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The talented Kathryn Leah Payne

Filed by Lucire staff/January 24, 2010/0.12

When Kathryn Leah Payne, Christchurch fashion designer, emailed me a few months ago with pictures of her début collection, I couldn’t contain my excitement. Her 1980s-inspired Jackal and Hide autumn–winter 2010 range is unique, with a twist of sexy sophistication and lots of leather. But it is her meticulous attention to detail and exceptional tailoring that caught my eye. Needless to say I jumped at the chance to view her range last week and learn more about this talented designer.
   After graduating Christchurch Polytechnic in 2000, award-winning Payne decided to try her hand at leather jewellery and accessories’ design. You may remember seeing her designs in Workshop and other boutiques around New Zealand. But, she became interested in wider industry opportunities and went on to cut her clothing design teeth in London. Working with reputable designers, Caroline Charles, whose celebrity client base included Princess Diana, Ringo Starr and Mick Jagger, and British fashion house Bolongaro Trevor, was invaluable for Payne. Caroline Charles shared Payne’s love of vintage, beautiful tailoring and detail, while Bolongaro Trevor taught her a lot about the business. Now she’s equipped with the necessary skills and experience to grow her eponymous label, she is ready is to take on the New Zealand fashion world once again.
   So, what can you expect from this 17-piece collection? A dress, corsets, pants, jackets, shrugs, leggings and sleeves with most garments featuring something a little different. Her chosen fabrics are a lambskin leather, viscose, merino jersey, wool crepe, denim, possum fur and vintage silks. The colour palette is dark: ‘I quite like dark, vintage-looking fabrics and fixings that have a tarnished look,’ and there is nothing to ‘flashy’, which adds to the sophisticated look.
   It’s definitely a standout collection for me, especially knowing Payne ‘hand paints and hand makes’ a lot of her work, and she ‘likes to play with three-dimensional shapes that are different and unique’. A very time-consuming process that makes each piece in her collection unique and limited.
   My favourites include the Swan Skirt, Owl Corset, Jackal Pants and Fantail Jacket—the five images shown above.
   It’s fabulous to have this clever and very creative designer back in New Zealand!—Samantha Hannah

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