Monday, February 15, 2010

Summer Sale (Yes it IS summer)

We have some sizes left in our Organic Denim, reduced from $195 to $110. We'll still hem them for you anywhere you like, but at that price, you could get us to turn them into shorts. New Zealand made, organic denim, custom fit, built for comfort.
There's also 2009's Sample Rack Duncan and the girls are finally ready to let go. They're like friggin babies for these people, I swear. I don't know why they hold on to them for so long. I do admit, once you get a whole year's worth of samples collected on a rack, it does look good. There are some strange colours, but most of the fits are almost just the same as what we have in store. Come on in and try them on. It's all marked at prices to go. We also have 10% off everything in stock, from tshirts to longline denim jackets, including the rest of our range of jeans and pants. See you before the weather packs in again...hey! Don't forget we're open Sunday March 7 too: that's Festival Day.

Upstairs at Duncan & Prudence

He needs a break for sure. Just look at upstairs. Duncan sanded, varnished, finished the kitchen floor and ceiling, then painted the whole four back rooms. Our kitchen is complete! Our apartment is ready to merchandise! The floors are so shiny!
(Finally, we can have guests up there and not be embarrassed)
Tessa and Amanda held the fort all January while Duncan spent every day in his overalls, covered in dust and grumpy, like a builder. When Duncan and I get a spare moment to talk, we marvel at how brilliant our staff are, able to handle our business, it seems at times better than we can.
Duncan is pleased to be back at the helm but has decided, well, if they really can handle it in a quiet month without me, maybe if I run a tight ship with the schedule, they can handle it all the time. All he has to do is draw, and manage their production schedule. I think that's smart. Tessa's the Queen of Screenprinting. Amanda is the Perfectionist Productionist. And don't they serve you well, too? And now that we have Perrine, the waste minimalist, Duncan & Prudence are looking shiny upstairs and downstairs.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Perrine from Paris

This is Perrine, our new fashion graduate from Massey's School of Design. She won the sustainable fashion last year when she graduated with her degree in Fashion. She is inspired by sustainability, the urban landscape and function in her design concepts.
You might recall Perrine interned for us in 2008. She completed a sustainable brand portfolio project using Duncan & Prudence for a case study. We were so impressed, so now we're psyched to have her back on board, helping us with our journey toward full sustainability.
Perrine is french as well as Kiwi. She spends as much time as she can in her second home up in the northern hemisphere. When we all grilled her for some Parisienne inspiration she shrugged nonchalantly, saying fashion there this winter (our summer- same difference, practically) was disappointing. In fact, she believed our craft revival movement in New Zealand is way more world class than anything happening there right now! Damn that's cool of her to say, don't you think?
Welcome aboard Perrine. We think you're going to be a great addition this year. Come on in everybody, and see the results of our new hot apprentice.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Colour it up Summer 2010

There's not that much sunshine, so you can't blame it on that. There's too much cloud coverage for moonlight, so nope, it can't be that neither. Must be the Boogie. I told you the nose grew wider! This is my black on green wacko jacko tee, and here are the prints for Summer 2010. Well most of them.
Duncan went with a craft theme, because deep down he wants to join the craft revival, but is scared he might be the only man there. Trust me, if he could he'd be sitting amongst the stitch n bitch circle, only, a husband can't bitch about his wife amongst girlfriends the same way they all can about their husbands. There's a machine stitch newtown and a cross stitch newtown.
Our own blue we selected for this season is going off! If you didn't receive a maliblue t-shirt for Christmas there are still a few in some sizes left before we run out of this colour for this season. This is crazy racer in black on maliblu. On my maliblue I chose a T-rex in lemon. I also got a head, black on red just like you see it here.
At Duncan & Prudence we screenprint any print, in any colour, on any colour. We have t-shirt dresses that look beautiful with a print down the leg, hoodies you can print on the back, and of course, the perfectly crafted tshirts. Don't forget the beads to bring out your colour combination.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Christmas Rapping for Duncan, Wellington and Pak'n'Save

It was the busiest of weeknights before Christmas
Shopping one evening at Pak'n'Save
I'd budgeted a week's worth of groceries
For a family of four under $175
I'd packed it all myself in three empty boxes
Left in the corner, same boxes
The groceries came from on the factory floor
(I like that it's low maintenance packaging)
Anyway, I pack them in the back of the car
And I drive them all the way home.
Now Pak'n'Save is actually a long distance from our place. I figure the extra car mile is worth all those savings.
Only when we've started unpacking do I realise my wallet is missing.
My Commes des Garcon wallet-
My Commes des Garcon wallet Duncan
Has just bought me, in Australia-
My green leather Commes des Garcon wallet!
I put my hands up to my head and grab great handfuls of hair and pull so hard my eyeballs pop out.
Duncan says "you gotta go back, you gotta drive back!"
So I jump back into my car and hoon all the way back to Pak'n'Save.
And I'm saying my prayers all the way.
I pull up into the carpark
Beelining for the front of the store
I stride to Pak'n'Save's office counter -
But when I get there I'm too frightened to speak!
The counter for some reason is much higher
They have to climb up some steps to sit behind it.
A man grins ear to ear as he looks down at me.
He is holding my green wallet up in the air.
I have to cover my face in my hands
The relief leaves a few tears even
The man takes my drivers license out from my wallet, checks my ID and hands it back just like that.
I had left it on a table while I packed my groceries and then had just walked away.
"A common event," the smiling Pak'n'Save man said. "But not a common enough wallet."
"Praise be!" I replied.
The man kept grinning. "Praise be to who?"
"Praise be to You, smiling Pak'n'Save man! And the yellow store where you pack your groceries yourself in the boxes they came from, which has enough security in that concept alone that no one will even steal a green leather wallet when you leave them one."
And praise be to Duncan
For buying me just this, from Comme des Garcon no less,
One that's green and leather.
It might be the only one for 1000 miles
And praise be to Wellington too
I don't know another capital
Where you can leave your fancy wallet
On a table at your local Pak'n'Save
And more would hand it in to lost property
Than steal it. Praise be!
Yeah Wellington City!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Nostalgia for the Noughties

Well I don't care what historians make of any other first decade in a new century. I don't really make too much of the fact that Jesus' memory lives on into a 21st century. All I know is that we have been lucky enough to have lived in a golden age, and Duncan & Prudence rode an incredible wave through its peak. We started in 2002 and just got bigger and better every year. When Duncan broke his hip in 2005 it didn't make any difference. It was high time I pulled my socks up and gave the partnership my full attention anyway. I remember Duncan imploring me in the upstairs living room (it's now his design studio) leaning over his crutches, what the hell would we do? I put my hands on his shoulders and told him,
"This broken hip has changed everything. Now we just have to make sure it's changed everything for the better."
I gave up my job and opened the store Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Then I took advantage of my husband's bedridden state to churn up the sustainable business practices and run this shop like the tight ship it needed to be.
When the recession hit at the start of 2009, we pulled out the last stops and our socks up all over again. Duncan was back up and running at 100%, and Tessa and Amanda were both working full time, so I took my opportunity to pick up my own career again, dust it off and have another crack. The business would be fine, I said, leaner and meaner without me. And it was.
2009 has been our best sales year yet. We didn't top last year's sales by 10 or 13% like any other year...we beat it by over 25%! We watched the news and feared the worst, prepared for slumps in sales every month, but they simply never came. Duncan didn't just launch a couple of new products, one at a time...there were systematic product launches throughout the year. This is my favorite look of 2009: the fifties shirt dress in chambre denim with some of Aunt Catherine's beads, with the boyfriend in matching chambre shirt, merino vneck jersey and jeans. Duncan's 2009 collection of prints will go down in history, thanks to a special tribute print to Michael Jackson in his youthful, untouched, some say finest era, the seventies. The classic irony about this print is that when you get it across your chest, depending on how slim your fit is, the Pre-Wacko Jacko nose actually grows wider!

It was a lot of fun being blonde last decade, but in 2009 I chopped it all off and went back to my roots. It felt good, a little punk. It didn't do me any favours looking for a job. But on the whole I'm glad to realise my maturity with a few grey hairs. 2009 was a year to get real, to be true to one's self. (Even if that means fessing up to the fact that deep down you'll always be a bit of a hypocrite, and way to self-absorbed. Hey! That's OK!) The highlights of 2009 were our night at Dylan Moran, and as usual, the end of year staff Christmas party. Sticking with our tribute to Michael Jackson, we said dress seventies, and our friends all impressed. It's a shame Duncan's band the Boganvilleas are actually a true-blue eighties garage punk band. they looked strange grunging away with flares and a disco ball!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Changes in the Air

October zoomed by without a single blog entry from me and I apologise, because there was so much news! Our first Spring products materialised, friends' babies were born, a new fashion boutique opened right next door, loads of work was done on our upstairs kitchen and floors, and Dallas from Fat Freddy's Drop wore an outfit at the Music Awards styled just for him by my talented husband, Designer Duncan Mclean.
That's right - more photos of Dallas are to come in future blogposts. I have one funny shot of all us girls hovering around the hunk outside the changing rooms, shortly after he'd approved his look. But we're taking more this week with more of an air of professionalism. That's right, if Duncan's going to start clothing celebrities again, we have to get the portfolio from the experience, right? Otherwise, what's the point? Oh yeah- the fact that we're making friends with one of the Voices of the twenty first century, and he just happens to be a REALLY nice guy, whose HOT. (Can I just tell you, fitting this man had three design assistants giggling like I've never heard before).
Duncan has launched a new bag- this one comes in red or black denim. Isn't it gorgeous? We have three new tshirt colours for summer- a bright blue, a soft ash grey and raspberry. The tshirt dresses are now stocked, and the men have a casual chambre shirt. Next up and coming is a Vneck tank dress that's perfect for Christmas cocktail functions, a chambre skirt and shorts, and a jeano pant made from cotton drill. With all the designs and sampling, and making clothes for Dallas, it's a wonder how the staff find any time for actually just producing the stock for our stores.
Oh yeah... that's why we hired Kate, our third employee. Chances are you might see a fourth employee by the end of the year! Exciting! Congratulations to new arrivals over October: Good friends Tony and Maria Spear had their little Rosa, Al and Tory had one Trixie Bell, Steve and Wendy had their boy Xavier. By the way, that's not Maria, Tory or Wendy with the baby in the photo. That's Margo looking sensational in our shirt dress, with sister holding her baby, not even a year old. I put that in for inspiration to the new mums: life ain't over cos you squirted one out at fourty.
And the good people of Redunne fashion opened up their store in the old Mr Thank You just a couple of doors down! Hooray! That's three vital stops for fashion trends and Christmas clothing down our end of the hood (counting ourselves and Mindy's Juniper, of course- you can find some beaut bargains at the Salvation Army too). Newtown for style, a baby boom, and yummy mummies.
That reminds me- who made it to the Big Shwop? We have our store open on the same day so I always miss out on it, but I keep hearing it's the best experience ever for sustainable clothing hounds. Hope it went well again last Saturday. When we're not frantic in the back making stuff for celebrities we're upstairs sanding and finishing the floors and walls for painting and varnishing. A big shout out to Pete Tullock for his hard work chipping in, as well as Duncan's dad, as always. This is him with duncan, both wearing their parkas inside for a quick coffee break. Can anyone tell which one's Tom and which one's Duncan?