The backroad blog: Fashion Blog

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Hair By Tom

Ladies, ladies, ladies, allow me to introduce you to Tom Ujihara. Tom moved to New Zealand from Japan in 2001, decided to study the art of hairdressing in 2005 and is now one of Christchurch’s leading hair stylists/colourists with over 12 years in the game and a large loyal client base.

Tom rented a chair at Balayage Hair salon in Christchurch for 3 years prior to purchasing the business with his wife Sharon in November last year. Balayage Hair‘a little salon around the corner’ is a beautiful, quaint space filled with natural light, good music and great banter – I get the feeling no one is short of a laugh or two when Tom is around!

If you are in the mood for a new look or perhaps you’re sick of maintaining a solid colour/heavy foils (like I have been for the last 10 years), pop in to Balayage Hair at 3f Wise St (off Lincoln Rd) and treat yo-self!

Below are some images of Tom’s work and the salon plus a before and after shot of my crazy mop (I’m currently progressing towards a more natural balayage blonde look).

Check out Balayage Hair on the socials: Instagram/balayage & Facebook/balayagehairnz

Wilson Trollope

There will always be something special and unique about owning a garment that is designed and made in New Zealand.  This winter I have been fortunate to team up with Kiwi label Wilson Trollope and experience first hand the contentment that comes with wearing quality garments designed and made locally.

Wilson Trollope is the fashion label of Wellington designer, Annabelle Wilson. Launched winter 2013, the label is named after both her grandmothers, stylish and talented dressmakers who taught Annabelle their craft. The label is feminine, and focuses on creating classic, uncomplicated silhouettes that enhance the female form. Now operating through its ninth season, Wilson Trollope wholesales to stockists throughout New Zealand and holds seasonal pop-up shops in select locations.


All Images by Carmen Huter (@carmenhuter)

SHOP: Succulent Coat (on sale) | Merino Stripe Jumper | Column Top (on sale) | Jewel Skirt | Soiree Pochette |

Mons Royale

 In a world where fast fashion is almost impossible to avoid, I challenge you to seek out the brands going against the grain and making their mark – not only because their gear is quality & on-trend, but because they are environmentally and sustainably aware. Mons Royale is one of these brands.

‘From Lake Wanaka New Zealand, Mons Royale creates versatile merino clothing designed to deliver both technical performance and style’.  This Winter I’ve taken Mons to the streets to see how it plays out away from the snowy slopes and dusty downhill tracks. I’m pleased to report that when you slip in to a Mons garment, you’re not only benefiting from all the favourable attributes of wool (softness, anti-odour protection, temperature regulation, breathability etc) but you couldn’t be further from the historic cliches commonly associated with wool apparel (e.g. boring colours, scratchy, heavy).  Read more about why wool ain’t no ordinary fibre here  I’ll let the images do the rest of the talking.

Image 1, 5, 7 & 9 by Emma Coutts (Instagram/AntlersandImages + Facebook/Antlers&Images)

Image 2, 3, 4 & 8 by Jill Miller (Instagram/JillMillerPhoto + Facebook/JillianMillerPhotography +



Image 1: Cornice Rollover | Image 2 & 8: Covert Tech Sweat & Covert Mid-Hit Hoody | Image 3 & 4: Covert Tech Sweat  | Image 5: Original LS Vert | Image 6: La Glisse Mid Legging | Image 7 & 9: Rocker Raglan LS Serif 

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Hire a Dub

Have you ever fallen in love in 5 minutes flat?

‘Molly’ is a 1974 type 2, bay window Kombi campervan and I loved her from the moment we were handed her keys! There’s a certain nostalgia that comes with cruising around in a Kombi;  it’s the windows down, feet on the dash, breeze on your face, 95 Km/h that’ll get you considering a permanent life on the road.

If you’re ever planning a chilled escape to the Gold Coast I would 100% recommend discovering your inner hippy and taking off in a Kombi!

The following images were shot during our recent trip to Australia for the CMC Rocks Music Festival in Queensland.

Book your Kombi today at (don’t forget to mention this post)




All images shot by me

Models: Kim Knaggs, Mitch Weir, Olivia Sanders & Molly the Kombi


Introducing my first lifestyle brand collaboration with New Zealand wool blanket company ShearWarmth.

The ShearWarmth story began in 1987 when the Neeson family brought a farm at the junction of the Whanganui and Ohura rivers – wool provided the biggest cheque for the property back then. As the years passed, the value of wool declined and their wool cheque diminished to a point where it didn’t cover the cost of shearing. The Neeson’s refused to let wool become a by-product, instead they decided it was time to get wool back in to New Zealand homes as it once was.

ShearWarmth blankets are proudly made in New Zealand using metal free dyes and are 100% traceable back to the Neeson’s King Country farm ‘Awarima’.

For more information and to purchase a wool blanket visit and

Images & editing by Kate Wilson

Sunset images by Jet Campbell

CMC Awards

Every year Australia’s own Country Music Channel (CMC) host a kick-ass awards show (CMC Awards) followed by the biggest international country and roots music festival in the Southern Hemisphere (CMC Rocks). This year the awards were held on the sunny Gold Coast and showcased performances by some of the biggest names in country music including Little Big Town, Kip Moore, Travis Collins and The McClymonts.

In typical Kate style, I left my own outfit prep until the last minute only to be saved by Sun Dean – the lovely owner and stylist at Dunedin boutique Refined Rig. Sun has been providing her styling expertise for ten years at Refined Rig. She tells stories of women she has seen grow in confidence with the help of a little style guidance – whether it be in everyday wear or formal dress. Sun believes in the importance of looking after yourself, being healthy and being happy regardless of your age or lifestyle!

Refined Rig: Website HERE & Facebook HERE

Store: 73 Great King Street, Dunedin.


I’m in a current state of denial that the mornings are getting colder and the nights longer. I’ve decided to stay in New Zealand this year which means I will be encountering my first full winter in a while (first world problems). What is the upside of lower temperatures? Getting to wear cosy knitwear of course! Lucky Mesop is providing everything warm and stylish this season!

‘Boutique Australian fashion Label Mesop has been a part of the creative landscape since the brand’s launch in 2005. Crafted from a place of modern classicism, Mesop has a commitment to quality craftsmanship, refined designs and luxurious fabrications. Each season sees Mesop present a collection of soft tailoring, stylish basics and timeless silhouettes’.


Photos: Brooke Candy

SHOP THE POST: Atlas Jumper | Moss Dress | Uptown JeanBrooklyn Culotte  | Merino Roll Neck

Find a stockist near you HERE

Staple + Cloth

‘New Zealand designed and made label, Staple + Cloth is a lifestyle brand with a vision
of providing women with clothing that is both laid back yet luxurious. Clothing that is for living –
wearable and versatile, whether for work, relaxing or having a good time in.
Essential pieces that will take you through the seasons’.

I wore my first Staple + Cloth garment at NZ Fashion Week last year and I have since become a huge fan girl of theirs. Check out the visual story below to see some of my favourite pieces from their latest collection.

Photos: Emma Coutts (Instagram: @antlers&Images Facebook/Antlers&Images )

Wardrobe assistant/horse whisperer: Brooke Candy

SHOP THE POST: Stripe Link Dress  | Blush Halo Dress  | Moss Skirt

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‘PERRIAM is a contemporary lifestyle brand that produces New Zealand-made merino clothing that embodies the comforting luxury inherent in the spirit of the high country. PERRIAM takes merino into the realm of luxury.’ 

Christina Perriam was one of the first designers I collaborated with when I launched this blog back in 2014, because of that, I think I will always have a little nostalgia when I’m working with her garments. I admire Christina’s brand story and the way she encapsulates her family’s farming heritage and love of the land in to everything she does. Read more about the PERRIAM story here.

The images featured below were spontaneously shot by my multi-talented friend Sarah (@sarahperriam) one evening at the original Perriam family farm woolshed at Lowburn (Cromwell, NZ) – built over 100+ years ago. Image four was shot by Emma Coutts (@antlers&Images) near Lake Pukaki.


Image 1 & 3: Sophie Frill Dress

Image 4: Merino Enchanting Lace Top

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