Yu Mei knit-wear

My last post was a Q&A with Dunedin designer Jessie Wong of Yu Mei, showcasing her insanely awesome bags, this time it’s all about her knitwear, which is equally amazing.  Photo’s by Gabrielle DevereuxProcessed with VSCOcam with kk1 preset

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Processed with VSCOcam with kk1 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with kk1 preset

Introducing…Yu Mei

Unfortunately I missed the Dunedin launch of new knit-wear and bag brand, Yu Mei but recently caught up with the designer, Jessie Wong to find out a bit more about her and her awesome label! Knit-wear images coming in my next post, so keep your eyes peeled! x
First up…who are you?
My name is Jessie Wong, I’m a Wellington born designer now living in Dunedin. My label YU MEI is my middle name- given to me by my Chinese Granddad- it means young & beautiful.
Where are you from and where are you based now?
From Wellington, based in Dunedin now. Dunedin is like a little Wellington really.. both harbour cities.
Did you study fashion design, if so where?
I studied fashion at Otago Polytechnic right here in Dunedin.
When did you start your brand?
YU MEI was started right after my first year at polytechnic. I made a few dresses for Slick Willy’s in Dunedin and then got a little order from Harry’s boutique in Wellington, I had woven labels made and and that was it! Although the company was officially registered on the 9th March 2015.. so really we’re only 4 months old.
What do you create? What materials do you use?
YU MEI is a luxe leather and knitwear label. I use 100% premium deer nappa from New Zealand Light Leathers in Timaru for the bags. They supply to some of the world’s best fashion houses so i’m very lucky to have access to the same quality product so close to home. All the YU MEI knitwear is 100% lambswool, so delicious and soft. It’s also knitted in Dunedin, and all my bags are made in house (by me!) at my studio, shoutout to keeping it local!
Why did you start Yu Mei?
I’ve always loved creating things, I’ve been sewing since I was 11 and have always wanted to own my own business. When I was 15 I did an internship at Karen Walker and that was the first time I saw a whole workroom in action. From design, to pattern making, grading, sampling and photoshoots, I loved it all. I also fell in love with the idea that fashion is ever changing, not just every 6 months, but it’s every couple of weeks that my job in the studio is different. One month I’m in production, the next is design. I’m not good at monotony so it’s ideal for me. Last year I was lucky enough to win an AMP National Scholarship which enabled me to start the business straight out of my degree. I am so thankful for that because I have the momentum now and I didn’t have a plan B!
How would you describe your brand?
YU MEI is a leather and knitwear label devoted to the creation and presentation of understated luxury. Bag designs are born from a base level of utility- built for purpose to carry with ease. YU MEI’s mission is to create quality products that will weather your journey with you, each new scratch and mark another adventure in your story.
I try to approach all YU MEI design with simplicity in mind. That saying you’re taught in primary school- KISS- keep it simple, stupid- is something I tell myself a couple times a day. When I was at Polytech I had a hard time doing this in my collections- too many ideas! Too many things to say! It’s hard to edit.. but there will always be plenty more collections in the future to convey my message. I’ve since realised that simplicity is complexity resolved- a quote that my good friend Courtney pointed out was fitting. And that’s what YU MEI is all about.
What inspired your latest collection?
The collection I’m working on at the moment is called “Make Noise”, each item in the collection is the distillation of the personality of someone that I find interesting and influential, the people who have a unique perspective and something to say- the people who make noise! It’s a work in progress.. early days but there are some exciting things in the mix.. including more knitwear!
Where is it available?
We’re stoked to be with three RAD Otago stockists- Slick Willy’s Dunedin, 47 Frocks Wanaka and Angel Divine Queenstown. We love them all! Plus you can get them online here.




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Sleeping in….

Argh there’s just been a few hold-ups with the f.e.w label, but it is coming…really really soon!!! In the mean-time I did a photo-shoot with my sassy little sister of our sleep-wear range! xxIMG_6973






So divine

Over the weekend I visited one of my favourite winter holiday destinations, Queenstown. For those of you who don’t know, it’s a little alpine village on the shore of Lake Wakatipu, set against the idyllic Southern Alps in the South Island of New Zealand. Unfortunately I couldn’t go snowboarding like I planned, due to an injury I sustained from jumping on a trampoline. (very silly, as I’m not 5 years old!) So instead of hitting the slopes I did the next best thing and hit the shops…and in doing so came across Angel Divine. I’d already heard of the store but never been inside and I was excited to come across such an amazing boutique in such a teeny weeny town. They sell some of my favourite New Zealand and Australian clothing, footwear and accessory brands such as Beau Coops, Karen Walker, Company of Strangers, NOM*d, Twenty Seven Names, Stolen Girlfriends Club, Zambesi, Deadly Ponies, Lonely, Kate Sylvester and Juliette Hogan to name but a few. I highly recommend visiting next time you’re in Queenstown…I guarantee you’ll love it and not leave empty handed!IMG_6900


















New NOM*d

Here’s the latest from one of the greatest…NOM*d! I can’t ever remember seeing this much colour in a NOM*d collection and I’ve been an avid fan since the early 90s. That blue…it’s perfect!
6. Light Biker + Court Dress

13. Truck Dress + Boxer Skirt + HAHA Socks

18. Placement Dress 38. Cut & Paste Top + Under Skirt + HAHA Socks

40. Apron Top + House Pants

46. w. Love N Tee + House Shorts + HAHA Socks

47. w Love N Tee + One Third Skirt + HAHA Socks

66. House Dress + Forever Tee Blue + House Pants + Zip Bracelets
68. Smoking Vest + House Shorts + HAHA Socks

74. N Long Sleeve Tee + Under Skirt + HAHA Socks

76. Forever Tank Dress + HAHA Socks
78. N Tank Dress + HAHA Socks

81. Amy Tank Dress + HAHA Socks

83. Nico Tank Dress + HAHA Socks 30. Court Dress + Zip Bracelets + HAHA Socks

49. w Love Forever Tee + Under Skirt + HAHA Socks

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Man bags

Men need bags too. They have stuff they need to lug around which is too cumbersome to carry on their person just like we women do…don’t they? For those guys out there that take more than just their wallet and cell phone with them while they’re out and about,  coveted bag brand Deadly Ponies has just launched a men’s line of bags. There’s four styles available,  each resonating with the little boy inside every man, with them named after favourite comic book hero’s including the The Comet Satchel, Zorro Briefcase, Phantom Duffle and the Ranger Rucksack. Check them out!DeadlyPoniesMan1 (1)






MENS- Comet Satchel

Comet Satchel

MENS- Phantom Duffle with lure

Phantom Duffle

MENS- Zorro Briefcase.2

Zorro Briefcase

MENS- Mr Ranger Rucksack.2

Mr Ranger Rucksack

Fast Lane

This isn’t a fashion related post, but it’s on something else I enjoy and appreciate…art. Despite writing about stuff I know nothing about on a daily basis, eg. mini diggers, funeral homes, catteries, diamonds, butchers etc, me trying to write something eloquent and informed about an art show would just sound naive. So I’m not going to even try! Anyway  On Friday night I attended an exhibition of new works by Dunedin artist Danny Brisbane.  See below….IMG_6530



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Introducing f.e.w…

This is a very exciting project, which is still in it’s early stages…(we don’t even have a website yet) but my mother (Maria) and I are launching a clothing label called ‘f.e.w’. Well we currently only make kimono’s…insanely beautiful, New Zealand made, limited edition kimono’s! My mother and I both studied fashion design at Christchurch polytech a million years ago and she’s made clothing under the f.e.w label before. Back when she originally had the label, I was only a teenager and more of a hindrance than a help in the business, as I’d often ‘borrow’ clothes from her store to wear in the weekend and hide them under my school uniform. Little shit! This time it’s a partnership though and I’m super excited to share this photo-shoot we did recently. Will keep you updated of where and when these kimono’s will be available. xx

Thankyou to Belle Bird Boutique for lending the clothing worn with the f.e.w kimono’s


Post production//Rebekah Parsons-King

Styling//Me and Maria

Model and make-up// Jess JordonIMG_5927


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Sneaker pimps

I don’t wear sneakers as regular everyday footwear. I’m sneakered out….I’ve o’d on them, if I see one more pair of New Balance 540s or Nike Air Max’s I might scream/vomit. In saying that, Nike’s latest collaboration with British pattern makers, Liberty is pretty cool! The print is taken from a design called ‘Merlin’, which Liberty featured on a scarf way back in 72 and is now on a selection of new and classic   Nike styles. You can buy them in NZ here.

Nike X Liberty Classic Cortez (2) copy

Classic Cortex

Nike X Liberty Air Max 90 Ultra (2) copy

Air Max 90 Ultra

Nike X Liberty - Tennis Classic (1) copy

Tennis Classic

Nike X Liberty - Air Rift (2) copy

Air Rift

Nike X Liberty - Air Max Thea (2) copy

Air Max Thea