Preloved challenge for Refuge
Get ready to go pop-shopping
‘If you can’t be in Paris, dress like you are.” Rebecca Johnson says clothes can brighten the dullest of winter days, and this gorgeous outfit she is modelling proves her point!
This wine and raspberry coloured combo is perfect for wearing to the office or in the evening and combines a size 10-12 vintage velvet blazer from Seduce with a silky slipdress in a size 12.
Rebecca has taken on a popup styling challenge, using preloved clothes on sale at the Taranaki Women’s refuge popup shop event next month, to create some amazing outfits.
The Stratford Press will feature a Rebecca ensemble as an Outfit of the Week every week leading up to the event.
Readers will be able to find the clothes featured, plus other fashion items and accessories, at the Taranaki Women’s Refuge pop-up shop next month.
A ticketed pre-sale evening is on September 23.
The shop opens to the public daily on September 24.
Forget fast fashion, when it comes to making your wardrobe work for you, pre-loved clothing is definitely the hottest trend, says Rebecca Johnson. Rebecca is in the midst of a popup styling challenge for Taranaki Women’s Refuge, wearing pre-loved pieces that will all be for sale during the annual Taranaki Women’s Refuge pop-up shop charity event next month.
“I love fashion, and I love being able to support such an important cause. The work women’s refuge does is vital and this is such a fun way to support the event and hopefully get people really excited about it, while showcasing some of the amazing clothing people can find at the pop-up shop.”
Shona Smith, Taranaki Women’s Refuge relationships manager, says Rebecca is the perfect person for the challenge.
“She’s been supporting this event since 2017 and has such an eye for fashion. It was in 2017, two years after the event first started, that we asked her to model some of the clothing for us, I can still remember the kaftan she wore. It was donated by Trelise Cooper from her personal wardrobe and was just stunning. Rebecca modelled it and then we auctioned it off.”
Rebecca, who says the kaftan was even scented with the fashion designer’s own perfume, has been involved with the event every year since.
“From a personal level, I love it. The clothes at the pop-up shop really are incredible, you can find some great hero pieces for your wardrobe at a fraction of the price you would pay for such quality clothing normally.
“It’s a great way to personalise your wardrobe, while having lots of fun exploring different styles than you might usually wear.”
This year’s pop-up styling challenge is plenty of fun, says Rebecca.
“As I don’t pick the pieces myself, I get given a bag or two of the clothing and then have to come up with ways to style outfits to wear each day.”
Suzanne Wallworth, the event coordinator, is the person who gets to put the clothes in the bag for Rebecca, and says she is definitely having fun with the challenge.
“There are pieces I put in the bag that I can’t wait to see how Rebecca styles them.”
Suzanne isn’t the only one, with Rebecca’s colleagues at Taranaki Arts Festival Trust (TAFT) regularly asking her to give them a twirl and show them what she is modelling for the day, while her daily updates on an Instagram account are attracting plenty of “likes”.
“Fashion should always be fun. The quality of the pop-up shop’s clothing means people can find hero pieces that they can wear for years to come and create lots of different styles and looks around them.”
The pop-up shop sells everything from jackets and dresses to accessories such as handbags, rings and necklaces, says Shona.
“Just changing the necklace you normally wear with an outfit, or trying a new pair of shoes with it, can totally change the overall look. You don’t have to spend a fortune on a whole new look, just play around with the accessories or one part of the outfit.”
One of the best parts of the popup shop is the sense of “sisterhood” present daily, says Suzanne.
“You get women complimenting each other as they pick out clothes, women handing each other something to try, because ‘this colour would suit you’, it’s really lovely to see, and we all know how great compliments can make you feel.”
Rebecca says a great outfit isn’t just
about looking nice on the outside.
“Fashion is really empowering. Finding your own style, wearing something that not only makes you look good, but also makes you feel good. It makes you feel really powerful and strong.”
The event owes its success to the “amazing items people donate each year”, says Shona.
“So many people support the popup shop and the Runway for Refuge event, not just by purchasing clothing, but also through donating items, buying tickets to the pre-sale night, and getting a group of friends together to go along.
“Every year we are just blown away by the absolute quality of the items donated and the way the community really gets in behind the event.”
The quality of the clothing really is incredible, agrees Rebecca, who says every time she opens up a new bag of clothing for the challenge, she finds more pieces she will be buying once they go on sale at the pop-up.
“I can’t go past a good jacket or coat, being from Western Australia originally, where we didn’t really need to wear coats, I am always tempted by the coats and jackets that are available at the pop-up.”
With items priced from just a few dollars, there is something for every budget and style, says Suzanne.
“And all the money raised from the event goes to helping people in Taranaki. It supports the vital work Taranaki Women’s Refuge does in our community supporting women and children through the provision of services, as well as programmes such as the men’s programme, which offers one-to-one counselling for men wanting to make a change in their behaviour and life.”