Drawing inspiration from hiking in the wildernessâ€”the Routeburn, to be preciseâ€”Kate Sylvesterâ€™s summer 2010 collection was en route to adventure and discovery.
While the clothing was all gorgeous and very wearable, the accessories were what we were all crowing about. Explorer backpacks glowed vibrantly in primary coloured silks, and Doc Marten boots were customized with car paint in matte blue, red, green and yellow, and glossy grey. Fimo toy necklaces displayed the trophies of prehistoric excursions in the form of dinosaur teeth and mini bones. The most â€śstatementâ€ť accessories, however, were Sylvesterâ€™s many different takes on the tramping gaiter. The gaiters were long, short, in modern Macpac style, and in raw linen army chap form. Also in raw linen were full brim explorer hats, perfect for ﬁghting off those summer rays. As for the menswear, expect your boyfriends to all be sporting dinosaur motifs this summer.â€”Bronwyn Williams
Peering down intently to the subtly lit stage, my eyes transﬁxed, my back upright and tilted forward so not to miss a moment of the serene beauty and grace of French ballerina Sylvie GuillemÂ gliding ﬂuidly across the stage with such effortlessness. TheÂ airÂ still, I am hypnotized by the meditativeÂ atmosphere created by the Spanish guitar music andÂ I findÂ itÂ difﬁcult to swallow and rearrange myself in my seat. Heavy beatsÂ and quick ﬂashes of movement contrast with slow pulses of the guitar. Guillemâ€™s limbs intertwine with the music castingÂ an intrinsic strengthÂ in her path. She dances barefoot throughout, although at times it takes some straining of the eyes to be sure she is on her bare tip-toes. With more of a contemporary streak, rather than tutus and points, Push is a living, breathing, raw performance igniting feelings of passion coupled with visions of an almost animalistic quality. When Guillem is paired with Russell Maliphant, an EnglishÂ choreographer and accomplished performer in his own right, the two move across the stage in a way that fools the eye into thinking they are one, morphing together in an almost seamless transition. Push, direct from Sadlerâ€™s Wells in London, hit New Zealand last week. If you were lucky enough to see the performance youâ€™ll understand why I was so impressed. If not, here is a preview of the brilliance of Sylvie Guillem and Russell Maliphant.
Held off-site in a cavernous warehouse in Waterloo, Ellery had us waiting outside in the cold and crowding the street for an hour and a half. Thoughtfully, handsome waiters were sent out bearing trays of Absolut vodka cocktails to keep us entertained.
The collection was full of detail and featured near-knicker-exposing skirt lengths, strong Balmain-inspired military shoulders, nipped-in waists decorated with thin patent belts, and masses of ﬁne gold chain tasselling adorning pockets, shoulders and breasts. Heavy upholstery cloth was used to create volume and sculpture, contrasted with sheer fabrics in chiffon and surprisingly sexy blue lace.
The hair was beautifully done in a mock Alice Dellal style, with a French plait running from one ear around the back of the head to give the illusion of it being short on one side. The make-up was exciting, with beautiful peach toned lips and Cleopatra eyes.
The jodhpurâ€“harem trend was inescapable, but Ellery gave the feminine folds a tough-girl twist with light chains and heavy gold zips.
In an ironic move due to the timing of the recent Miss Universe New Zealand, the show had a pageant theme running through. The ﬁnal models came out in sashes and bearing bouquets.
The shoes are worth mentioningâ€”and adding to your wardrobe. My favourite was the clear Perspex booties, extra-sassy with their gold block heel detail, and looking suspiciously like a lipstick in its case.â€”Bronwyn Williams
While elements of the Zambesi collection were their tried and true style, there was a lot that was new and interesting. The injections of bold colour are sure to shake up the die-hard Gothic Kiwi fans, while the innovative re-presentation of classics will have them itching with excitement. There was a balancing act of sheer, shiny and matt fabrics, right down to the two-tone patent and matt leather brogues. Shirts were worn loose, and the pants were slouchy with a slightly dropped crotch.
And, wait for it:
His and hers matching suits. Brilliant.â€”Bronwyn Williams
A citywide power outage occurred as we were ﬁling in for the Zimmerman show. All Fashion Week shows were then postponed until the power came back on. Luckily the shortage lasted only an hour, long enough to have a drink or three in the Rosemount Wine Bar. The collection that was ﬁnally shown was well worth the wait.
Zimmermanâ€™s summer colour palate was a refreshing change from the jarring brights we have seen from them in the past. What was presented felt more grown-up, more reﬁned, and very classy. We saw Grecian folds of fabric in warm creams and light earth tones, muted Nana-inspired ﬂorals, and a brilliantly reﬁned version of their ﬂesh-exposing strapping that was noticeable on their bikinis last year.
Although I loved almost all from this collection, my wish list features these pants. The origami folding to expose the the legs is beautiful. I wonder if they do them in black.â€”Bronwyn Williams
Although we were at Miss Universe New Zealand, we offer our congratulations to the winner of Miss World New Zealand, also held on April 25. Sponsored by Sothys, Magdalena Schoeman, an 18-year-old beauty therapist, took the title.
Again Iâ€™m in second-to-front row, with a goody bag, at Arnsdorf. I look behind me this time, expecting this show to also be a mish-mash of hierarchy, but no, only the front two rows have the bags. I put on my dark glasses and pretend that Iâ€™m famous too.
Oh oh oh, crop tops again. Teamed with high waisted shorts in Lee SuperTubes colours (remember them?). And something we havenâ€™t seen yet: clean denim. Thatâ€™s right folks, not a distress in sight. There were elements of this show that were really â€™90s: coloured denim belted high on the waist, and buttoned-down collared shirts. Letâ€™s not forget the linen peg-legged high waisted trousers in a pale peach. But all was done well and the hair was gorgeous and simple, and even though most of us will deny our wardrobes the â€™90s combo shown below, there are some of us who will not resist emulating.