Yep, I’m a Kiwi girl through-and through, with the exception that I’ve NEVER seen a ‘live’ rugby game, although I have been coerced by some rugby-loving friends to watch a handful of games on TV, and still I have no understanding of how the game works and who the players are. But, what more than makes up for my possible lack of patriotism, is my long-time love affair with New Zealand fashion design.
As a teenager I saved up for Nom-D jerseys, and would covet anything by Zambesi, (including a pair of pink and grey striped leggings with unusual bell shaped cuffs at the bottom), even if it took me an entire month (or maybe two) to save up. Moving to Wellington from Christchurch more than 15-years ago, it was the eye-popping, candy colours of WORLD’s window displays that I became
enamoured obsessed with. Their design aesthetic is by no means obvious, and pieces are more-often-than-not, what I would consider collectible. Initially (and from a distance), I thought their designs were unwearable and impractical, and perhaps too Avant-garde. And this is true–sometimes they do design beautiful full-length gowns replete with hand-sewn beads or crystals that would only inhibit ones ability to get on a bus or drive to work on a Monday morning…you just wouldn’t do it! But these pieces (if rare) are part of what fuel the brands creativity, and provide the company with an opportunity to push boundaries; allowing themselves to go unashamedly OTT.
An example of this were pieces from their collection a few winters ago: There is No Depression in New Zealand– (images below) showcasing coats, waistcoats and shirts in luxe fabrics, sequins and lots of silver. World are theatrical and in-your-face, ballsy!
They’re a brand that has never shied away from bright colours or experimental shapes, and with fun names for their collections; Boring Gets You Nowhere, Black Tie-White Noise, Wasted Days- Wasted Nights, Housework Makes You Ugly, and this season’s collection– ‘Heavy Metal‘ there is certainly a sense of ‘daring’ and non-conformity that the brand evokes. With ‘World’ one thinks ‘edgy,’ a bit left-of-centre, and they love poking fun at fashion cliches.
From the 2013 Heavy Metal collection:
3).Below: Green Flash jersey and World T
Images sourced from: World
I’m a fan both of their casual looks (I’m coveting that green sweater for sure), and their work wear which they do exceptionally well without being boring. I’m talking beautifully tailored coats and jackets, and did someone say ‘lining?’ I swear sometimes I’ve been sold on an item because I’ve not just fallen in love with the cut, but the linings are often to-die for, and it’s this kind of attention to detail that makes you feel like you’re a member of a secret squirrel group.
Above: Inside my World trench.
I definitely think that World design clothes that make you feel ultimately beautiful. One of my faves is this dress (below) from the collection: Trans Europe Express. I still love it today and wear it often. With its black flutter sleeves, gold panel insert detail in the back, and matching gold-trimmed frills in the skirt, fuschia-coloured buttons and a mixture of textures in the main bodice, it feels delicious to wear. It’s flirty, fun and delicate, whilst also making a statement. It’s definitely the contrasting use of paneling and fabrication that I love about the dress, and because it’s not a ‘fashion’ item per se, it’ll be in my wardrobe for many seasons more, because World are not about following trends, they’re about making style statements that allow the wearer to say something about their own individuality and personality… and that’s what getting dressed should be all about!