Vision of love: Auckland's coolest couples

Seven stylish couples talk to Rosie Kelway about love, attraction and how to keep the romance alive


Jimmy and Emma Mac. Picture / Supplied.

JIMMY AND EMMA MAC

Why they're hot: These two newlyweds recently got hitched in Las Vegas while in the middle of Lorde's world tour. Jimmy is the keyboardist for the pop star and Emma is a fledging artist. Their signature look: Emma is a child of the 90s, and "I definitely dress like it, too". On her wedding day she wore a vintage dress and Acne clogs. Jimmy describes his style as "bounty hunter from the future", preferring old clothes that have a story behind them. On his wedding day he wore a silver Acne suit.

Most romantic thing they've ever done for you?
Emma: Jimmy got 'Marry Me?' tattooed on his leg. Also on our first Christmas together, Jimmy gave me records and a record player and I gave him a painting I'd made. It was very fitting and romantic.

Jimmy: Emma's an amazing painter; she made me a painting a couple of weeks into dating. I found that really romantic.

What is it you love most about each other?
Emma: Jimmy is so down to earth and calm. From the moment we met it felt like everything in the universe/my life clicked into place and I became very centred. I love that he is a musician and that our tiny apartment is filled with instruments. We listen to records and cook and drink G&T's most nights. And he makes me laugh all the time.

Jimmy: Emma loves people and can hang out with anyone even if the other person is a mute. I think that's an amazing trait in a person.

What was it that drew you to each other? 
Emma: Jimmy likes to think he has a bad boy look with his long hair and tattoos, and I thought that too for maybe five minutes when we first met, until he opened his mouth and I realised he was sweet and soft and kind. Definitely not a bad boy. As soon as we met we started talking non-stop and we haven't stopped talking since.

Jimmy: She made me feel relaxed around her and I could be myself and I didn't have to put on a show or try to be funny or anything. We also had similar views on a lot of things. It was cool her being a painter and me being a musician. They're similar in a lot of ways but still different and it was cool we could always talk about that.

Daniel Gosling and Emma Cruickshank. Picture / Supplied.

DANIEL GOSLING AND EMMA CRUICKSHANK

Why they're hot: These two live and breathe fashion. Cruickshank runs sales and fashion PR company Public Library and Gosling owns Black Box Boutique, Stem Distribution and is part owner of Stolen Girlfriends Club. Their signature style: Emma looks a lot like Debbie Harry and no one can wear a pair of jeans quite like her. Dan's daily uniform is a bomber, T-shirt and jeans.

What's the key to staying in love?
Emma: Communication and respect for one another and taking time out to spend with one another, away from kids and work because life can get so busy sometimes!

Dan: Being able to joke with each other and talking about what bothers you before it gets too big.

Most romantic thing they've ever done for you?
Emma: Dan often brings home flowers for me for no special occasion and he once bought me a surprise ticket to New York to visit a dear friend who I was missing terribly at the time.

Dan: Emma once organised a surprise weekend away in Palm Beach, Sydney. She also always cooks me the most beautiful meals.

What was it that drew you to each other?
Emma: Dan's moves on the dance floor.

Dan: Emma's dancing.

Nicholas Stevens and Deborah Smith photographed at One Tree Hill. Picture / Babiche Martens.

NICHOLAS STEVENS AND DEBORAH SMITH

Why they're hot: This creative duo is about as cool as it gets. Deborah is a well-known photographer. She's had her work published in Vogue, regularly exhibits in galleries and is a teacher. Her personal career highlight to date is Cloud Workshop, a project she set up with a friend to offer art and solidarity to bereaved young people.

Nicholas is a celebrated architect who collaboratively runs Stevens Lawson architects; his practice has won the Home magazine House of The Year four times. Their signature style: Deborah's style is practical, with a boyish feel - "something you could climb a tree in" - she rarely wears heels and is trying to channel her grandmother. Nicholas is going through a period of wearing blue at the moment, he likes well cut clothes with interesting textures.

What do you love most about each other?
Deborah: He is kind, fair, funny, gentle and makes a great martini. Even though he wasn't a bereaved child he gives up six Sundays a year to work at Cloud Workshop; he supports the project emotionally and financially.

Nicholas: Her passion for life and art. Her intelligence, compassion and fierce sense of justice. She's an independent thinker, a huge amount of fun and believes in magic. She often says, "You can do anything when you work for the circus!"

What do you think the secret to longevity is?
Deborah: Who's to say ... kind to animals in a past life; in with the Greek gods? I feel very lucky. We talk a lot and support each other as much as we can and have a lot of adventures together.

Nicholas: Chemistry, compatibility and commitment ... and I make her breakfast in bed every morning.

What was it that drew you to each other?
Deborah: The first time I saw him, he was coming out of the movies with his 86-year-old grandmother.

Nicholas: She was the most alive person I had ever met, and she liked my grandmother.

Murray Crane and Melanie Roger photographed at home. Picture / Babiche Martens.

MURRAY CRANE AND MELANIE ROGER

Why they're hot: Melanie owns her own eponymous gallery in Herne Bay, while Murray is the founder of Crane Brothers. Their signature style: Murray's style revolves around a handmade suit, a cotton shirt, English-made shoes and a pen ("black ink only!"). Melanie's style is "contemporary with a twist"; favourite local designers are Penny Sage, Karen Walker and Miss Crabb.

What was it that drew you to each other? 
Melanie: His intelligence and wit. Murray is one of the funniest people I know and he makes me laugh. His interest in art, his questioning of the world and the fact that he really cares about people despite his sometimes gruff exterior that says otherwise.

Murray: Her independence, something I've never interfered with. We are both fiercely independent so when we do need each other it's always for the right reasons.

Most romantic thing they've ever done for you?
Melanie: A few years ago, Murray organised an amazing surprise birthday dinner party for me then proposed in front of all our friends with the most perfect vintage ring. We actually don't have any particular plans to marry as such so I guess we are having a very long permanent engagement instead.

Murray: Little things, every day. Watching out for me, making sure I look after myself but still letting me eat hot chips when I am hungover.

What inspires you most about them (your partner)?
Melanie: The risks he takes and that he is a "doer".

Murray: Her self-belief, love of art, food and her general well-being. She is also an incredible parent. Unfortunately, we don't have children together, but live vicariously through our overweight cat, Gershwin, and a functioning blended family.

Jonathan Kemps and Madeleine Harman. Picture / Babiche Martens.

JONATHAN KEMPS AND MADELEINE HARMAN

Why they're hot: These two recently married in Queenstown; they wore shoes by Valentino and Dior. Madeleine is the co-director of new fashion label Harman Grubisa, and Jonathan works for boutique advertising agency Hunter. Their signature look: Madeleine is sophisticated and relaxed, while Jonathan likes to keep his look classic with a crisp white shirt, a good pair of jeans and when he really likes something, "I tend to buy it in lots of different colours".

What was it that drew you to each other? 
Madeleine: We first met when I was 15! Jonathan looked like Harry Styles, he was a drummer, he had his licence ... need I say more?

Jonathan: The first time I met Madi she spilled her coffee on herself - she was embarrassed and it was cute. After that I was hooked. She still is forever spilling things.

What is it you love most about each other?
Madeleine: He is extremely funny and kind (ALL the time).

Jonathan: I love Mads' drive in life, her passion and of course her giant smile. She also always looks amazing.

Most romantic thing they've ever done for you?
Madeleine: Juno flew me to the top of a mountain in the South Island to propose. It was a rather elaborate proposal - but at the same time it was beautiful and quiet and just us.

Jonathan: For my birthday last year, Mads commissioned one of my favourite New Zealand artists, Anton Parsons, to make me a custom piece. It's big vinyl numbers, which make up my birth date. It's very cool.

Brian Hough and Margaret Foley. Picture / Babiche Martens.

BRIAN HOUGH AND MARGARET FOLEY

Why they're hot: They've been married for 28 years, they live and work together at their Hartfield jewellery store in Parnell and they still enjoy each other's company. Their signature look: For Margaret her Chanel flats and jacket are never far away; as for Brian, it's his Chaumet watch which he wears every day.

What's the secret to longevity? 
Margaret: Brian is a real gentleman and makes me feel special and loved every day. I appreciate the small things he always does for me like opening the car door, carrying my bag and holding my hand as we cross the road.

Brian: Margaret is my best friend.

How do you find living and working together?
Margaret: We find it very easy. We never get sick of each other's company. Our business is our life and passion and we love what we do.

Brian: We find living and working together quite natural. We would rather be with each other than anyone else. We respect each other and give each other space when necessary.

Most romantic thing they've ever done for you?
Margaret: My favourite romantic occasions were when we would pick up takeaways from Half Moon Bay Marina and take our yacht out on a Friday evening, sail to Islington Bay and watch the sunset with a glass of Champagne. The islands in the Hauraki Gulf are such a romantic setting. These days we can have a similar experience enjoying the view of Rangitoto from our apartment deck as the waves lap on Kohi beach.

Brian: Many years ago we stayed in the old premises of The Oriental Hotel in Bangkok, and had a very special dinner at Le Normandie restaurant looking over the Chao Phraya River on Chinese New Year. We have had many beautiful special occasions over the years when travelling.

Johnny Sainsbury and Joe Locke. Picture / Supplied.

JOHNNY SAINSBURY AND JOE LOCKE

Why they're hot: Johnny's middle name is Valentine, he works in the fashion showroom at Ciel PR, is a party-planner and is also in a DJ duo called The Banger Sisters. Joe is in three Auckland-based bands so he's recording and writing music all day every day. Their signature style: They both agree you can never wear too much denim and that a slim blue jean and black T-shirt never go astray.

What is it you love most about each other? 
Johnny: He simultaneously has the most sarcastic sense of humour and the warmest heart.

Joe: Straight up cutie - no one else has got that smile.

What was it that drew you to each other?
Johnny said: A love spell. My girls and I thought it would be funny to cast them on our crushes. I don't believe in that stuff but you gotta admit it's scary that it worked.

Joe said: I just remember when we first met I just wanted to be around him a lot. He felt so different to everyone I knew at the time and I loved how he saw the world.

Most romantic thing they've ever done for you?
Johnny said: I'm not responsible enough for a real dog so Joe got me a furry toy one. It barks and walks around the house, and I can make it dance to whatever song I'm currently loving.

Joe said: When I was away last year we clocked in like 1000 hours on Skype. I don't know, it was real cute to me. That's my angel.

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