Bronwyn Williams gives a behind-the-scenes
look at a day in the life of a fashion journalist, as she covers
the Southern Trust ID Emerging Designers Awards in Dunedin,
photographed by Emily A. Cannan
Above: Winners at Southern Trust ID Emerging Designers
GETTING OFF THE PLANE in Dunedin,
my weather hunch is confirmed. Thankfully I am already swathed in
layers, as all of my outfit prep for the south meant that I was
heinously over the baggage weight limit, and had to wear half the
contents of my suitcase onboard.
My only time to do friendly catch-ups before
the Fashion Week madness begins, so I opt for a quick bite to eat
at Filadelfios in North East Valley and a quick slurp to drink from
the handsome boys at Mou barpossibly the smallest bar in the
I flop into my soft hotel bed, but not before
scooping up an armful of media goodies delivered to me from reception.
Over a breakfast of croissants and coffee from
Perc café, I pore over my run list and emails. The lovely
Merrin from Strategy First is looking after me beautifully, and
offers an interview with rock star hairdresser Richard Kavanagh,
Redken lead stylist at ID. Yes please!
I meander down to Ali McD agency in St Andrew
Street to chat with owner and make-up artist Aliana McDaniel about
the upcoming fashion shows. We
talk make-up for the Southern Trust ID
Emerging Designers Awards, models, and international contracts,
and I catch up on Dunedin gossip.
I pop into Waughs for a visit with motherdaughter
team Diann and Amanda. They show me the latest from Day Birger et
Mikkelsena glorious Danish clothing brand, and I get to play
dress-ups. I fall head over heels in love with a hand-knotted white
and cream cropped waistcoat that I find hiding downstairs from the
Rushed meeting over coffee and snacks with my
photographer Emily Cannan at the Good Oil on George Street. The
oil isnt so good today; maybe the barista was partying the
night before. Emily and I discuss the plan of attack for the night
ahead and make sure she has everything she needs (including her
press pass and goody bags) to take sensational shots. I uncover
a secret about her worth noting: she specializes in skateboarding
photography! She must be one of the few females in New Zealand doing
it. My respect for her intensifies tenfold.
Rush rush rush down to Hotel 858 to meet Richard
Kavanagh. I do a last-minute application ofa hot pink new YSL
lippya girl has to stand out. Curled into soft hotel couches,
Richard and I talk while his PR looks
on, of the ID fashion show, upcoming
hair trends, his work with the Redken Artists Network, and
his ever-growing mass of tattoos. I love his artfully messed hair
and his green leather shoeswhat a stud.
Back to the hotel for a refresh and outfit change.
I bump into fashion blogger extraordinaire Isaac Hinden-Miller and
invite him on to the balcony for a glass of wine. The moment the
words come out of my mouth I realise what a goof I amhes
Bahai so doesnt drink! After a bit of an awkward pause
from his end, he accepts my offer thankfully. We sit in the Dunedin
sun, and he gangles cross legged, looking very dapper in his woollen
V-neck jumper, sock exposing cuffed trousers and spotted bow-tie.
He is very sure of himself. We talk of blogging, the New Zealand
fashion industry, international fashion and his self-funded trip
to New York Fashion Week. He scraped every penny for the plane ride
to NYC, and called PR
agencies incessantly until they let him into the shows, one by one.
Now that is commitment to his craft. He talked about his future
world dominationIsaac TV, and his quickly multiplying
collaborations with other fashion websites.
Emily the photographer and I pop into the Broken
City Bliss exhibition opening for some pre-show drinks and a bit
of hob-nobbing. The art on display is by Henry Devereux, Phillip
James Frost, and Anne-Mieke Ytsma, and features some fine leather
bags by Company of Strangers. The space is jammed with good- looking
people drinking great tasting beer (courtesy of Emersons),
and being served by the ever- flamboyant barman from Toast. I bump
into Ryan from New Yorks Style Defined and have an immediate
style crush on him and his Kermit green dress shoes. This green
footwear trend seems to be dominating the day today.
On to the Emerging Designers show, we are
running a bit late but still manage to squeeze in backstage for
a bit of a nosey before the show begins. The scene behind the black
curtain is one of mild chaoshairdressers whirring away, assistants
carting armloads of clothes and poking models into outfits, and
young designers hovering by their racks full of clothes and looking
decidedly nervous. We manage a few snaps of the camera and a couple
of quick conversations before being swept back out the front by
bustling organizers. I have a bit of trouble with my seat; the usher
pokes me up the back in a student isle to sit next to giggling first
years. I embarrassingly call this to her attention, and she rechecks
my ticket, apologizes, and gives me my correct spot in the front.
What a relief!
Lights dim, the music starts, and Francis Hoopers
silver sequinned bow tie shines out like a beacon at the end of
the catwalk. The show features 28 young designers all vying for
the top prize of $5,000. The collections are varied, colourful,
and full of interesting silhouettes and textures. We see a lot of
current season trendsBalmain-inspired 80s shoulders,
PVC wet look leggings, jodhpur trousers
and bodysuits, but all had succumbed to the designers personal
creativity. The shoulders were out in full force, but the embellishments
of hardware and stitching made them special. Jodhpur pants were
presented in hand dyed denim, and also in sleek manstyle tailoring.
PVC leggings had motorcycle-style
knee-pads, and bodysuits were shown in muted mustard tones and teamed
with relaxed sleeveless knits. The models were gorgeous and professional,
of special note was Zoë C.s catlike slink down the runway,
what a walk!
The prizes were awarded, and the Israelis really
cleaned up this year. The Life Pharmacy first place award went to
Jonathon Stern of Israel for his exploration of masculinity through
sophisticated menswear. Cem Cako (pronounced Jem Jako) of
Belgium created ethnic-inspired, bedtime-feel suiting, featuring
hand-coloured fabrics and wrap and tied details which won him the
Dunedin City Council second place position. The SeJuice third place
was awarded to Hani Sagiv, also of Israel, for her luxe collection
of spooky fairground and ventriloquist inspired pieces. The special
prizes were taken home by Liz Ting of Massey University, and Nadeesha
Godamunne of Auckland University of Technology.
As much fun as it would have been to traipse
about with the fashion crowd all night, my busy day was catching
up on me, and I was suddenly overcome by a wave of exhaustion. I
snuck off as inconspicuously as possible to climb into bed and dream
unnerving dreams about herds of strutting models in Hanis
Bronwyn Williams is a writer and photographer for
to Del.icio.us | Digg
it | Add
Above: Kate Newton with Mittelmodas Stefano Sopelza
and designer Tanya Carlson.
Above: Rachel Easting and Anjali Stewart of Twenty-Seven
Above: Unsung heroes backstage.
Above: Extravagance front of house at the Emerging Designers