Meet The Viva Team: Annabel Dickson, Fashion Assistant

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Meet The Viva Team: Annabel Dickson, Fashion Assistant

In this Q&A series, get to know the hardworking members of the Viva team, as they share the highlights of their role, their go-to restaurants and what they do on their time off.

What is your role at Viva?

I am the fashion assistant here at Viva, and I often work on styling projects too. My role has changed over the four years I’ve been here and I now focus a lot of my time curating market pages, shopping galleries, and edit pages, along with supporting Dan Ahwa, our creative and fashion director, sourcing and styling for photoshoots.

Is there a story, issue or project you’ve worked on at Viva that was particularly memorable for you, and why?

My favorite shoot to date has to be working with the incredible musician Ella Yelich-O’Connor aka Lorde. This was such a memorable shoot that we worked on for Viva Magazine — Volume Seven. Every fashion piece we styled into looks was sourced from young and emerging designers, alongside stalwart New Zealand brands. Plus, we shot it at the most beautiful art gallery, Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery.

Another would be a shoot I had dreamed up for a long time and it finally made it out of the chat! I styled the divine Bernadette Anker in an après ski vibe. We couldn’t quite make it to the snow so we adapted quick-smart and shot at the beautiful Stafford Road Wine Bar in Northcote Point, and it all came together perfectly. Think retro skis, bold lycra, and 70s knits it was memorable for sure.

Model Bernie Anker is snow-ready. Photo / Carolyn Haslett

What can people expect from Viva Premium?

Incredible and groundbreaking lifestyle journalism and talent! Our team works so hard to orchestrate unique and exceptional work that showcases the best of New Zealand content while also giving that international look and feel. Personality is not lost either, some of the articles and shopping galleries you see are issues or styling needs we face too.

What’s the best thing about your role?

I love working alongside creative and interesting people. I am so in awe of the incredible work New Zealand designers produce, and I love working to bridge them and Viva together.

Describe your personal style.

My style is constantly changing. I find myself gravitating to clean, sophisticated silhouettes but with pops of colour and unexpected elements. I am a maximalist at heart. At the moment I am obsessed with a slick maxi skirt and have acquired around 10 of them in the hunt for the perfect piece.

What are your favourite New Zealand stores or brands?

Gosh, way too many to count. Brands I find myself going back to on the regular include Benjamin Alexander, Wixii, Wynn Hamlyn, Paris Georgia and Harris Tapper. Smaller brands I have my eye on include Rhyana, BW 36.174 (Blair Wheeler), Frisson Knits, Taylor Groves, and Emma Jing.

What’s the most special item of clothing in your wardrobe, and why?

Every item in my wardrobe has a special place in my heart. I love collecting pieces I wouldn’t normally wear every day. My most special piece currently though is my new Emilia Wickstead dress, a little black shift mini. If anything happened to it I would spiral.

The octopus on the menu at Bar Celeste. Photo / Babiche Martens
The octopus on the menu at Bar Celeste. Photo / Babiche Martens

Where’s your go-to spot for dinner and drinks with friends?

I absolutely love a wine bar. An elevated yet kind of casual spot where you can drink and snack on delicious food and down a good wine. My favourites are Bar Celeste, Freidas and Beau.

I am not super-selective with coffee. I drink an Americano, so you can pretty much get a half-decent one anywhere. I do love my local cafe, Little French Cafe in Pt Chevalier.

What’s your favourite meal to cook for company, and for yourself?

Anyone that knows me knows I can’t stand cooking, but I love a dinner party! Easy-to-throw-together meals are my go-to: charred broccoli and chipotle tacos are always a crowd-pleaser. When I’m on my own, my absolute favourite is a miso noodle and dumpling soup, perfect any time of the year and done in under 30 minutes.

What else do you read, listen to or watch when you’re not reading Viva?

I get my biggest fashion intake from Instagram; I have accounts that I check up on almost daily. @Linneklund and @Fannyekstrand are my favourites. Otherwise, I love reading The Gentlewoman and British Vogue, and listening to After Work Drinks occasionally on a walk to the beach.

A book (or two) you couldn’t put down?

On your time off, what do you like to do?

I’m from down south, so spending time outdoors among nature fills my cup. I hate being away from the ocean for too long though, so heading out to the amazing beaches surrounding Tāmaki is a must for me. Whether it be (attempting) to surf or just a good walk along the beach, I always find it’s just what I need.

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