#906 The Department Store tour

I once worked for a department store. Ballantynes in Christchurch. Not actually in the Ballantynes section, but in the ‘Contemporary Lounge’. Yes, it was really called that. They hired me because I’d come from Little Brother in Auckland and they wanted someone who knew something about menswear. In my first week I was put in the accessories section, the shoes section and the womenswear section. Everywhere but menswear. I lasted six weeks. Nevertheless, I do love a good department store, and The Department Store is a keeper. Karen Walker, Black Box, Flotsam and Jetsam, Simon James, The Marr Lab, Stephen Marr, Lucy and the Powder Room, Michael Lett Gallery and a little Supreme cafe. It’s a good mix. Walking in, it feels like a whole bunch of pop up stores all sitting next to each other. The first couple of metres are a bit cluttered for my liking but by the time you’ve gotten past all the mannequins and into the actual mini shops, you can see how clever it all is. Black Box feels entirely different to Karen Walker which feels entirely different to Flotsam and Jetsam and Simon James etc etc. Each store is its own little world.

All the shots, and the best way to tour The Department Store below.

Start at the tiny Supreme cafe at the back. Buy some ginger loaf, lamingtons and real peppermint tea, and sit down at the vintage table tennis/dining table or walk through the store with your goodies.

Check out the furniture, books and knick knacks at Simon James.

Step through the black door into Black Box, bang the drums.

Check out the cute girls at Karen Walker, spray lots of perfume.

Or check out Johnny at Flotsam and Jetsam, buy some balsa wood planes and a saint statue or two.

Then step up stairs…

Past the Powder Room, look at some art, then into the salon.

Lounge around on the custom designed basin chairs and take in the local flora.

And make sure you don’t leave empty handed! I didn’t, Lucy Vincent Marr was kind enough to give me a shampoo and conditioner from her new SANS range.


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  1. Anonymous says

    i think its cool that u and katherineisawesome are friends, but why blog about the exact same thing with pretty much the same opinion?? – now i wont check both blogs everyday – just urs !!

  2. Anonymous says

    do they have free wifi or is that kid just watching a movie or something? I did notice they all had macs apart from steven marr is that just a co-inky-dink?

  3. says

    The Department Store has been powered by Vodafone, so there is WiFi for guests on all levels, and free Netbooks to use on request in the Tea Room and in Stephen Marr. However the kid in the background is just super ahead of the curve and brought his own MacBook with him.

  4. Anonymous says

    isaaac your new thing with all the photos of you and ‘famous’ people is so lame. can’t you get a life that doesn’t revolve around social climbing

  5. Anonymous says

    why do assholes like the anonymous above me even read this blog? i love how you just sit at your computer reading peoples blogs who you dont like and envying the fact that they have a life and you dont. fanks im finished

  6. Anonymous says

    yeah sorry but your current obbession with katherine is getting sickly. the photos are pretty average and look just like the ones on front row diary except you are in them

  7. Anonymous says

    when i was looking at Front row diary’s photos, i thought The Department store was HUGE and amazing… but seeing this photo from every angle… i just think it’s like fashion week garage sale…

    I don’t like the cafe, black box, karenwalker floor.. but i loveeeeeee stephen Marr and Marr lab areas!!!!

    And yes, those photos do look like Front row diary photos except Isaac in them. Sorry! i love you isaac! xx

  8. Rebeccah says

    Hi Ise,
    I’ve just been catching up on your blogs – having an assignment due in at 5 does that to me! I have to ask, are you as astonished as I am by how many people who post comments here love to hate? My God, so many people filled with a sense of self importance!
    I’m still enjoying what you’re doing, and I really like the new photo layout.

  9. says

    I’m a fan of you and of shopping, AND I live in the neighborhood, but is there enough there to keep drawing people back? I don’t really shop at any of the five or so places you mentioned (though I love the look of that salon) so apart from curiousity I am not sure if I’d be a regular visitor. I imagine if you love Karen Walker you’d be stoked to be able to buy it on the shore, but I just wonder if it has enough variety to keep people spending cash regularly.

  10. Anonymous says

    yeah, i totally agree with above. Not a lot of brands to attract customers into that store.. maybe people will go through the store when they are heading to Stephen Marr maybe?

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