Thick oversized woolen jumpers were the shining light of Salasai’s ‘Life in Theory’ AW17 collection at New Zealand Fashion Week.
In a palette of oatmeal, navy, black and splashes of red; the chunky knits designed in collaboration with Nicole Leybourne a.k.a The Knitter anchored the collection with texture and weight, balancing out linen and lighter fabrics.
Known for their womenswear, Salasai presented their new menswear line, S.A.M, comprised of easy street wear staples: long sleeve T-shirts, cuffed ankle trousers and throw-on crewneck sweaters integrate effortlessly into the wardrobe of a guy who wants to look cool, without even trying — a smart move by the designers as they venture into a fully fledged menswear line.
One of my favourite pieces from this collection — a long, shawl neck knit (below left), strictly for those guys with height on their side — is also bound to boost your street style cred.
‘Art school gothic punk’ was the immediate thought that crossed my mind on viewing the womenswear collection. I’m a fan of Salasai and what they nail every time are pieces that feel tomboyishly feminine, and this collection was no different. Floaty black silk prints mashed with boxy shapes and heavy urban street wear, juxtaposed with a dash of unpredictable innocence — a white shirt dress in broderie anglaise, to be exact.
The collection was artfully presented with the audience standing and watching as the models walked in a dream-like fashion beneath a white wooden arched frame — like the skeleton of an abstract barnyard — placed in the middle of the runway at the Viaduct Event Centre.
Each model entered and stood (or sat) framed within a frame as part of an installation allowing the viewer to get a close-up view of the garments in a fresh and exciting presentation, featuring photographic prints by Adam Bryce and furniture by Anthony Robertson.
The Verdict: Life in Theory remains true to the Salasai aesthetic: identifiable signature pieces are woven into a collection that is full of endless contradictions which somehow seamlessly meld in a playful juxtaposition of youthful vigour, depth, and light and shade.
My picks are the statement pieces, including the loopy rope cage-tunic (above left) and of course, the oversized black knit from The Knitter colab…bring on winter 2017!
It’s a whole year to wait until winter rolls around again, but in the meantime head to Salasai’s online store where the SS17 collection will be dropping soon and you can also find the release of the SS17 menswear collection here.
Photography, © Sonia Sly