Archive for the ‘Fashion’ Category

Part 4: Ms Possum in Saudi Arabia: A Saudi Royal Wedding with Gowns from Paris!

October 5, 2012
saudi-wedding-gowns

Ms Possum finds Paris in Riyadh

There are weddings and there are weddings but it is not till one has attended a Royal Saudi Wedding, that one realises it cannot be beaten in opulence and extravagance.

The resourceful Ms “L”, who was already on the guest list, managed to score an additional invite for the visiting Ms Possum in the form of a beautifully embossed personalised card. Ms Possum was sooo excited to be an honoured guest as this was to be a Who’s Who of female Saudi Royalty.

Saudi weddings start late at night and are women-only events, bar a short interlude where the groom and close male members pay tribute to the bride.  The males had their own separate low key event the previous night as weddings in Saudi Arabia are not about them!

So, it all started at 10pm in a venue more akin to a Palace than a Wedding Reception Hall.  Into the “Abayah Check- in Area” where the black robes are thrown off to reveal real women beneath.  Then into the main Hall, full of multitudinously gigantic and sparkling chandeliers.

And glory it was – hundreds of gorgeous women in Parisian designer gowns and dripping with the most exquisite diamond and precious stone encrusted jewellery. Ms Possum having a penchant for both shiny things and immaculately cut gowns, quickly calculated that the average spend of each person in the room would have amounted to a quarter of a million dollars each.  Ms Possum would have had to become world notorious to enter this sort of league and she wholeheartedly regretted not throwing a whole heap of cubic zirconiums into her luggage to at least emulate the part a tad more!

These Saudi beauties, who had gone to Paris to be specifically kitted out for the occasion, would not have been out of place in Vogue and they  flitted here and there like iridescent butterflies revelling in a few hours of freedom before being re-cocooned in black invisibility. Here was their chance to be spotted by their future mothers-in-law and discreet enquiries were being made this very night regarding family ranking and status. Where else could a potential bride be so chosen looking at her Abayah-less best?

All of these wonderful creatures came with impeccable manners, modest necklines and were beautifully coiffed and macquillaged. It was a sight to behold from one of the many luxurious chaises lounges that surrounded the “catwalk” where the bride was to make her triumphant entrance and not dissimilar to having front row seats at Paris Fashion Week.

So, it was a chance to sit back and view a cross section of Parisian gowns in one location.  The Mother of the Bride wore Jean Paul Gaultier – a  fitting dark strapless number with shocking pink, vertically draping sleeves that billowed as she walked. Ms Possum was told it was a choice between that or a red Armani purchased just in case.

The Mother of the Groom was stunning in an off the shoulder sapphire blue Givenchy.  And the younger, beautiful sister of the bride wearing a  taupe empire lined Elie Saab with exquisite detailing – this designer does a lot of work in the Middle East for such occasions.

Ms Possum’s personal “best” was the wafer thin girl in purple Dior gown with off the shoulder “waves” of layered peplums; then more “waves”   cascading from the fitted waist to the ground. Ms Possum thought it would not have looked out of place in Gone with the Wind!

But there was more to come to astound the now giddy, moon-eyed Ms Possum – tune in for the next installment.

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Part 3: Ms Possum has Dinner at the NZ Embassy

September 25, 2012

The NZ Embassy had heard Ms Possum was coming and arranged for her and the Prince to come to a formal Dinner. The Diplomatic Quarter houses many fine Embassies that are next door to each other and not unexpectedly, armed guard security into this exclusive enclave was par for the course. So it was an utter privilege for Ms Possum to attend and to meet the NZ and Australian Ambassadors along with other diplomats and ex pats for a night of degustatory delight! Ms Possum was well entertained in hearing everyone’s interesting stories and reciprocated with some of her own. In this amazing setting, diplomatic status meant that Western norms took precedence over the strict protocol of the Islamic world outside and Ms Possum pondered deeply at the huge juxtaposition between the two worlds.

Ms Possum's Embassy Dinner

But the Royal Wedding beats the cake! Yes, this ziggurat shaped tower of a cake reached up to the chandelier of a very high ceiling. Ms Possum had never seen such a big cake in all her life and was a wee bit worried when guests were digging into the mid section and wondering if the whole structure would be undermined! Very few outsiders are ever invited to such a prestigious affair and Ms Possum concluded it was about as difficult to go to Kate and Wills wedding as it was to be there. Needless to say, she was as excited as a possum in a pear tree could be to have scored an invite.

Find out next week what goes on at a Royal Saudi Wedding and more of Ms Possum’s adventure in the Magic Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

And if you’d like to catch up on the story so far, click here.

Ms Possum Goes To The Ball

March 23, 2011

Ms Possum had a very nice nocturnal experience recently – she went to the Ball.  It was a gathering of 249 like minded individuals and Ms Possum realised she would have to look her glorious and “furious” best.

The Fur Brigade at a recent Ball Ms Possum attendedTo that end, she got her locks curled and put on her best possum fur stole. She was joined by a few of her friends and Ms Possum’s generosity extended to decking out these females in furry attire as well. So the self appointed “Fur Brigade” made their grand entrance into the sumptuously decorated Ballroom full of chandeliers, chaise longues and beautiful people.

However, Ms Possum noticed a disproportionate number of females to males in this exclusive setting – she calculated it might have been 66 to 33.3% recurring. Her friends concurred with this mathematically precise analysis. One of them remarked that Ms Possum could possibly be held responsible for decimating the male population with her sharp wit, talons and “furociousness”!!  Unjustly accused Ms Possum hissed.  Her theory is that the male population is depleted about the time of a Ball as this is the time when most males discover a genetic deformity linked to two left feet and they do not want to draw attention to this inherent disorder. They are sometimes found suspiciously lurking together in sheds flexing their arm muscles instead of those in their legs.

Others end up leaving these Antipodean shores.  As New York and London report the same problems, Ms Possum has concluded that some males do not make it having “lost“ their way due to an aversion to ask for directions en-route.  Perhaps they are still circumnavigating the globe as we speak which could have something to do with the increase in global warming and the skewing of the above figures.

Ms Possum wants to give all these recalcitrant males a short sharp talonic jab of Vupeculean strength to wake them up from this inexcusable avoidance of responsibility.

Needless to say, despite these severe male shortcomings, Ms Possum had fun sipping her fave drinks, dancing, mingling and enjoying the dimly lit atmosphere.

She just loves being a creature of the night…

Ms Possum and the Arabian Nights

October 1, 2010

Well, my little fur aficionados, I’m going to tell you a story about my latest furry creation.

A few weeks ago, there was a knock on the factory door by an elegant ex-pat Kiwi female who has been working in Saudi Arabia for the past 28 years.

She wanted a Possum NZ rendition of a Saudi “Farawah” which is an Arabian kaftan and it was to be made in the traditional style BUT lined with our fab possum fur. She was positive that this NZ spin on an Arab classic would win the hearts and minds of those within her adopted land.

“Sure” I said, as Ms Possum is always obliging, and thought she could work it all out in her head afterwards. After much head banging, she did!!

My client said that the Saudi guys have these gorgeous big tents out in the desert and at night when the temperature plummets, they light fires over braziers, drink the famous coffee made from long spouted silver pots and eat sweet dates and delicacies, while reclining on divans of hand knotted rugs. It is a time when the guys get together and perhaps it is not at all dissimilar to Kiwi guys hanging out in their sheds. Of course, women can come too and enjoy the welcoming Saudi hospitality as my client had done many a time.

What better way to enjoy life but to wrap up warmly in a possum fur lined Farawah in sub-zero temperatures, telling stories over a blazingly warm open fire and feeling at one with the world? After feasting, one could merely curl up on the divan and use the Farawah as an enormous possum throw and be as snug as a bug in a rug. Yes, that is the life, but a life far removed from Ms Possum’s reality!Ms Possum tags along for the ride with a Saudi Prince

But, Ms Possum could imagine one of her furry creations decking the back of a Saudi Prince, who would be riding into the sunset of an Arabian night, astride a noble camel. If only Ms Possum could tag along for the ride!! No, Ms Possum is not a contributing author for Mills and Boon, but every now and again, she likes to let her imagination run a tad wild…

So, Ms Possum obtained the best wool fabric which was heavy enough to take the weight of 35 scrummy possum fur hides and adopted a tailored garment approach to the entire construction. The weight of the article meant that all seams had to be carefully reinforced but the result was amazing and it would be impossible to feel cold bedecked in such a manner!

Arabian Possum Fur Kaftan by Possum NZLet me know if you know any Saudi Princes who would want similar… or what about a Farawah party whereby the girls can have shocking pink or bright green possum fur lined Farawahs – oohhh scrumptious!! Yes, my dahlings, Ms Possum just adores bright and leery colours and can do that for any Princess. Just add all the famous 24 carat gold bling as well and Ms Possum would feel right at home!!

So, my lovelies, another market for Ms Possum to get her tenacious claws into! If you know any fantastically wealthy Saudi Princes or Princesses who would want similar… tell them Ms Possum will hand deliver the garments herself should they wish to send her a return first class air ticket on Emirates!

Ms Possum One Offs (unless you want one too!)

May 21, 2010

Parisian Possum Fur Swing CoatI recently met a lovely family from Paris who were on extended stay in New Zealand. They wanted to take back with them something totally evocative of our beautiful country. So we thought what better way to stroll the Champs Elysee, or go to the Paris Opera House en Hiver, than in a tailor made shorn black possum fur swing coat!

Wow, after taking umpteen measurements for the female client and two fittings, the coat was tailored to perfection!

The Mandarin collar, invisible pockets and strategically placed design lines all added to the stunning look this one-off piece produced. Shearing a few millimetres off the possum fur resulted in a smooth velvety texture hich oozed luxury.  We hope the Parisians go “ooh la la, c’est magnifique!” at Possum New Zealand’s creation.

Fancy your own tailor made possum fur jacket or ¾ coat?  Allow between NZ$2000-$3500 (ex. GST) depending on the length, fur and cut.  I’ll need to see you for 2-3 fittings and/or one of your best fitting jackets/coats as a guide.

Kids Possum Fur Hat, Collar and MuffKIDS PROTOTYPES
For some reason, kids have been foremost in our custom designs of late.  The Parisian client wanted her shorn black possum fur offcuts converted into something unique for her young daughter.  The result: a fur hat, reversible collar and the prettiest muff this side of the black stump – best dressed kid in Paris we say!

And then two of Ms Possums’ fave kid friends requested cushion covers with a wolf and husky dog embedded on it in possum fur.  Hmmm, having never done animals of this kind before (not that Ms Possum is biased towards other animals) we had to really go figure.  Check out these items and see if you think it looks remotely like the intended little critter…

Possum Fur Cushion Cover - Huskie Possum Fur Cushion Cover - Wolf

Now, if you really like any of the above, we can upload them as an item on the website, but in the meantime simply email us and we can provide you a price for the new items.

Or if you have a unique idea for your kids, throw it at me possums – I may consider making it especially for you.  These projects are fun and fiddly all at the same time, but I get a huge creative kick out of kids items as it takes me back to when I was a young possumette all those full moons ago… sigh.

Click here to view our full kids range.

POSSUM HEAD WEAR

Possum Fur Head PieceI had a desperate client come into the workshop a few days back.  Her son was getting married in a couple of days and the purple/black mother-of-the-groom dress was more plain jane than red carpet wonder. What to do?!

Just add possum ladies!

We draped a purple raw edge collar over her neck for NZ$112 inc. GST or NZ$99 exported freight free and a custom made possum headpiece (P.O.A) = stunning!!

The only problem now was the Mother of the Groom outshining the bride – what a dilemma!

Regards, Ms Possum

Ms Possum, Intrepid Traveler and Fur Researcher

March 4, 2010

Hello Possums

Yep, it’s the big freeze in the Northern Hemisphere, but spare a thought for Ms Possum getting a tad hot under the collar in 97% humidity and temperatures in the high 20’s here in Auckland, New Zealand. Phew!

However, at the beginning of the year I was over your way just in time to experience the UK’s coldest winter in decades.  Yeah, had to go then as Possum NZ shut the factory for a few weeks, like any other self respecting manufacturer in this neck of the woods. This was my chance to research the fur scene away from home once more. The things I do for the sake of work, huh? It’s a tough life!

So, I’m in the UK freezing my little possum merino sox off and what better way to keep warm but to go shopping.  I didn’t need much inducement with all the 50-70% off sales in full swing and the newish Westfield undercover shopping mall at Shepherd’s Bush that went on forever – a girls’ paradise, if ever I saw one! Check out some of my pix from this colossus of a place:
Westfield, Shepherd's Bush, London Westfield, Shepherd's Bush, London Westfield, Shepherd's Bush, London Westfield, Shepherd's Bush, London Westfield, Shepherd's Bush, London Westfield, Shepherd's Bush, London Westfield, Shepherd's Bush, London
(Click on any of the images to see full size version on Flickr)

It was survival of the fittest here, as the bargains were worth fighting over and then there were queues for the changing rooms and at the checkouts.  It was retail at an adrenalin pumping, manic level that has to be seen to be believed.

I almost didn’t survive the “River Island” experience – more clothes on the floor than on the hangers and all these vicious females grabbing armfuls of goodies like there was no tomorrow! Argghhh! Yes Possums, the claws were out and I fought bravely, but the foe outnumbered me!

UGG Store at Westfield, Shepherd's Bush, London The above queues however, paled into insignificance to the looooong line snaking outside of the “Ugg Shop”.  Here were all these patient shoppers waiting in haphazard formation for up to 45 minutes (according to the security guard who only let a few in at a time) to spend 200 quid plus.  Yep, reverse psychology was being well used here – everyone else on sale but Ugg was holding its prices.  (Click on the image to see full size version on Flickr)

 

Why am I telling you this?

Well, I’ve just designed a new footwear range and mixed New Zealand possum fur with sheepskin, plus gone a tad dotty with our New Zealand Friesian Cow skin Moomoo range that has random spots plastered all over the show.

They look funky and feel delightfully soft and spongey on the inside.  I’ve also specified heavy duty gridded soles for the boots and non slip flexi soles for the slippers.  OK, they don’t have UGG written on the label, but they are seriously warm, durable and hand-cut wherever possible by Possum New Zealand. Plus you definitely won’t spend anywhere near 200 quid!  Check out our new footwear range today.

Then it was off to Barcelona where temperatures were a balmy 16 degrees and this is the place if you want it all – art, architecture, fashion, culture and the beach.  Nothing prepares you for the sheer scale and magnificence of Gaudi’s masterpieces.  The wait for the elevator to the top of one of Sagrada Familia’s steeples was truly worth it, as one can view at close range the sad faced statues clinging to the sides of the building – as if they were threatening to jump off – contrasted by the gigantic, boldly coloured first fruits to God speared through the pointed steeple tops. Antoni Gaudi was a genius and his other works were as quirky and original as he drew from nature and avoided straight lines wherever possible.
Sagrada Familia Steeples, Barcelona Gaudi Masterpieces, Barcelona
(Click on any of the images to see full size version on Flickr)

So, what has all this got to do with fashion?

A lot actually, the Catalan people are a happy lot and their exuberance for life is not limited to their amazing architecture, but infiltrates into every aspect of fashion.  The two labels I found so appealing were Desigual and Custos. The use of bright colour and blending of different textures, patterns and trim in these labels is mind blowing, and like Gaudi, a bit quirky and offbeat.

Here are some of my fashion pix taken in the thick of things in the Designer district of Passeig de Gracias and Las Ramblas:
Valentino, Designer District of Passeig de Gracias and Las Ramblas, Barcelona Valentino, Designer District of Passeig de Gracias and Las Ramblas, Barcelona Fur Fashion, Designer District of Passeig de Gracias and Las Ramblas, Barcelona Fur Fashion, Designer District of Passeig de Gracias and Las Ramblas, Barcelona Fur Fashion, Designer District of Passeig de Gracias and Las Ramblas, Barcelona Louis Vuitton, Designer District of Passeig de Gracias and Las Ramblas, Barcelona Store Entrance, Designer District of Passeig de Gracias and Las Ramblas, Barcelona Store Display, Designer District of Passeig de Gracias and Las Ramblas, Barcelona
(Click on any of the images to see full size version on Flickr)

Yes, faux fur or the real stuff is in vogue here and it inspires me to join up all my bright and gaudy babylamb and possum fur scraps and make a masterpiece or two!

Of course, the winner of Fur Central has to go to Italy once more.  This time, I was in Venice and it was magical.  Water, bridges, gondolas, glassware and masks abound at every turn.  Forget the map – the intricate labyrinth of cobbled lanes takes you out to multitudes of campos and piazzas, so my suggestion is just head for the Rialto Bridge (signs are everywhere) and digress anywhere you like in between, as the myriads of craft shops are sooo interesting.  

In the thick of Winter these elegant ladies thought nothing of coming out in their vintage mink coats and fur hats, and even dressing their mini pooches in like fashion.  They really need more possum fur over their way!!  Check out some Venetian fashion pix:
Fashion Masks, Venice Window Display, Venice Fur Fashion, Venice Window Display, Venice
(Click on any of the images to see full size version on Flickr)

So Possums, all this research means new things are in the offing – watch this space!

In the meantime, I’d love to deck you out in any of our warm possum fur, cowskin, or babylamb numbers – all made in New Zealand, largely from our workroom and all originally designed by Ms Possum herself. 

No excuse to freeze my little dahlings – we have everything to keep you snuggly warm!

So, be good and I look forward to hearing from my international hordes of hypothermic fellow critters real soon…

Regards,

 Ms Possum (Intrepid Traveler and International Fur Researcher)

Oxford St Retail Windows

December 30, 2008

Here’s a selection of retail windows from Oxford St in London’s West End. The AW08 trends from the northern hemisphere are the use of bright colours and natural fabrics, cashmere, fur etc.

Zara H&M Oxford St Reiss Alexander McQueen at Selfridges Fendi at Selfridges Selfridges Accessories Topshop's Neon Circus H&M's Black Window UNIQLO UNIQLO UNIQLO UNIQLO UNIQLO Thorntons Chocolatier

Click on any of the images to see full size version on Flickr.

The Latest Fashion for Autumn

October 13, 2008

LEOPARD! It’s one of my absolute favourites, and it seems like it’s Kate Moss’ too… When I saw the leopard print coat that she has designed for ASOS, I just had to have it!

I’m pleased to say it arrived the other day, and looks just as fab in real life as it does on the net. I shall be wearing it everywhere. My spies have told me that it is everywhere in London at the moment – short jackets teamed with structured jeans and tan boots.

This Berman faux fur mini blazer also caught my eye – the cut is just divine, and judging by the photos that accompany it, Kate Moss rather likes this one too!

Don’t forget, if you’re looking to layer your leopard print this autumn, check out our Possum Merino Venetia jacket. Not only is it ultra-warm, if you buy it during October you’ll get a FREE possum fur scarf collar and eco-bag. Over $100 of free stuff, so check it out today!

Leopard Print Coat

August 28, 2008

I just spotted (hehe) this amazing Leopard-print coat at ASOS! It’s part of their Kate Moss collection.

A mid-length coat with wide lapels — it’s just shot straight to the top of my Must-Have List! It looks like the perfect Autumn coat to me, and I imagine it with a studded clutch bag or a cutey hard case purse!

Fashion & Fur in Melbourne

July 29, 2008

I’ve just got back from whirlwind few days in Melboune. The shopping, as expected, was spectacular! We saw some amazing pelts in the Queen Victoria Markets – including the biggest Friesian hide I’ve seen.

One of the absolute highlights of the trip came in Myers Bourke St. They had a collection of extravagant haute couture window displays from Paris and New York. Some of the designers featured were Lagerfeld, Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Viktor and Rolf and Vera Wang. But the most sensational piece was a feathery Thierry Mugler creation worn by Eva Herzigova! It’s in the first 2 photos below. Click any of the images for a closer look.

Thierry Mugler   Eva Herzigova in Thierry Mugler   Karl Lagerfeld Gown   Viktor & Rolf Gown   Christian Dior Gown

Vera Wang Dress   A Yves Saint Laurent jacket   Dolce & Gabbana Purse   Laser Printed Cowskin   A rather large Friesian

Assorted Hides   Kangaroo Hides   The Green Men   Retail Therapy