The Inspiration Behind the Line: Treasures in New Zealand

by Amelia Old
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There are numerous countries vying to be the next major fashion capital and succeeding in taking attention away from the big four, from Stockholm to Sao Paolo, Tokyo to…New Zealand?Yes, it turns out that New Zealand produces more than just good rugby: Michelle Ng, designer behind couture headpiece and jewelry line Young&ng, is a New Zealand native who moved to New York 2 years ago to start her own line. Since then Young&ng has gone from strength to strength, becoming a favorite with press and stylists alike and is now just about to launch its 4th season.We’re always intrigued to discover the inspirations behind a designer’s work so Michelle Ng let us in on some of her favorite New Zealand hotspots to inspire, escape and indulge.

The Inspiration Behind the Line: Michelle Ng of Young&ng lets us in on her 8 favorite Auckland, New Zealand treasures



Victorian Gilt

This store takes my breath away. New Zealand is so far away from the rest of the world so such treasures like these are very rarely found. The owner of the store takes trips around the world searching only for the most stunning pieces of anything ranging from fabrics, clothing, shoes to thimbles and ribbons.I haven't spent all my pennies there yet, however I spend nearly all my time with my head buried in the baskets and hands sorting through the treasures from dawn till dusk… My mother hates that we live right up to road from it. I never come home!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Tanuki's Cave                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

This place is purely so cool.                                                                                                                                                  

They don't take reservations, they don't have a sign on the door. The people there are so down to earth and serve almost everything on a stick!The combination of New Zealands' freshest food with the simplest style of Japanese cooking is amazing. The atmosphere is dark, cosy and intimately loud. One other thing I love is that they are so loyal to what they serve, they don't change their menu. Ever. 

Mission Bay                            
I love Mission Bay.It's a very chill, easy access beach. Along Mission Bay, you have the BEST fish and chip shop – Fish Pot. Movenpick is a must for ice cream.                              

Michelle Ng

And the Belgium Beer Cafe for their white wine mussels and cigars for the boys… Every New Years day, this beach is packed with New Zealanders, positive thinking and high hopes for the new year.We have warm weather from November – March basically. The evening air and sight of freshly built sand castle is what I really come here for.  

The Chocolate Boutique

Now, I am not a person that particularly likes chocolate, however, I can never resist going when friends invite me out on a beautiful cold winter night. The desserts aren't very "artistically" decorated but it is all so wholesome and inviting, as if your mother made it just for you!Although my spoon only dabbles into friends’ varieties of orders, I always end up spending more than them on gifts and treats for loved ones.There aren't many seats as it is very intimate and lit by candles and moonlight. 


 Some very close friends have this gorgeous beach house right on Lake Taupo.We used to all drive about 4 hours from Auckland to spend a long weekend there.We would then take the boat and sail to the other side of the island, park right on the pebble beach, pull out the cheese, breads, wine and other yummy picnic basket foods. For hours and hours we would just lay there, jet-ski and let the heat dry our hair. We all try and get together anytime all my friends are in the same country.Since we all live in different parts of the world, a trip to Taupo is a must we are all together in New Zealand.It always reminds us of why we all head home. 


I love the glowworms, the mud pools and how earthy Rotorua is.This place is so relaxing, with the beautiful clouds of steam from the natural earth.I remember getting onto a little boat with my family and some other family friends with a crying toddler. However, when the boat started moving into the darkness, these little beautiful colourful flickers of light started to come out and then there was complete silence. I know it sounds strange, but going in the freezing cold winter weather is a must… sitting in the heater spring pools reminds me of warmer days!

The Chiller

This place is amazing for Breakfast or lunch and is tucked in the industry area of Parnell in Auckland. I went there after I failed my drivers licence for the 3rd time and after a bite of their meat pies and carrot cake, everything was alright again. The boys there are so nice and the salads change every day and are so so so fresh!One thing I love, they always have plenty copies of the New Zealand Herald, so I grab one of those, order and chill out. 

Cornwall Park
I love taking a stroll with my family through this big gorgeous park right to the summit of the hill.It is right by my house so there is never an excuse to not run around the park. When you reach the summit of the park, you can look down and people make messages with the rocks at the bottom.There are so many whimsical messages from  " will you marry me" to " I lost my wallet, if find, please call ——-"There are sheep around and everything is so green and lush. A world I like to get lost in. There is a charming teahouse at the bottom of the park that my mother likes to take my brother, sister, and I when I am home. The scones with cream and jam are yummy with a lovely cup of tea in a garden full of butterflies…

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