Mood: Last night’s panda eyes don’t look so bad, especially with knee-length black sweater.
Last night, more than 1000 people flocked to a concrete warehouse in Auckland to attend the very first New Zealand Fashion Festival. Me being one of them, I decided I was going to take some photos.
Me behind the camera? Yes, it happened! Forgoing my big film SLR, I took along my trusty little compact tonight purely for documentation purposes. So there I was, front row, juggling my point-and-shoot, notebook, champagne and goody bag. Oh, how bemused the professionals must’ve been.
For those who haven’t heard about NZFF, here’s a little background. Unlike Fashion Week, the NZFF show is open to the public. It’s a chance for local designers to tout their wares and for fashion fans to enjoy a bit of runway glamour. And unlike trade-only shows where collections are shown in advance to journalists and buyers, all stock on the catwalk is current season. I’m anticipating that High St will be run off its well-heeled feet tomorrow with orders and enquiries.
Workshop were first off the runway with denim on denim combos. Risky, much? I’ve heard this look termed the ‘Canadian Business Suit’ yet miraculously, it seemed to work. Helen Cherry followed with prim tailoring, faux fur and a particularly striking sequined long-sleeve number that I added to my mental shopping list.
Hailwood was the first to show off vibrant colour, incorporating lashings of royal blue, purple and dusky pink into his collection. I was excited at this point to see Louise Tulloch on the catwalk – she’s a fabulous veteran walker. I still marvel at the fact that she became a mum not so long ago and still got what it takes to look, well, like a model.
Andrea Moore was a wildcard for me. I’ve never paid too much attention to her, having never meandered down to the far end of Broadway to visit her shop. However she certainly made an impact last night with colour, colour and more colour. Can’t you see I’m a sucker for it?
I was holding my breath somewhat when Ed Hardy’s turn came, but my companion confessed a certain liking for his sparkly creations – she said they reminded her of LA, as all the boys over there wear Ed. Nothing too surprising here, just the usual graffiti prints and sequin-laden tees. Yvonne Bennetti followed with her signature mix of luxe, embellishment and animal prints (as well as the best shoes I saw on the catwalk all night).
The Carpenter’s Daughter was next up, and there was something about the models that made the show particularly magical. TCD had the spectrum well covered – ladies of varying shape, size, ethnicity and age. Often I feel it is irrelevant to point out the ‘plus-size’ of a model in such shows but in this case, the girls absolutely knocked the socks of the younger, skinnier models with their moody ‘tudes. I also liked the collection for its incorporation of current looks rather than sticking to the generic you might expect from such a label – go the red paisley leggings and mustard-yellow cape!
It was interesting seeing moochi on the catwork. You’ll likely know that I’m a big fan of their very versatile, wearable collections, but when nestled between other designers’ offerings I’m not sure that their capsule show made the impact that they would’ve desired. I’d love to see them in a stand-alone show in a more intimate atmosphere, where I believe their clarity of vision would shine through.
Juliette Hogan garnered many oohs and aahs by opening her showing with her piece de resistance of the season – the bow-neck cape. She was followed by Stolen Girlfriends Club with their hick-chic collection of chunky knits, virginal frills and accented shoulders. I noted their showing at fashion week with interest last year, and couldn’t help but think it reminded me of how I dressed during my early teenage op-shop scouring years. Trust me, it’s not a bad thing.
Cybele followed with floaty, Paula Ryan did dapper and were soon followed by the big three of the evening. Kate Sylvester’s collection was the most thoughtfully styled with clever belting and a contrasting mix of feminine-tough. Trelise Cooper presented a delicious citrus colour palette accented with sequined bows and prints and Zambesi ended by showing what they are truly made of – innovation, solid tailoring and classics that will live on and on for decades to come.
Oh yes, and just so you know, the goody bag wasn’t bad either. Hair product, moisturiser, easter eggs and Red Bull. Sitting in the front row it was all I could do not to rifle through it. How terribly unfashionable of me!