Ophelia Kingdon, Whitecliffe

From Auckland, New Zealand, Ophelia Kingdon found herself in fashion by accident. Fashion has always been something Kingdon wanted to do, but for a long time, she couldn’t picture herself pursuing studies towards it. After dancing around a few ideas, she decided fashion design would be her best bet. 

Her latest collection is based on the inconveniences of life, and the minor disruptions that occur within every day that we often do not notice. 

“I like when things don’t go according to plan and having to make do with what I can find around me in terms of materials,” explained Kingdon. 

Her label, Polly Proper Lean, is a personification of occurrences, and interpreting the banal, trivial, and even unfortunate happenings that occur in everyday life as something of value, and as their own entity. The label proposes a space where the vexatious can be constructive, and perhaps even beautiful. 

This concept is portrayed through Kingdon’s choice of fabrics and how they interact with the body.

“The clothes are not necessarily comfortable. They are constructed to be in constant conversation with the wearer. I suppose this particular collection goes against what clothes are generally supposed to be.”

This collection is inspired by everyday life and objects and events that are often overlooked. Polly Proper Lean is a philosophy on how to approach the small hindrances of everyday life, and rather than seeing those things as something negative, to see those things as a point of inspiration and an opportunity to change direction. 

“My love of fashion design didn’t really come from any particular aesthetic or designer, but rather seeing people dressing to the absolute max… I love when people totally commit to a certain way of dressing.”

Kingdon has a few projects in the works for the future. Polly Proper Lean is not just clothing, but a research project and definite exploration of Kingdon herself. 

“I’m really excited to continue exploring what I started this year, it’s very special to me.”

With thanks to Vanity Walk Models, Red Eleven Model Management and Bintang Models and Management.