By Barbara Kingstone

It was a rainy, miserable day when I arrived in Auckland early one Sunday. By noon, having checked in to The Langham Hotel, (www.langhamhotels.co.nz) showered and changed into my rain gear, I was ready to check out a quirky little area known as Chancery. The buzz is that it’s home to some terrific New Zealand fashion boutiques. Right off I spotted Zambesi, where designer Elizabeth Findlay has had international success (www.zambesi.co.nz). Nearby, I discovered the digs of one of the most recognized Kiwi designers, Karen Walker (www.karenwalker.com). Certainly, a great find and an absolute delight was Moochi, boasting New Zealand fashion labels that appeal to more than jus the eye. Comfort and colour are all a part of the package (www.moochi.co.nz). Trelise Cooper’s collection is like unveiling a romantic and eclectic art exhibition. Each piece is beautifully crafted, the fabrics unusual, and the finishes perfect (www.trelisecooper.co.nz).

A change of direction took me to the posh suburb of Ponsonby, a few miles away. As expected, there were many swish boutiques to browse, even on a Sunday. Sabine has a loyal following in both NZ and Australia (www.sabine.co.nz). And, the very “avant-garde” WORLD label, designed by Denise L’Estrange-Corbet and Francis Hooper, was a treat to find.

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