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Starfish celebrates New Zealand’s pan-Asian cultural mix for spring


NEWS
Filed by Sopheak Seng/June 22, 2011/3.19


Starfish
Starfish

Vibrant leis hanging in shop verandas, exotic spices and fruits of the local greengrocer, the eclectic mix of shoppers at the local Sunday morning veggie markets, and the treasure trove of fabrics, trinkets and ornaments at the Asia Gallery. The cultural mix and infinite variety of tangy tastes within the local community and the uniquely pan-Asian flavour of New Zealand have inspired Starfish designer Laurie Foon to create the beautiful spring–summer 2011–12 collection, aptly named Good Fortune, because ‘we are lucky to be here and live in this wonderful country.’
   The collection’s fabrics evoke the rich cultures that form a community and their tapestries of interwoven colours and textures through the use of organic cotton, hemp and linen, intermingling with soft bamboo, Modal, Tencel and hemp silks. They are set against fluid traditional eastern silhouettes, modernized by western uniformity.
   The bright, cheerful colour palette celebrates the vibrancy of this pan-Asian culture with crisp cloud whites, peony pinks, mandarin orange, deep plums, navy moss and jade greens, while spicy apples and cinnamons are freshened against zingy sunshine yellow, pohutakawa red and aqua blues.
   Whimsical vintage-inspired details are juxtaposed with modern geometric lines to create a harmonious and casually cool collection. Ruffles of silks float from hems and waists of jackets and skirts, while traditional lace embroideries and triangular cut-outs bring focus to the new erogenous zone of the season, the neck.
   Starfish has again collaborated with famed local Wellington textile designer Greta Menzies to create two gorgeous prints: first, a beautifully vintage print that evokes traditional guipure lace. The oversized and handcrafted look of the print is featured on beautifully cut and nipped-in cheongsam-style dresses, kimonos and spliced into panels on pants. The second is a Mucha-inspired print of a woman with two native birds, featured on T-shirts and organic cotton–hemp bags.
   Dresses still reign supreme come summer. and both the Generation dress and Fuji frock will be instant classics, both so versatile for those long hot summer days and perfect for balmy nights out. The Good Fortune cardi (top) and print kaftan are the perfect cover-ups to protect against the summer rays, while the Taiwan T-shirt in yellow (bottom right) and Tea House dress in aqua (bottom left) will look gorgeous against that tan. For the fashion-adventurous, colour blocking will still be a big trend to try and the Dragon pants and Judo dress (below left) will be on the must-have list.
   This is a stand-out collection that captures the carefree nature of summer and the melting pot of New Zealand culture. The collection will be in Starfish stores from July–August.—Sopheak Seng, Fashion Editor

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