Classical Studies: Clothes To Softly Tie, Wrap & Cascade Across Your Body

The eternal influence of Hellenic-inspired draping in fashion never ceases to provide designers with ample inspiration

Photo / Nicole Brannen

The Odyssey
A mix of sensual fabrics makes Grecian-inspired dressing a fine art. Lace and silks combine for a desirable template for special occasion dressing. Kate Sylvester top $229. Camilla and Marc dress $780. Meadowlark necklace $655.

Form & Function
As one of myriad local labels focusing on a made-to-order model, designer Frances Lowe of Loclaire is steadfast in her desire for well-made garments that stand the test of time. An elegant top with fluted sleeves pairs with languid trousers and sandals for a fail-safe look that will take you through the height of summer. It’s layered over a delicate top from another rising made-to-order label, Oosterom. Loclaire top $249 and pants $299. Oosterom lace T-shirt $199. Meadowlark X Babelogue necklace $2995. Meadowlark earrings $549. Jasmin Sparrow bangles (worn throughout) $749 (silver) and $799 (gold). YY by Yuul Yie shoes approx. $510.

Sculpture Class
Deceptively simple, the dichotomy of construction and fluidity makes this Florence & Fortitude full skirt special. Worn with sandals and an asymmetric knit top, the standout garment segues easily into after-five dressing with the swift addition of some formal shoes. Oosterom knit top $159. Florence & Fortitude longsleeve lace top $390 and skirt $1290.

Pure Intent
The power and brilliance of a crisp white dress makes it a wardrobe staple. Playing with pleating details, a defined waistband accentuates the drama of a full skirt and V-neck. Esse dress, approx. $695. Wixii top (worn under) $225. Caitlin Crisp blouse (draped around arms) $350. Madre Natura shirt (worn as belt), approx $338. Silk & Steel rings, from $289 each. Chanel sandals, approx. $2499.

Siren’s Call
A dramatic landscape calls for an equally impressive ensemble. This fringed sarong, rendered in wool, is an unexpected take on a wrap skirt silhouette, created by Australian designer Christopher Esber. Christopher Esber top approx. $570 and skirt approx. $835. Rei Hamon Art x Wixii top $245. Jasmin Sparrow collars $995 (silver) and $1149 (gold).

The Birth of Venus
Billowing and brilliant, a voluminous dress is an easy solution for any occasion. This Layplan staple has all the characteristics of a Grecian myth — drama, beauty and escapism. The label’s made-to-order dresses are designed and constructed by friends Talia Soloa and Lavinia Ilolahia in their studios in Porirua and Tamaki Makaurau. Layplan dress $590. Chanel sandals, approx. $2499.

Shoulder Play
Asymmetrical lines are distinctive elements of classical draping; this off-the-shoulder dress is a seductive proposition that effortlessly combines elegance and strength in one standout piece. Paris Georgia dress $345. Meadowlark earrings $549. Hera Saabi cuff $990 and rings $390 each.

Gather Round
The beauty of draping is its 360-degree appeal — all angles are thoughtfully covered and swathed for maximum impact. Kate Sylvester top $359. Gloria skirt $340. Jasmin Sparrow belt (worn as necklace) $1495.

Line Work
Local fashion doyenne Elisabeth Findlay’s Greek heritage has played a part in defining the DNA of one of Aotearoa’s most beloved fashion labels. This season, volume and draping combine once again with her expert choice in textiles. A striped halter top is given plenty of drama with voluminous sleeves and exposed midriff. Zambesi top $595. Arnsdorf skirt, approx. $475. Meadowlark earrings $735. Hera Saabi rings $390 each.

Shade & Tone
Soft palette draping comes to play with Arnsdorf’s apricot dress styled sideways and wrapped in a blossom-hued Odekake robe from Wellington label Otsu — a look that encourages you to flex your own styling muscle with artful draping and considered layers. Arnsdorf dress, approx. $623. Wixii bra $245. Otsu robe $414. Meadowlark X Babelogue necklace $2995. Hera Saabi rings $390 each.

Bohemian Rhapsody
Our heroine Izzi takes on the romance of this floaty dress, its corset detail worn with the perfect amount of nonchalance; slightly undone and tied skew-whiff for added interest. Alemais dress, approx. $830. 

Photographer / Nicole Brannen. Fashion editor / Chloe Hill. Model / Izzi Zigan from Super Management. Hair / Michael Beel. Makeup / Alana James

Location / Makara Beach and Te Awa Kairangi

Originally published in Viva Magazine – Volume Five

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