Style re­bel­lion

Fash­ion at Ather­ton House

Idealog - - CONTENTS -

WITH ITS SPRAWL­ING an­gles, igloo-shaped white plas­ter, and sig­na­ture cir­cu­lar tur­ret, Ath­field House looks like a shipwreck from some dis­tant Mediter­ranean is­land. The first ma­jor pro­ject from Ian Ath­field (later Sir Ian), it was built as his house and stu­dio, and ini­tially many peo­ple con­sid­ered it an eye­sore.

But like the vil­i­fied Eif­fel Tower be­fore it, Ath­field House has be­come one of the most recog­nis­able build­ings in New Zealand ar­chi­tec­ture; a unique build­ing from a man whose work both of­fended and inspired.

Work­ing Style founder and di­rec­tor Chris Dobbs says the team chose Ath­field House for its “re­bel­lious spirit”, and the way a “wild cre­ation evolved into a time­less clas­sic”.

“When I grew up in Welling­ton, this was a re­ally weird build­ing,” Dobbs says. “It was con­tro­ver­sial. And now, it’s very much a part of the Welling­ton land­scape. That’s true her­itage.”

Dobbs started Work­ing Style 28 years ago, selling made-to-mea­sure shirts door-to- door (and of­fice-to- of­fice), be­fore branch­ing out into suit­ing and then ca­su­al­wear. It is now one

“When I grew up in Welling­ton, Ath­field House was con­tro­ver­sial. Now, it's very much a part of the Welling­ton land­scape. That's true her­itage.”

Chris Dobbs, Work­ing Style founder and di­rec­tor

of New Zealand’s long­est-run­ning made-tomea­sure menswear brands.

The Ath­field House cam­paign, shot by Mark Smith and styled col­lec­tively by the Work­ing Style team, is the sec­ond of an on-go­ing se­ries of Work­ing Style shoots pho­tographed in iconic New Zealand build­ings. The first, for the Win­ter 2015 col­lec­tion, was shot in Auck­land’s re­cently re­opened St James Theatre.

Work­ing Style will also be re­leas­ing an online video of the photo shoot as part of the com­pany’s ex­pand­ing dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing strat­egy, which is spread­ing the brand to new cus­tomers over so­cial media. A re­cent video, shot at a pri­vate air­port north of Auck­land to pro­mote Work­ing Style’s sum­mer wed­ding line, has reached more than 650,000 peo­ple.

Dobbs says Ath­field be­gan work on his epony­mous build­ing 50 years ago, and it re­mains a work in progress, de­spite his death in Jan­uary this year.

“It’s his life’s work, so it’s a real priv­i­lege to be part of that,” says Dobbs. “And I’ve been do­ing this for 28 years. It’s my life’s work as well.”

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