At home with Beach Knickers designer Rose Ackland

21 May 2019
By Fashion Quarterly

We take a peek inside her Mount Maunganui home.

Rose Ackland’s vintage-inspired label Beach Knickers captures the nostalgic fun of Kiwi summers, and her Mount Maunganui home and wardrobe are just as dreamy and carefree. She invited us over.

Describing her sartorial style as “1970s and a little bit Amish”, Rose Ackland mixes pieces from her label Beach Knickers with vintage finds – second-hand shopping being a passion that also extends to homeware.

“Most of our furniture has come from op shops and Trade Me, and some was given to me by my parents,” she says. “My boyfriend Josh loves restoring furniture, so we’ve collected a few pieces recently to restore together.”

The couple, flatmate Jess and dog Billy live together in a homely rental a 10-minute walk from the beach in the Mount Maunganui suburb of Omanu.

“There’s always something going on and a bit of creative mess scattered around the lounge or on the kitchen table,” says the designer. “I’m drawn to colour and texture and usually buy second-hand, which creates a bit of a mishmash of furnishings and decorations.”

For Rose, who grew up in nearby Te Puna, the Mount’s famously laid-back lifestyle and beautiful beaches were a major drawcard when she moved back to the Bay of Plenty after studying fashion design in Auckland. “Home to me means a creative space that I can relax and work in,” she says. “It’s so important to me to feel comfortable in my surroundings and I’m so grateful to live near the beach where I can go for a walk to clear my head.”

“This painting is by my Nana Fay. I love the colours and palm trees.”

“I bought a lot of vintage pieces on a recent trip to America that quickly became favourites, including a pair of cream flares with printed farm scenes on the hems. I love white cotton blouses and vintage T-shirts – things that are easy to wear with jeans.”

“I bought my best pair of Levi’s 501s from a French lady on eBay, in my exact size. I’ve got a vintage suede and sheepskin Penny Lane coat that I’ve had for years and still wear every winter.”

“I’d love a closet where I could see everything, but we only have a small one with two racks, so it keeps my wardrobe relatively small. I try to get rid of things if I’m not wearing them as we just don’t have the storage. My winter wardrobe is currently in vacuum-packed bags under my bed. I look forward to getting it all out when the seasons change and discovering what I have all over again.”

“My favourite piece of jewellery is a necklace my boyfriend got me from an antique jeweller here at the Mount – a cluster of grapes made from coral and greenstone. I usually wear gold jewellery and love mixing it all together.”

“This red chair is another of my boyfriend’s finds. He loves furniture and op shops, and bought it for a recent Beach Knickers shoot.”

“Our garden is really private, with lots of big trees and palms. We got a new barbecue for Christmas and haven’t used the oven since. We chucked some stools outside, so now it feels like a little tropical bar.”

“My favourite parts of our house are the lounge and deck. I love opening the French doors before having my morning tea and toast, and eating dinner out on the deck. It reminds me of the house I grew up in.”

This article originally appeared in Fashion Quarterly Issue 1, 2019.

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