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Style’s social editor Gilbert Wealleans is always out and about snapping at Christchurch’s best events.

'Aviva: A World of Inspiration' in association with Innovative Travel and Jane Daniels

Traveller’s tales set the imagination on fire as mental pictures of far off places formed, transporting the listener a world away from drizzly Christchurch. The evening of fashion spiced up with the flavour of globetrotting, was a fundraiser to support the work of Aviva, which was formerly known as Women’s Refuge. Jane Daniels was the distinguished label on parade which, following her recounting of her Russian adventures, drew admiration from the audience. Pink candy floss cocktails whispered seductively to the tastebuds, leaving the memory of a stylish and exotic evening.

Photos: Gilbert Wealleans

View 'Aviva: A World of Inspiration' in association with Innovative Travel and Jane Daniels Gallery

'Just Because' at CoCA

As the keys of the city were passed from Summer to Autumn, Strategy Creative hosted a marvellous party at The Centre of Contemporary Art(CoCA). The line of invitees had before entering, to be subjected to the ministrations of the very dodgy looking Dr Dan the Psychologist who, mouthing a mixture of mumbo jumbo and shamelessly big words, “analyzed” them. Following the initiation of silliness, the time was good to mingle and enjoy the art of David Shrigley. Throughout the gallery, the sounds of admiration for the works and of hospitality being enjoyed, combined to make the evening’s soundtrack.

Photos: Gilbert Wealleans

View 'Just Because' at CoCA Gallery

'Say Yes' Book Launch at Discover Travel

African adventures were recalled when Sue Verrall launched her book “Say Yes” at Discover Travel. Appetites were whetted for tales of some of the world’s most exotic and exciting places as well as the dangerous situations which Sue had experienced. The soft drizzle of the summer evening on leafy Oxford terrace provided a contrasting backdrop to the flavour of the hot, dusty countries being described. Generous laden trays of exquisite food and drink made for a party worth attending whilst “Say Yes” stimulated the urge to see the wide, wide world.

Photos: Gilbert Wealleans

View 'Say Yes' Book Launch at Discover Travel Gallery

1st Anniversary of China Southern AIrlines in Christchurch



For twelve months China Southern Airlines has been winging travellers back and forth between Canterbury and enchanting, mysterious Asia, thence on to many parts of the world. Three times every week, the air bridge is open between Guangzhou and Christchurch Airport, the gateway to the south. The fairy tale grandeur of the Chateau on the Park welcomed invited guests to celebrate this milestone in contemporary globetrotting. Following the formalities, it was time to enjoy a kiwi style barbeque laden with everything for which the taste buds could yearn.

Photos: Gilbert Wealleans

View 1st Anniversary of China Southern AIrlines in Christchurch Gallery

A Day at the Polo

A lovely day out of town could not be spent better than by sitting back to watch sprightly ponies and their courageous riders gallantly pursuing a little white ball around the lawn. It was a humid, overcast day which welcomed guests to a Day at the Polo, to benefit Ronald McDonald House South Island (RHMSI), later turning to blistering sun. Within the marquee, tables were dressed with roses in readiness for luncheon, the hubbub of conversation and laughter making ears ring as outside, hooves beat upon the turf. After fabulous food, luxury auction prizes and exciting action on field, it was good to sit back and listen to the breeze blowing through the poplars.

Photos: Gilbert Wealleans

View A Day at the Polo Gallery

Antarctic Mid Winter Celebration

There are times when Christchurch feels like the coldest place on earth, especially on a chilly night but it is nothing compared to Antarctica, the continent celebrated on this year’s mid winter. As the wind sliced like a razor’s shivery edge, guests boarded the Hagerlund for a thrilling, angular and hair raising ride around the obstacle course at the International Antarctic Centre.

Photos: Gilbert Wealleans

View Antarctic Mid Winter Celebration Gallery

Ballantyne's Style Lab

As the city bathed in the winter rain which washed along streets, to set soggy snares for passing feet, the dry path to follow was the one leading to Contemporary Lounge. Awaiting those attending Ballantyne’s Style Lab was a sideshow alley of experts demonstrating magical ways of enabling life to be more stylish.

Photos: Gilbert Wealleans

View Ballantyne's Style Lab Gallery

Benefit Browzam

Benefit threw a party for clients and friends who gathered at the Benefit brow salon in Ballantynes. Elegantly attired in outfits enhanced by cheeky little tophats, the operators showed ladies how to make the best of the frames of their eyes.

Photos: Gilbert Wealleans

View Benefit Browzam Gallery

Bettie Monroe Opening

The Colombo stood as a haven of shelter from the driving rain which punished the streets of Sydenham, as borne upon the wind, drops tore at faces and eyes. Gentle respite awaited as the opening of Bettie Monroe excited the fashion senses and sparkling libations soothed after the storm. Fabulous creations made up the buffet of couture  which whetted  the fashion appetites and serving as a reminder that the season for warmer cladding is nigh.

Photos: Gilbert Wealleans

View Bettie Monroe Opening Gallery

Candy & Cuba Fashion Show

Sugarplums and divinely delicious garments were on the menu at Quinns of Merivale when Fiona Jackson brought her exotic collection to town. Glamorous yes but classy to the maximum, the fashion feast both teased and appeased the appetites of eyes and sweet teeth alike

Photos: Gilbert Wealleans

View Candy & Cuba Fashion Show Gallery

Carmen with L' Arlesienne

Treachery, deceit and jealousy were abroad one recent night, thankfully not in the city but on the Isaac Theatre Royal stage when the Royal New Zealand Ballet (RNZB) presented Carmen with L’Arlesienne. The music of Georges Bizet partnered with the choreography of Roland Petit brought the stories to the minds and hearts of Christchurch. With feline grace and power, the dancers enacted the spectrum of emotions which drive the two tales, one set in sunny France, the other in fiery Spain. The VIP pre show party for guests of the company, was the perfect overture to the spectacle of dance and dramatic excellence.

Photos: Gilbert Wealleans

View Carmen with L' Arlesienne Gallery

Cavit & Co Store Opening

A wonderland of elegance beckoned, drawing the attention and seducing the eyes of guests stepping in from the windswept street. Within the sanctum of style, conversation flourished and luscious fluids in glasses caught snippets of light, transforming into stars. The party paused only for the official opening, before Cavit &Co’s new boutique was offered to Christchurch, as a destination for those in search of refined living.

Photos: Gilbert Wealleans

View Cavit & Co Store Opening Gallery

Cavit & Co.

The late afternoon sun shone along Victoria Street, lighting the way to Cavit & Co where home enhancing goodies for the new season were about to be presented. Luscious platters and  cooling glasses were circulated amid the social chat, the opulent surroundings making for an easy going atmosphere. At the party’s height, the latest offerings from the wide world were shown after which, it was time to make small talk once more. Soaking up the comfort of the elegant store, guests enjoyed the hospitality until the descent of evening heralded the hour to journey home.

Photos: Gilbert Wealleans

View Cavit & Co. Gallery

Christchurch Casino's Charitable Trust Presentation

Christchurch Casinos Charitable Trust Presentation

Community support groups working throughout Canterbury received a monetary boost in a ceremony held at Sixty6 on Peterborough. The Christchurch Casinos Charitable Trust staged the evening during which grants were presented and invited guests enjoyed  wonderful casino catering.  Representatives of the various recipients mingled with invitees, everyone celebrating  the  good fortune and generosity which will facilitate the vital work throughout the coming year.

Photos: Gilbert Wealleans

View Christchurch Casino's Charitable Trust Presentation Gallery

Eco Villa Opening

In a city so bereft of heritage buildings, it is heart gladdening to see a gracious old house blossoming anew and smack in the heart of town as well. In a masterstroke of  making best use of existing resources, Nisha and Evan Chadwick have opened Ecovilla, the newest and most charming place to rest a weary head.  Lit by a blazing sunset, guests mingled on the deck, the generous catering causing this reporter to fear for his waistline! Party goers marvelled at the location, a prayer’s breath from the Transitional Cathedral and the heart of the reborn city, which beats stronger with every passing day.

Photos: Gilbert Wealleans

View Eco Villa Opening Gallery

Friends of Starship Christchurch- Diamonds & Stars Tea Party

Elegant ladies and a few dapper gents met at the Hagley Pavillion last Sunday for the inaugural fundraiser high tea to support  Starship. The light and airy atmosphere of the pavilion was the perfect setting for the party as gourmet tea time treats and fabulous beverages were served. Two auctions took place, the live one attracting some lively and excited bidding. So ended a genteel summer afternoon tea for a very worthy cause.

Photos: Gilbert Wealleans

View Friends of Starship Christchurch- Diamonds & Stars Tea Party Gallery

Hagley School of Fashion Showcase & Exhibition


Talent abounded in the city recently when students at Hagley School of Fashion staged a parade of their creations. Couture spanning a wide treasure trove of styles from formal, casual and sophisticated to the fantastic strode past in a visual buffet, stunning the senses. The enraptured audience of families, friends and guests responded with deafening applause after which, it was time to give congratulations to and heap praise  upon the budding designers during the after party. A rich future in fashion lies looks assured  for Christchurch.

Photos: Gilbert Wealleans

View Hagley School of Fashion Showcase & Exhibition Gallery

Jaguar F-Pace Launch

On an evening transported from an English summer to a New Zealand winter, in other words wet, all things British were being celebrated at the Christchurch Art Gallery. Within the Union Jack strewn haven of class, the latest model from that epitome of motoring excellence, Jaguar, was being launched.

Photos: Gilbert Wealleans

View Jaguar F-Pace Launch Gallery

Jamie and Jasmine's wedding

A picture-perfect thirty-degree Christchurch day was the scene for Jamie Gough and Jasmine Lange to say “I do” at the Christ’s College Chapel before around 100 of their closest friends and family on Saturday 5 March.

An exquisite Monique Lhuillier-gowned Jasmine arrived by vintage Rolls-Royce to an awaiting Jamie Gough, dressed in tailor-made Working Style tails. Rev. Peter Beck, the chapel choir, organist and church bells set the tone for the traditional ceremony.

The bridal party had wedding photographs at Mona Vale, the historic family homestead and former private residence of Jamie’s great-grandfather, while guests were transported by city trams to the Canterbury Club where they enjoyed Champagne and canapés on the terrace accompanied by a jazz quartet.

Photos: Johannes Van Kan

View Jamie and Jasmine's wedding Gallery

Let us Entertain You

Cholmondeley Children’s Centre said a very big thank you to all the friends, partners and sponsors who have given support over the past year. An abundance of tasty treats greeted guests as the cool afternoon prepared to give way to evening. Brief speeches were made in which personal experiences relating to Cholmondeley were recounted. With the conclusion of formalities, the opportunity for mingling was eagerly taken, the deck proving the perfect spot to socialise and consume the magnificent view.

Photos: Gilbert Wealleans

View Let us Entertain You Gallery

Louis Champagne Bar Opening

Like a scene from a movie, bystanders watched admiringly as elegant feet trod with refined steps along the red carpet welcoming Christchurch’s “A” Listers to the grand opening of the Louis Champagne Bar. Victoria Street shivered under the swirl of winter’s breezy breath whilst within, chilled flutes of France’s finest, bubbled and sparkled like jewels set in a heavenly tiara. The tumult of conversation rose to create an hypnotic spell, weaving through the gathering, gladdening hearts as the magic bubbles, gladdened the taste buds. The party was the perfect welcome to this salon of taste and discernment.

Photos: Gilbert Wealleans

View Louis Champagne Bar Opening Gallery

Lynn Woods Fashion Show

As the dreamy tones of autumn began to manifest in nature, the dream world of fashion also unfolded and nowhere more so than at Corcovado, where Lynn Woods has woven her magic. Among the objects of stylish living, guests circulated and socialized awaiting the show’s commencement. The first confident steps on the catwalk heralded a steady procession of models, parading garments clad in which, one may greet the cooler seasons with elegance and swish. Complimentary applause rang out loudly, congratulating Lynn on a marvellous, as usual, show.

Photos: Gilbert Wealleans

View Lynn Woods Fashion Show Gallery

Lynn Woods Pink Ribbon Breakfast

Liberated from the gloom of night, shafts of pomegranate tinted sun infused the plump clouds, the union creating a glorious dawn. A perfect morning then, to partake of food and drink and absorb the wisdom, wit and inspiration of Dame Trelise Cooper. Ladies had gathered to attend a Pink Ribbon Breakfast, sponsored by couturier Lynn Woods to support Breast Cancer Cure, the charity of which Dame Trelise was patron for eight years. On a mission to help find a cure for breast cancer by 2018, Breast Cancer Cure is forging ahead in the battle, raising essential funds by events such as this.

Photos: Gilbert Wealleans

View Lynn Woods Pink Ribbon Breakfast Gallery

Mona Vale Homestead and Pantry Opening Garden Party

The afternoon sun kissed the treetops and glinted off the waters of the river meandering through the grounds of Mona Vale. On the lawn, glasses were being clinked in toasting and platter after platter of fine comestibles consumed as the re-opening of the homestead was celebrated. The jewel in the crown of Fendalton, for so long  forlorn and empty as the refurbishment agonized on, now shone in glory, made as new for the benefit of Christchurch. The opulent and elegant grandeur drew guests in to stand in wonder and give thanks that this precious treasure of heritage, against great odds, was saved and stands sturdy for the future.

Photos: Gilbert Wealleans

View Mona Vale Homestead and Pantry Opening Garden Party Gallery

Opera Meets Art - Friends of the NZ Brain Research Institute

Shafts of honeyed twilight blazed like liquid gold through the curving windows of the Christchurch Art Gallery, drenching the scene in daylight saving’s valediction. On this musical evening, the angular atrium rang with the harmony of conversation as  guests mingled, before the ranks of singers stepped up to rule the occasion. Voices lifted, sending loved arias flying to the audience who, having cast final bids in the silent auction, now sat back to drink in the glorious sounds.

Photos: Gilbert Wealleans

View Opera Meets Art - Friends of the NZ Brain Research Institute Gallery

Partirdge Jewellers New Store Opening

Like stars twinkling in the heavens, the precious objects  on show  lit up the gathering in the new Partridge Jewellery store opening party. Guests surveyed the beautiful creations of adornment, the sparks from the jewels flitting like fireflies about the mirrored boutique. The allure of such finery acts as a beacon drawing those seeking the best, to look for it right in the new heart of the city.

Photos: Gilbert Wealleans

View Partirdge Jewellers New Store Opening Gallery

Pipes & Drams at the Transitional Cathedral

A freezing wind, so reminiscent of the Scottish Highlands, blew savagely about Latimer Square, mocking those enjoying warm shelter within the Transitional Cathedral, where the aroma of fine scotch whisky hung on the cloistered air. Organized by The Scottish Society of New Zealand Pipe Band, Pipes & Drams was an opportunity for whisky lovers to taste and learn about their chosen luxury, all to the unforgettable sounds of the bagpipes. Raising money to send a group of pipers far away to Glasgow, to compete at the World Pipe Band Championships was the main reason for the evening of kilted fun. Now, time for MY wee dram!

Photos: Gilbert Wealleans

View Pipes & Drams at the Transitional Cathedral Gallery

Priscilla Queen of the Desert Opening Night


A huge dollop of camped up insanity gushed all the way from the Australian Outback to stiletto strut across the stage at the Isaac Theatre Royal, to be met with an uproar of approval. The first night of Priscilla Queen of the Desert was a sparkling success, seducing the audience to a state of helpless laughter. Appropriately  attired fans whistled, hooted, waved and stomped as they sang along with the myriad disco and ‘70’s pop hits. Costumes as colourful as a bag of manic liquorice allsorts, minced and danced up a storm as overhead, the levitating Greek chorus combined to create a vision reminiscent of a comedic nightmare. The evening was truly fun and truly exhausting!


View Priscilla Queen of the Desert Opening Night Gallery

Riccarton Races 2016

The gentle rain fell from the leaden sky and hung like a necklace of liquid jewels from the leafy boughs beneath which, picnics were laid out. The soggy lawn of Riccarton Park was no deterrent to the company of dedicated race goers who, despite the inclement conditions, were determined to enjoy the day. Fashions of every style and degree of coverage, wafted by in a casual parade of elegance and frequent shivery gooseflesh. The background tumult of voices which included whoops of victory and slurred commiseration resulting from the fickleness of betting, blended with the drumming of hooves on turf to play out the symphony of race day.

Photos: Gilbert Wealleans

View Riccarton Races 2016 Gallery

Robin Hood Exclusive Preview Anthony Harper Summer Theatre

The wind blew through the green woods at Riccarton House, magically transporting the gathering crowd to the fantasy world of old Sherwood Forest and the antics of Robin Hood. With the wizardry of Anthony Harper and The Forge at The Court, the world’s best loved outlaw robbed the rich to help himself, sorry, I mean the poor and chat up pretty maidens. Topical humour abounded as the invited audience of sponsors and guests laughed and cheered the jolly  romp along, as Robin and his band of merry misfits set off to annoy the rotten old Sheriff of Nottingham. It was an evening of arrow splitting fun and side splitting laughter.

Photos: Gilbert Wealleans

View Robin Hood Exclusive Preview Anthony Harper Summer Theatre Gallery

Ronald McDonald House South Island

The Great Hall was decked out for an occasion of note, the rich wooden interior glowing warmly in invitation as guests filed in. Ronald McDonald House South Island (RMHSI) once again hosted the annual Christchurch Supper Club, an event always eagerly anticipated. Glasses were topped up by a bottle wielding aerialist, dangling gracefully above the crowd, her lissom contortions drawing appreciative applause. Pluses were starting to quicken and palates were becoming roused as the mystery of who would be sent to where, to dine, stoked the mounting excitement. The evening then began, filled with gastronomic promise.

Photos: Gilbert Wealleans

View Ronald McDonald House South Island Gallery

Southern Excellence Awards 2016

Surrounded by the wonder machines of yesteryear, the latest achievements in the property industry were recognized and celebrated. Companies and individuals who have displayed exceptional performance and dedication, were in the limelight when the Property Council New Zealand held the Southern Excellence Awards 2016 at the Air Force Museum. Tables sparkled in the candlelight as dinner progressed and in between courses, guests were able to relax at the various pampering stations arranged about the hall. Following the handing out of awards and the possibility of drowning in the provided luxuries, it was time to dance the night away. Such fun!

Photos: Gilbert Wealleans

View Southern Excellence Awards 2016 Gallery

Sparkle for Hope Ball - Child Cancer Foundation

The spotlight’s silvery blade cleaved the autumn evening, like a beacon enticing guests to enter a wonderland. Points of light glittered out from the grandeur, crisply dressed tables awaiting eager diners, shone with the opulent promise of an evening to remember. A whirlpool of conversation whipped up as friends met and strangers were invited to become so. Sumptuous fare now occupied the attention, strengthening party goers for the fundraising to come, followed by dancing the night away.

Photos: Gilbert Wealleans

View Sparkle for Hope Ball - Child Cancer Foundation Gallery

Sparks 2017

Rockets lit the heavens as local windows and probably some dentures, were rattled by the explosions overhead. This was not a re-enactment of the  Battle of Waterloo but Sparks 2017, where music and gunpowder form the perfect partnership.  Crowds gathered early to picnic and be entertained by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra. Seated on rugs on the ground and in  corporate marquees ,including Star Media’s,  the audience waited in mounting  anticipation for  the first notes to play and the flaming bouquet to blossom in the sky.  Following the aerial excitement, joyous folk  young and old, journeyed home and the last wisps of smoke dissolved into the night.

PHOTOS: Gilbert Wealleans

View Sparks 2017 Gallery

St Andrew's College Rowing Club Gala Dinner

An air of tension pervaded Peterborough Street as a black tuxedo was semi lost in the shadows, given away only by the flash of crisp white shirtfront, as the stranger strode confidently towards the door of Sixty6. Below street level, the dim light fell upon faces in the crowd which turned to the new arrival. The cavern was for the evening, a mingling place of dashing heroes and mysterious ladies, the set upon which the James Bond themed inaugural fundraising event for St Andrew’s College Rowing Club, would be played out, with more to come in the future.

An air of tension pervaded Peterborough Street as a black tuxedo was semi lost in the shadows, given away only by the flash of crisp white shirtfront, as the stranger strode confidently towards the door of Sixty6. Below street level, the dim light fell upon faces in the crowd which turned to the new arrival. The cavern was for the evening, a mingling place of dashing heroes and mysterious ladies, the set upon which the James Bond themed inaugural fundraising event for St Andrew’s College Rowing Club, would be played out, with more to come in the future.

Photos: Gilbert Wealleans

View St Andrew's College Rowing Club Gala Dinner Gallery

St George's Hospital Christmas Garden Party

The duvet of cloud hanging in the sky above the city kept the temperature at a pleasant level, just right for socialising among the flowers. St George’s Hospital garden was dressed up for the annual Christmas party enabling guests, staff and friends to mix and mingle. Exquisite festive fare was in abundance, the tastes complimented by the scent of roses carried on the gentle and soft late afternoon air. The conversations and catching up continued until the curtain of evening descended to call time on the joyous proceedings and friends departed having exchanged seasonal blessings.

Photos: Gilbert Wealleans

View St George's Hospital Christmas Garden Party Gallery

St Patrick's Day Charity Auction

The flavour of Ireland was being savoured at The Bog on the day before St Patrick’s day when a charity auction was turned on to aid the Bone Marrow Cancer Trust. The overwhelming colour was of course, green and within the dimly lamplit bar the fun was about to begin. Browsing the items up for grabs in the silent auction, guests made secret bids, conserving some resources for the noisy live one to follow. The tune tootling rustic band, provided the soundtrack for the evening which saw much needed money raised, enabling the trust to continue their efforts in combating this horrible disease.

PHOTOS: Gilbert Wealleans

View St Patrick's Day Charity Auction Gallery

Studio 125 Gala Grand Opening

Art lovers had  a treat, just perfect for a warm autumn evening as Merivale basked in lingering twilight. Studio 125 was made ready for the flood of guests, invited to attend the grand opening. Crisply aproned waiters proffered good things which ministered to the needs of the palate, as the art did to the appetite of eyes and mind. Cruising through the rooms and outside in the garden, with footsteps crunching on the pastel shingle, attendees consumed the visual buffet of talent. Around every corner a fresh morsel awaited to tempt the attention. Studio 125 is up and running, ready to entice visitors who, may not want to leave.

View Studio 125 Gala Grand Opening Gallery

Style Fusion Fashion Show


The gloom of winter was dispelled and the promise of a stylish summer brought closer by the wonders of fine dressing, when clothes to be seen in were on parade at Style Fusion, held at Rydges Latimer. Guests enjoyed pre show drinks with friends as the anticipation for the evening built up, along with the excitement.  The doors to the hall flew open and at the herald’s call to take their places, the company entered grandly, as if in an operatic procession. The howl of bagpipes signalled the start whereupon, long limbed models took to the stage in a seemingly never ending buffet of couture. The recipient charity, Canterbury West Coast Air Rescue Trust, would have been very happy with the result, on an evening which no one would forget.

Photos: Gilbert Wealleans

View Style Fusion Fashion Show Gallery

The Great Christchurch Art Show 2017

Fabulous art, providing nourishment to slake the soul’s hunger for refinement transcending the world’s vulgarity, boldly stood before the public at Wigram on a cold winters evening. Opening night of this year’s Great Christchurch Art Show proved to be an exciting spectacle, as pieces were eagerly snapped up in the electric atmosphere. As the crowd browsed, they were inundated with tempting catering as trays of goodies circulated the room and at almost every turn, plinths laden with a dazzling variety of gourmet cheeses, fought with the visual treats for guest’s attention. What a brilliant party it was!

Photos: Gilbert Wealleans

View The Great Christchurch Art Show 2017 Gallery

Trotting Cup Day Addington 2016

The human tidal wave flowed through the gates at Addington and the air of excitement climbed skyward. Hands secured hats on heads and held hemlines in place against the strengthening breeze as out on the track horses and drivers made ready. Eyes were challenged as itinerant fashion plates vied with the gallant chargers for attention. Sulkies hurtled past drawn by the magnificent snorting power generators strapped on. By the day’s end, some would be celebrating whilst others would tear up unproductive betting tickets, victims of fickle fortune. Sunburnt, windblown, poorer in pocket but richer in enjoyment, the tide turned and ebbed homeward.

Photos: Gilbert Wealleans

View Trotting Cup Day Addington 2016 Gallery