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Style: September 07, 2018

22 STYLE | report “I

22 STYLE | report “I am really happy to be basing our business life here – communication and travel are so easy and it doesn’t now matter where you are in the country or the world.” Margarita Robertson is running against the modern fashion pack. She lives in a far-flung corner of the world, still manufactures all her clothes locally and refuses to follow fashion trends when designing her collections. Margi is the creative director and founder of fashion label, NOM*d and retail store, Plume. Her four-decade-plus career is full of her non-conformist signature styles and still, at aged 65, she’s one of the best-known names in New Zealand fashion. The retail outlet of her business began in Dunedin in a converted garage in 1975 and her headquarters remain in the city today. She says, despite the unusual location for a fashion heavyweight, she’s part of one global community of like-minded people. “I am really happy to be basing our business life here – communication and travel are so easy and it doesn’t now matter where you are in the country or the world.” Margi loves Dunedin. Her Russian-born mother, Zinovia, arrived in the hilly city and started working at various Dunedin clothing factories. There’s no question as to why Margi and her older sister (Elisabeth Findlay of Zambesi) are cut from the same cloth. Margi says her mum had a real love of clothing. She hoarded amazing fabrics often purchased as remnants. “If we were going to sew something for my Saturday night adventures, we could go through her big chest of fabrics and choose something that would suit. Everything was considered before cutting and, if I sewed something badly, she would make me unpick it and do it again!” Incredibly, she still has a successful fashion business after 43 years, despite not being a mainstream brand or store. Despite her successes, she’s never wanted to leave the South Island. “The lifestyle, the isolation – in a good way, [it’s] so nice to come home to… the big sky, the nature, so much to love.” With both Plume retail stores based in the South Island (in Dunedin and Christchurch), she and her designers do think about the colder climate. “We are aware of the weather and what to wear… Often a great jacket or coat can be worn over a lighter look, which is perfect for indoors. I love jackets – they always feature in every collection.” The more summery items play into this, too. “Usually any of our slip dresses are designed to also look great over a tee, shirt or sweater. Layering is a recognised signature of NOM*d.”

STYLE | report 23 Margi says they’re finding clients now are interested in garments that have longevity and are easy to wear without compromising their “outside-of-the-box” ideals. They have many dresses but also love the separates. “We are informed that not a lot of brands offer skirts, but we love skirts. They can be adapted in so many ways, depending on what you team up with them.” The access to cheap high street labels and shops hasn’t impacted on her business so much because she says NOM*d simply appeals to a more discerning market – “one that would never venture into those stores, there is a difference you know”. “Those stores are generally hugely influenced by trends; we like to think we create trends rather than follow.” NOM*d’s designs are bought and sold the world over and Margi has spent plenty of time on the international fashion scene. But her designs have the dark noir-like influence of Dunedin. It’s a genre that Margi loves. She lists her favourite singers as Nick Cave and Leonard Cohen, and says she and her design team are always looking to sub-cultures, movies and art as an influence. NOM*d’s designs are bought and sold the world over, and have the dark noir-like influence of Dunedin. Another Dunedin icon, the historic Rail Station. Your local luxury In the Heart of Rolleston More than 30 Speciality Stores & more Exciting Retailers Opening Soon! 70-76 Rolleston Drive, Rolleston | 9 Masefield Drive rollestonsquare.co.nz | 03 347 9192 | find us on 9Round | ANZ Portabank | ASB ATM | BNZ | Caci Clinic | Coffee Culture | Corianders | Couplands | Fascino Shoes | Hachi Hachi | Harcourts | helloworld | Hell Pizza | Highgate Hair Industria | Lazeez Mediterranean | The Nail Bar | Noel Leeming | Pita Pit | Plus Fitness | Postie | Ray White | Robert Harris | Rolleston Bakery | Rolleston Central Health | Rolleston Drycleaners Rolleston Eye Optometrist | Rolleston Florist and Gifts | Rolleston Haircuts | Snap Fitness | St Pierre’s Sushi | Subway | Unichem | Viva La Moda | The Warehouse | Westpac