It might be a little patronising to call Dunedin a fashion incubator but in recent years the city has continued to punch above its weight as a hub of forward-thinking and unique design. The influences, from Margi Robinson’s dark, deconstructed vision to the grumbling weather and the burgeoning growth of I.D fashion week position the city as a wee Antwerp of the south. All of this confluence is beginning to bear fruit and in recent years a number of new labels have emerged that carry a distinctive Dunedin flavour, yet are equally reflective of other places. Undone by Elise Barnes and Rachel Webb is one of these. The pair met in 2008 at Otago Polytechnic where both were studying fashion and then cemented their partnership at this year’s I.D show, in which both were asked to participate.
Thus, Undone, a label they describe as “a collaboration based upon the attraction of opposites in design.” Elise is described as ‘feminine and a hopeless romantic” and Rachel, “mysterious with an androgynous sense of style.” In a nutshell, their individual ideas, style and thinking must be “undone” and then reworked to make their joint creations. The pair have released two collections: Bespoke and A Dream within a Dream both of which can be viewed online here.