Day in, and day out of running between shows at New Zealand Fashion Week and everything becomes a big old blur of mushiness. My brain starts to shut down as I sit writing at my laptop into the wee small hours trying to meet my deadline due first thing the next day.
I type furiously and then stop, as my brain—like ice over a Canadian river—begins to freeze over, until nothing at all is computing.
I try to connect words, whilst tracing over the record of vague etchings that remain in my head; the soft apricots or cream silk tops, that navy tube dress or camel midi skirt, the cropped hem trousers, or loose flowing pants…
When you’re that tired the only identifiable and memorable outfits come from designers who sit outside of comfortable conformity. It’s less a criticism, and more a fact, but still, those pieces have been components of some lovely ready-to-wear collections, with in-season garments now sitting on boutique store hangers, as we speak.
Thursday was the last day of fashion week and it began and finished…like a dream. A midday start provided some reprieve from the excessively full day before. Great weather ignited a new perspective and energy upon arriving at the Viaduct Event Centre where streetstyle photographers languished without being bombarded by heavy wind or rain.
I was still in a rush, but found myself hyped on a lack of sleep and I was strangely energized and chatty throughout the day. It was great!
Miromoda—a presentation of 13 indigenous designers proved to be one of the most exciting collections of the week with a marriage proposal live on the runway adding to the ‘feel-good’ vibes of the day. And not to mention, the high level of design that was an exemplary illustration of outstanding indigenous talent.
Massey Graduate, Steve Hall,was the overall winner of the Miromoda competition and upon viewing his collection I have been unashamedly sharing my adoration for his fine work. Hall creates pieces that I want to wear and have longed to see coming out of New Zealand. It’s menswear, mind you, but the kind that includes skirts in broad pleats, asymmetric apron wrap and minimal boxy tops with layered details that hint at fabric armory. The Urban Samurai looks were completed with belted waists, black knitted skullcaps and strappy leather sandals.
When I got to the show I realised I hadn’t replaced the memory stick in my camera (my biggest regret!). But check out the official runway video, below, where Hall’s presentation launches Miromoda.
I also adored Kylie Mangan’s collection of black wool integrated with sleek quilting; she merges sportswear with effortless urban chic. I’m all about playing with texture and have already been in touch with Kylie to enquire after her range. That’s how excited I am!
For me, the strongest looks throughout the week were those that had fluid movement, or emphasized construction with definitive lines.
It was riveting to watch Shona Tawhiao’s collection of black woven basketry garments and head pieces and I found myself asking, ‘how on earth did she do this?’ It was magical and almost surreal as models walked down the runway like graceful warriors—the sculptural details providing incredible outlines and magnificent eye-catching forms. This, I describe as cutting edge, avant garde Pacifika at it’s best. Shona is an artist whose work rightfully deserves to be placed on the international stage and she has already shown in London, Paris and Melbourne.
Sean Kelly lived up to expectations and presented a mirrored installation befitting of his high-end designs. Sash chokers, sky blue satin suits; structured off shoulder tops, white draping and sultry wide leg pants; fringing was there, though not the main event. Kelly proved that he’s no one-trick pony and ended on the bare naked essentials, that being, a nipple exposing ‘everything on show’ red netted dress that won’t just stop traffic, but goes that one step further…it’s likely to cause a head on collision…maybe even two. If you didn’t see it on the news, just know that being there, was really something.
The setting for Ruby’s show ‘Tonight, Tonight’ was a combination of pieces from the label’s Spring Summer15 and AW16 collection.
The atmosphere at the off-site parking building near K Road was inviting with avid Ruby fans sated by a pop-up shop, post-show.
Floaty seventies paisley silhouettes were the core pieces underpinned by pretty pastel coats and jackets with the most adorable bell shaped sleeves. Again, that soft peach is back here too; there are dresses in varying lengths and be sure to belt at the waist.
A break out dance routine performed by two male actors and one female, provided a heavy dose of ridiculous entertainment and the audience loved it, including me. It was part of a well-executed finale that was insanely fun, and the hip-hop tracks put a visibly tired fashion week audience in good spirits.
I’m exhausted. Totally, utterly spent. Yet I came away being inspired by riveting new design and a valuable look at where New Zealand designers are heading to next. The shows that left lasting impressions still make my spine tingle and I will make the most of revisiting those designers and their work.
Next up, the highlights, low lights and everything in-between…stay tuned.
Photography by Sonia Sly