrapped around my body twice and still made an awesome large bow!
This garment is made out of 100% cotton including all details. It is of an incredible quality with french seams, perfect top stitching and all raw edges hidden in seams. As I mentioned this is a Greek label and it is where the clothing is designed, manufactured, sold and where the online store is based. The fact that this is an ethical clothing brand was also a big contributing factor as to why I bought it. I am a firm supporter of both ethical and sustainable fashion and it’s nice to see such a beautiful thing made with these in mind rather than bamboo basics, though they do have their time and place.
“Natural raw materials, innovation, production exclusively made in Greece, high quality fabrics and stitching, respect for man and the environment are the concepts that have determined and continue to determine our course. We preserve precious pieces of our tradition and heritage while evolving our know-how in order to take the timeless Greek aesthetics in every part of the world.
We participate and support the global sustainable fashion movement as a natural dimension of our corporate philosophy.” – A quote from the Ioanna Kourbela website about their core values
^This is pretty much how I feel every time I wear this piece.
As I mentioned I bought this piece from Hudson at the NZFW Designer Garage Sale so I got it very discounted. The original price was $975NZD and I bought it for $243.75NZD which is an extraordinary price for a piece like this. It is still available on the Ioanna Kourbela website on sale for €213.85 which is about $370NZD at the moment but only in a size M in the same colourway.
I knew as soon as I tried it on that this would be a piece I would have for the rest of my life. It’s so wearable and special, glamourous and sophisticated as well as being made with care and compassion. I really want to wear it to the beach this summer as I have the perfect black and white swimsuit to match! It’s really nice to own a luxury piece of clothing and feel for myself what that entails. I will definitely be on the hunt for more Ioanna Kourbela pieces and can truly recommend the brand, as well as Hudson, the boutique where it was purchased.
Knickers: Bettie Page Lingerie French Knickers
Suspender Belt: Dita Von Teese Glorified Girl Suspender Belt
Stockings: Vintage Columbine
Shoes: Unknown Brand