It wasn’t until artist and GRAZIA’s Guest Editor, Daniel Ido, had left his hometown of Auckland for London that he noticed the peculiarities of his city -“the smell of the sea, the vibrant colours, the blue of the sky, the harmonies of the birds.” His most fond memory of the city wasn’t within the bustling metropolis but watching the lights pass by in the back of his parent’s car.

Ido draws from these experiences and the unique landscape of New Zealand to form the next instalment of GRAZIA’s At Home City Guide series – a one-stop shoppable gazette designed so you can capture a piece of a city from your living room.

“The illustration is a snapshot of what Auckland is like,” he explains to GRAZIA. “Geographically Auckland is different. We’re in range of 53 dormant volcanic cones, one of the few cities that lie in between two major bodies of water, surrounded by bush and forest and we have hills as far as the eye can see. My inspiration is the sea, and the city, major parts in what make Auckland unique.”

Ido continues, “My illustration style is undecided, I always feel it changes around my environment. However, what seems to be consistent is a love for line work. The inspiration is eclectic. I love Egon Schiele’s an Austrian artist, Mike Mignola an American comic artist, Moebius a French illustrator and many more.”

When New Zealand experienced one of the strictest lockdowns in the world in March 2020, Ido would spend his little time outdoors walking and grasping the culture that waxed and wained. Similarly, 24 hours in the city should be experienced in much the same way while also visiting the many beaches and experiencing the food offering of Auckland. And when overseas travel becomes the norm once again, a road trip throughout the country side is top of the list.

For now, experience New Zealand through Ido’s edit below.

A modern Classic

Daniel Ido’s favourite trilogy, The Lord of the Rings, is perhaps New Zealand’s biggest claim to Hollywood fame (of course, other than Taika Waititi). Travel further south of Auckland and you will discover green rolling hills, mountainous ranges and cascading rivers: the perfect backdrop to a fantasy film. Following the 2003 instalment, you can now visit the Hobbiton movie set where you’ll discover the magical huts and spaces that formed the identity of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.

If you’re living abroad, it’s not possible to make the trip to the Waikato region for guided tours and instead, we suggest a movie marathon of the franchise. “A young hobbit, Frodo, who has found the One Ring that belongs to the Dark Lord Sauron, begins his journey with eight companions to Mount Doom, the only place where it can be destroyed,” the official synopsis reads.

There is nothing more escapist than that.

easy as pie

Between the Brits, Australians and Kiwis, there is a fierce battle to officially claim the origins to the steak and cheese pie. As Ido’s favourite snack from Auckland, there is no argument. “We love our pies, I specifically love the Steak and Cheese,” Ido tells GRAZIA. “It’s definitely become a bit of a cultural icon, and it’s also something you’ll dearly miss if you have to live overseas for lengths of time. Having said, the pie has also become an object of cultural fusion – one of the bakeries down the road makes a killer pork belly pie.”

If you are in fact out, out of proximity to a bakery steak pie, the homey treat is easy to emulate at home. Try this recipe for a New Zealand spin to the Steak and Cheese pie.

The stronger the better

Similarly, there is often debate over the invention of the humble flat white between ‘the ditch’, “Who knows?”, says Ido. It’s true, Australian and New Zealander’s know a good coffee and has inspired similar brews around the globe. If you’re looking to shake up your usual coffee order, opt for a flat white. And even better, if you’re lucky enough to have a coffee machine at home, try your hand at creating the iconic NZ fern in latte art.

Practice makes perfect and this tutorial will have you a pro in no time!

karen walker

Karen Walker is fashion royalty in New Zealand. The designer first debuted her namesake label in 1989 at the age of 18 and with just $100 to her name. Thanks to her edgy, androgynous design sensibilities, Walker rose to prominence throughout the 2000’s and worn by the likes of Lady Gaga, Meghan Markle and Michelle Obama. Today, Karen Walker is available in 42 countries, 200 cities and 1020 stores including Barneys New York, Liberty London and Harvey Nichols.

Intrigued? Make this signature black look your next purchase.

Karen Walker Terrestrial Stitch-Embellished Dress. SHOP NOW

STOLEN GIRLFRIENDS CLUB

“A youthful rebellious spirit, a romantic heart, and the ability to empower and excite,” forms the ethos to Stolen Girlfriends Club. Known as a highlight presentation at New Zealand Fashion Week, SGC was established by two best friends, Marc Moore and Dan Gosling and provide looks for both men and women. Since 2005, Stolen Girlfriends Club has produced contemporary, unexpected styles with a fresh take on street style.

Speaking to ICON in 2018, Moore said, “For me personally, I have always struggled with self-confidence so I wanted to start a label that made confident clothes.”

Like the ‘Tiny Dancer Handbag’ and ‘Warrior Sandals’, the pieces don’t confine to particular trends and instead are inspired by evolving themes in society. Try your hand at the aesthetic below.

Stolen Girlfriends Club Tiny Dancer Handbag. SHOP NOW

Stolen Girlfriends Club Warrior Sandals. SHOP NOW

FEDERATION +

Creating streetwear pieces for men, women, kids and homeware, Federation + has become one of New Zealand’s most recognised brands. The label combines a love of illustration, design and function for clothing, jewellery, prints and leather goods. Established in 2000, the brand promises, “the best is yet to come”.

If we were to try one piece from the extensive offering, it would have to be this wardrobe staple. Made from genuine sterling silver, ‘Très Bien’ translates to “very good” and serves as a reminder of the good things in life. And amid lockdown globally, we can use that kind of mentality.

Federation + Tres Bien Ring. SHOP NOW

FOLKLORE

Throughout 2020 and into 2021, lockdown has inspired us to revive the home environment. We’ve found solace in an afternoon drink or spending time with family and friends in small groups, indoors, instead of extravagant nights out. In turn, a fascination for unique homewares and vintage-inspired styles has grown. Based in New Zealand Folklore Fine Goods has quickly become a go-to, online destination for pieces not found anywhere else.

Made in Mexico, add character to your home bar with this hand-blown Margarita Glass. Salud!

Folklore Hand Blown Margarita Glass. SHOP NOW

A & C HOMESTORE

“Wood carving is well regarded over here, specifically furniture such as tables or cutting boards,” says Ido. With three stores based in Auckland as well as online, try a unique nod to city with this side table from A & C Homestore. The origins of the practice come from the New Zealand Maori culture and has been appropriated for modern art and furniture throughout time.

This piece is an easy addition to the home and can fit next to your bed, lounge or even in the bathroom. Each carving is one-of-a-kind with flaws, dents and colour variations even the more welcomed.

A & C Homestore Peg Side Table. SHOP NOW

SKINFOOD

Skinfood has been operating out of New Zealand for over 20 years and has since become a cult brand among locals. The brand harnesses New Zealand’s extensive offering of natural and bio-active ingredients for products that are nutritious to the skin. The vegetarian, vegan and organic skincare is believed to be gentle yet effective and is up for grabs at an affordable price point.

For moment of self-care in these uncertain times, try the Skinfood range of sheet masks for revitalisation in as little as 15 minutes.

SkinFood Kiwifruit & Tangerine Repairing Mask. SHOP NOW

SCENT OF THE CITY 

When asked what scents embody the city of Auckland, Ido’s mind immediately travelled to days spent during Summer. “Salt water and sunblock. For men? Charred sausage.” Believe it or not, there is a candle for that with brand Homesick, easing your very own home sickness with ‘Backyard BBQ’. The candle is crafted from natural soy wax and features notes of black pepper, cumin, nutmeg, vinegar and smoke.

Homesick Scented Candle, Backyard BBQ. SHOP NOW

thoughts?