Going with intuition

KIM TRIEGAARDT
Last updated 14:43 04/10/2012
Dual designer Caro Allison
Dual designer Caro Allison
Caro Allison's favourite pair of Italian boots.
Caro Allison's favourite pair of Italian boots.

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What started out as a hobby 10 years ago - making extra-wide trousers for young skaters - has evolved into a popular women's fashion label for Dual designer Caro Allison.

The first label was Demo but in 2003 Allison changed it to Dual and opened several retail outlets including Lyttelton, Matakana (north of Warkworth) and Pukekohe. "We thought we might move to Matakana permanently but came back after the earthquake to consolidate the business," Allison says.

A brush with multiple sclerosis that is now in remission persuaded her to close the Pukekohe branch and concentrate on her Christchurch business. She has begun retailing again in Christchurch from a unit in Ferrymead. "Now I'm really listening to my intuition as to what feels right, because when I opened in Pukekohe I had doubts and if I'd listened to those I wouldn't have opened there," she says.

Zest caught up with Caro Allison to talk about her favourite fashion pieces, music, food and treasures.

What one word describes your style?

Strong

The best style advice I ever heard was . . .

Keep it simple, be comfortable, and don't be afraid to have fun. People can take fashion far too seriously and too easily deviate from their own innate style.

What will you never wear?

Polyester floral prints . . . no matter what the label.

Do you have a favourite designer or label?

Gaultier's beautiful fabrics and his strong, clean designs for men. And Dual, which is constantly evolving and with the help of its customers creating a great fit.

Do you have favourite fashion pieces?

Italian boots and a glass bead bracelet given to me recently.

What's your opinion of today's woman?

Wiser younger. They seem to be more open to life's experiences - and more confident.

Today's man?

More real with their fears and strengths. Not afraid to be seen coping on the domestic front.

What song always gets you on the dance floor?

Any music by Aaron Tokona of Hori Buzz and Cairo Knife Fight, also hard to resist the nostalgic groove of Motown records.

What's your comfort food? A tasty hot soup in winter and you can't beat seafood - crayfish or raw oysters served with freshly picked greens in summer.

What is your favourite season? Could be either summer with its long hot days, or winter with its short cold days. I like the extremes which come with both seasons.

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Do you have a favourite treasure? My extremely animated daughter Sam.

I have a passion for . . .

Simple pleasures, such as good company, lots of laughter and a stomp around the hills.

KIM TRIEGAARDT

- The Press

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