“Style is something that emanates from you. It’s about having a point of view and translating that into the world.” —Whitney Nicholls-Potts
Last night was the launch of SHOWcase 2015— an exciting new event celebrating the convergence of art, design and fashion.
On a beautiful mid-autumn evening around 150 invited guests (myself included) boarded Tranzit buses heading to a secret location, with a journey that started just outside the TSB arena.
Arriving at Shelley Bay’s Propeller Studios we were treated to alcoholic beverages and art-on-a-plate with picture-perfect, delectable sweets and canapés prepared by chef de Pâstisserie Louis Sergeant, setting a delightfully artful tone to the evening ahead.
The first section of the night took us through a series of themed rooms curated as interactive installations with models dressed by Trelise Cooper, Ziggurat, Highnoontea and menswear label, Mandatory.
Models relaxed, lounged and engaged casually with guests in the surrounds of carefully placed furniture, objects, art and accessories courtesy of BoConcept, ES Design, Empire of Genius, Skandi, HMS Studio and Flash Jewellery reinforcing the way in which fashion, art and design intersect in our lives to produce an overall notion of lifestyle.
Upon entering each space a special (preloaded) SHOWcase App would launch on an iPhone or borrowed iPod Touch, displaying details about each item in the room—or at least that was the idea. I myself had trouble launching the app (along with many other guests) which meant looking for signs on the walls and asking models for details about the garments—some of whom had no idea which designers they were wearing.
Hash Bang staff were on hand to assist with technical issues, but still, troubles with the app prevailed and I resigned myself to exploring the installations technology-free.
Completing the round of installations, guests were ushered back onto buses to another location. A drive of around 5-10minutes brought us back, yet again, to another entrance of Propeller Studios, making for an entertaining experience.
Drinks were served on arrival in what may have been a former aircraft hangar, and I was excited to be directed to the perfect seat for the Zambesi runway show.
“We set out to produce an event where designers can show themselves the way they want to be seen.”—Whitney Nicholls-Potts
Royal New Zealand Ballet dancers, Loughlan Prior and William Fitzgerald opened the show with a stunning performance in suits from Zambesi’s AW15 collection, proving that these clothes can withstand the rigours of serious movement and wear!
Turquoise-blue boots in the colour of ‘Optimist’—I refer here to the closest match from my Resene ‘fashion colours’ sample chart (from last night’s goodie bag)— were the order of the day. Injections of royal blue were interspersed throughout the various looks with minimal bold strips of colour punctuating the occasional waistline and sneakily complementing the cuffs of sharply tailored suit jackets; skirt hemlines were midi-length and feminine; a bomber jacket was given a futuristic edge in sheen quilting, and matchy-matchy suits (in that stunning royal blue) were juxtaposed with laid-back, baggy knits, beanies and over-sized shawls—perfect for buffering that wild Wellington wind!
“You never get this close to the clothes at Fashion Week runway shows,” remarked the guest seated next to me.
In fact, we could even see the bobbling on the olive bouclé coats and jackets as the models made their way down the catwalk, and back again.
The Zambesi show was a highlight of the evening and capped off a beautiful event, executed with thoughtful precision and innovative ideas, merging art, fashion and design with seamless unity.
SHOWcase Wellington is the culmination of conversations and planning that has been taking place for just over a year— an event with plenty more scope to explore, showing the very best of what Wellington and it’s design community have to offer.
Despite the techno-teething problems, the team behind SHOWcase pulled off a stunning occasion and I can’t wait to see what SHOW has in store for 2016!