New Zealand Fashion Week 2017 was a beautiful cornucopia of inspiration. With designers inspired by both past and future, the bold and the delicate. I share with you the highlights of my experience at NZFW. Reflecting on the amalgamation of the strongest shows, all with a unique aesthetic.
In the current technological age our connections to other worlds and times are easy to grasp and explore. It was understandable that many designers chose to either pay homeage to a vintage era or a future world. With a nod to the 40's and 50's by Tanya Carlson, Hailwood paying tribute to the 70's and Kathryn Wilson's inspiration from the 60's. In contrast, others wistfully gaze into a modernistic future, like Zambesi and Kate Sylvester. Most collections included plenty of colour. What excites me the most was the hint at a progression of the New Zealand fashion industry moving forward to a brighter persona, beyond black.
Here I share my favourite pieces and designers from New Zealand fashion week, and for a full review and to see every outfit from each show take a look at the rest of my work with extensive coverage over on FashioNZ here.
Monday night featured Zambesi as the opening feature which did not disappoint. From the prime position of my place in the media pit the future looked bright, as did the group of studio lights placed behind the models. Fully lighting up the reflective runway, the lights enhanced the science-fiction elements of this collection and gave impact to the presentation. That’s if it wasn’t already obvious, many of the models were adorned in suits and jackets made of a metallic reflective silver material, wearing silver industrial boots, accessories and shiny pleather leggings. Out of all of the designs, this coat (featured above) was a clever twist on an earlier design in softer materials adopted by many European designers in the mid 2000’s. The pops of mustard and aqua were a eclectic mix, but there were a few outfits like this grey patterned chiffon dress below that caught my eye. I’m always on the lookout for garments that have an easy wearability with neutral shades other than black.
What I loved about this collection most, was the use of alternative colours in the makeup. The eyes of the models were lined with one block colour generally either yellow or pink, and the inner corners dabbed with a contrasting colour. The results are dynamic and especially as yellow is not a flattering shade for many skin tones - a risky but adventurous choice. The hair was kept loose and natural making the point of the eyeshadow all the more dramatic.
Kate Sylvester was one of the most exciting shows of the week. Like Zambesi, dramatic colour in the makeup played a strong role. I got in behind the scenes to see the prep work involved. Mostly the colours used were bright pinks, reds, and warm shades. The rest of each makeup look was kept relatively natural with the focus on eyes rather than lips, and hair pulled back in line with this bold and dynamic aesthetic.
Forward thinking, 80's futurism was the main aesthetic in this show, with the most epic of LED lighting setups on the runway. The setup took a few hours and a group of experts to complete and was made from LED ropes secured to the runway (featured above). The coloured lights would switch and flicker during the show at various times.
These were some of my favourite garments, the soft green velvet jumpsuit was one of the highlights. With the delicate high necked collar it's simplicity was striking. The lilac shade of this 80's turtle neck and pants with white stockings was a great combination too, white stockings have always been a favourite of mine and turtle necks are looking to make a return for next Winter. The textures of the garments were varied and contrasting, as much so as the colours. The simplicity of each silhouette combined the lack of unnecessary details were the biggest strengths of this collection.
Below is my favourite piece of this collection - the rainbow turtle neck in a synthetic shimmery blend. Perhaps not strong on the practicality element, it was one of the bolder and more vibrant pieces of the collection. A rainbow jumper sounds like something I would love to wear next winter!
Andrea Moore was an intense and dramatic show - especially in terms of lighting, but was also a celebration of women and the female form, in many shapes and sizes. Women of the influencer scene played an appearing role, as did the Royal New Zealand ballet in Andrea's new fitness wear collection. Moving about amongst trails of string lights hung in a zig-zag pattern, made it an interesting event to photograph and capture. The jewel tones always grab me though, and these garments from the show are extremely wearable and captivating pieces for next winter.
Featured above, the deep red shades have a timeless aesthetic. Wrap dresses, loose pants and sheer fabrics with vibrant floral designs capture the eye. This flower print dress in black, third above was one of my favourite pieces. The loose styling, and wrap accent on the waist that appeared frequently throughout this collection is a combination with real synergy.
In other outfits, teal made quite the appearance in pairing with black which still seems to be the safer choice. Many of the looks included sheer garments that could easily be dressed up or down, and layered to perfection. This star dress featured first below was one of my favourites, along with the sheer shirt dress pictured third below. The pops of teal are a generally flattering colour for many skin tones and I can see being very popular next season.
Featured below is one of the hero pieces from the collection, a black and red floral maxi dress with the most curious of hair styling to match. Bold eyeliner and a natural lip are a wise choice for a show-stopping piece like this, which seems to transcend seasons with it's captivating design.
The Kathryn Wilson footwear show extravaganza was a fun and flirty event filled with smiles, cute dresses, lots of colour and a whole lot of glitter! The catwalk was a double lane runway, with models coming out from both sides simultaneously. (No easy feat to photograph). There were a large number of styles that caught my eye, but the emboirdered sneakers and slip-ons were some of my favourites. The classic white and black horsebit loafer may have been an ode to the European scene, classic Channel perhaps but it was also one of the standouts. The show styling, bold gold decals on the floor, hanging glitter shoes, and the vibrant 60's aesthetic for the models created a whole new experience for the audience on top of the detailed variety of footwear styles that inspired the crowd.
Hailwood was an impressive solid show, with a return to the past and the soft feels of the 70's. The vintage aesthetic was strong in the makeup and especially the hair, with big soft curls and voluminous styles making a feature. The shades were kept rather neutral, but always elegant. The tailoring showed classic clean lines and feminine silhouettes. One of my favourite pieces from this collection was the olive green satin tie dress. The perfect length, cut and shape. The stripey long sleeve top with bell bottom velvet pants also grabbed my eye, and I'm excited to see this notable style return to the fashion scene again. Flowing drapery and accented waists were some of unique elements to this collection, especially in comparison to many other designers this year who chose a more futuristic feel.
Tanya Carlson's cohesive collection was a beautiful array of feminine looks from daywear to evening, ranging from pastel to deep jewel shades but all tied together with elegant details. This range was created from a vintage collection of fabrics and was truly one a of a kind. Soft and luscious each look had continuity and elegance from the previous. The show-stoppers of the evening were these two gowns featured below, toward the end of the show including this absolute killer sleeveless black gown. The simplicity of the silhouette, and the crispness of the fabric is the perfect combination for the design of the gathered skirt flowing out from mandarin collar at the neckline, a blend between worlds of past and present.
The makeup was dewy and fresh, and hair was often let out, in soft sleek and dreamy waves. Shades of blush and coral made appearances in the makeup, but I adored the minimalist approach to the beauty elements of this dainty collection.
Flo + Frankie
Flo + Frankie's weekend show was a fun and playful contrast to the serious nature of fashion week. There were five mini shows throughout, showcasing a myriad of designers and looks all the way through from day to night. The runway was decorated to perfection, with a floral display above the models and each one carrying a leaf and flower down the catwalk. This range was for the upcoming summer season, and below features one of the more classic looks. Complete with a cute black neck bow that made a continuing appearance throughout the show, and accessories to match. The outfit inspiration was seemingly endless, with looks and styling for every shape and size. The versatility of Flo + Frankie's pieces were notable.
Featured above are four of my favourite looks from this show, the shimmery summer dress featured first, with black bow and accessories, this sleek black wrap dress and crisp blue ruffle shirt with white jeans. I also really liked the styled of this black lace dress, featured fourth above. The t-shirt underneath was a nice touch to relax a traditionally formal look. I thoroughly enjoyed the attention to details the designers had undergone, and it was a highlight of the weekend.
PIA - also known as PIA Boutique, made a colourful return to the runway this year during fashion weekend and it was the perfect way to end my week! I fell in love with almost every garment that made an appearance, and true to PIA it was the cutting edge of bold, beautiful and feminine. My full review on the entire show is coming shortly...
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