Kate Sommerfield with Painted Bird

Guest Appearance: Kate Summerfield from Revlon NZ

As Business Development Manager at Revlon NZ, it’s fair to say there’s not much Kate doesn’t know about beauty, makeup, trends and style.

We asked Kate to share her personal style and how she incorporates her passion for sustainable shopping into her corporate/professional wardrobe. Plus, of course, we got Kate’s take on what makeup trends are forecast to be big this year and which lip shade is timeless… read on!


PB: Your current style obsession?

It is definitely one particular piece… my black, orange and cream kimono from Painted Bird!

Steph has so many kimonos to choose from, but on a rainy Saturday as I was flicking through the kimonos thinking “they’re nice, but not me”, I saw MY ONE. It’s seriously gorgeous and the geometric pattern just spoke to me! It goes with everything! I love that it is handmade, I love that it’s reversible, I love that no one else has one, I love its versatility for work and play. I look at the tacking & stitches on it and can see the craftsmanship, from someone who cared to painstakingly sew it by hand. 


PB: Your favourite vintage piece in your wardrobe?

My Mercedes Benz vintage head scarf was probably my first ever vintage purchase many years ago. I wear it mainly as a head scarf and it just makes me feel happy when I put it on. The colour blue and the silk material soothe me when I’m frazzled. It gets hauled out most weekends to wear with my jeans. Every pic I see when I’m wearing it, I love, and I do not love pics of myself!


PB: Your 'Top Tip' on incorporating or wearing vintage in your wardrobe and everyday life?

If you’re new to vintage, work it in slowly. Maybe a vintage scarf to start. You can wear it around your neck, tied to your handbag, as a headband, as a belt... the options are only limited by imagination. I wear a lot of vintage clothes, but if I’m not feeling a total vintage vibe on a particular day, I’ll mix a key piece with mainstream. I have basic staple items in my wardrobe, plain trousers, culottes, skirts, that I can then put gorgeous, bold, stand-out vintage pieces with. Like my new pink and silver lurex wrap top from Painted Bird! I’m more classic in my dress style but like to add an eclectic twist. I’m the person who clashes patterns a lot, goes boho chic one day, tomboy the next and wears layers of feminine lace the next. Ha-ha! Eclectic!


PB: What makeup look goes well with vintage?

For me, nothing beats a bold red lip. It stems from having a mother who reapplied her bright red Revlon Fire and Ice lipstick (launched in 1952) every night at 6pm, before dad came through the door. She still wears this shade at 90 years old. I also watched five big sisters apply their makeup and later, apply it on me. It was pretty much a given I’d always end up in the makeup/fashion industry with their influence in my early years.

 Revlon Fire and Ice

Above: Images from Good Beauty Guide and Farmers


I’m a great believer that being polished from top to toe is the perfect way to showcase clothes. The women who first wore Painted Bird’s clothes were those who cared about their appearances, took pride in polished shoes and perfectly tied bows. I’m that person. And I love it!

Representing a large cosmetic company, I’m in a full face of makeup five days a week, however even on a no-work day, my nails are still painted, the mascara and lipstick are applied. To me, it’s a finished look that enhances what you wear, and that’s what vintage is about to me too. The makeup trends come and go, but classic always wins in my book. This means a red lip with natural eye makeup, or nude lip and bold eye makeup. I tend to adapt the look, depending on the outfit and colour I’m wearing that day. I have been known to choose my makeup first and tailor an outfit to suit. I often get told I look totally different all the time. Being the same constantly would be so boring. Some days I’m hair up, sometimes I’m hair down, some days I wear glasses, some days not. That’s why I love vintage and sustainable clothing, it’s never the same as everyone else has.

PB: So, what’s new in makeup for 2021?

This year sees bold lips, the return of natural skin and Revlon’s Colorstay long-wear technology at the fore… i.e. put your face on in the morning and it’s there to stay... it lasts the test of time, just like vintage!

PB: Your favourite fashion era?

I’m hard to pin down, style wise. I like bits of everything, but no specific period in particular. But, if I had to pick an era, I’d choose three:

  • The magpie in me loves the 1920s, with all the sparkly dresses and pearls - the start of Art Deco era. The detailing, the clean lines, the colour, the geometric styling, but it can also mean metallics and chrome as seen in the Chrysler Building in NYC.
  • I adore the the cinched waist, structured suit elegance, peplums and wrap collars of the 1930s and 40s. All the styles that suit an hourglass girl!
  • And of course, I also love Audrey Hepburn and her classic, quirky elegance. Her opening outfit in Breakfast at Tiffany’s is my favourite… that black slim dress, with overloaded pearls.

This amazing Painted Bird dress was another find (same day I bought my kimono) and meets all my criteria. It’s colourful, it’s cinched at my waist but most importantly, it’s fun and unique.


Your accessory essential?

Accessories full stop! Love them all.... can’t name one as they are ALL essential!

I do love a scarf. Be it a neck scarf, head scarf, wrap or pashmina. I wear one in some form most days, with my vintage Mercedes Benz my favourite. I have well over thirty scarves that all get worn different ways. I love being creative with them to finish off my daily ensemble.

Rings! Big bold rings, shiny rings, shell rings... I just love rings! I have the most amazing Art Deco onyx ring from an aged cousin (Cathie). I was the lucky benefactor as my name was closest to hers. I love it and get comments on it every time I wear it.

The other thing I need to mention is shoes and boots! Yes, I have multiple pairs.... eeek, don’t tell my husband! They all serve a purpose and they all enhance an outfit. If I’m wearing all black or navy that day, I’ll contrast with a bright shoe. Sometimes I wear them to add a textural element. I have boots made with thousands of black sequins, suede shoes, lace boots, tartan shoes... they all get a look in!

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