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New Zealand Fashion Week: the best of the rest at the group shows


NEWS
Filed by Sopheak Seng/September 11, 2011/11.17


Some of the group shows on day four of New Zealand Fashion Week escaped our more timely coverage. But we certainly haven’t forgotten these designers, who deserve just as much acclaim and coverage. Sopheak Seng and Vicki Matias include the last few entries.
   For those wanting up-to-the-minute updates from New York Fashion Week, on now, photographer Stephen Ciuccoli is Tweeting live from the event, at twitter.com/stephenciuccoli. We’ll have more as the photographs and stories are filed.

Miromoda
The opportunity to showcase at Miromoda is highly contested and the level of entrants into the competition gets higher each year. While those selected were all deserving, the following managed to surprise and delight the most hardened of fashion lovers.
   Adrienne Whitewood, who took out the top spot in this year’s competition with her collection entitled Te Aho Tapu—the Sacred Thread, managed to fuse heritage, modern technology and traditional Māori references to create a beautiful, wearable and commercially viable collection. Tartan was key and a palette of earthy browns, rust and ox blood reds was beautifully executed into a well edited selection of coats, floor-length skirts and beautiful draped trousers.
   Leather was used as accents to enhance the wools, linens and silks that Whitewood is known for, while her signature hand-beaten copper jewellery was also on show, coming in exquisite bangles and cuffs. Stand-outs would be her draped linen pants, the wrap coat trimmed in leather and the sweep floor-length skirt, a traditional colonial settlers’ style update for today’s women.
   Sister design trio of Maxine Wooldridge, Kris Leitch and Samara Wooldridge of Dmonic Intent showed avant-garde fashion can also be wearable as well. Their first outing in Miromoda was a fusion of wools and leathers, with exaggerated shoulder pads and pleating structures that defied gravity. Yet, the designs were somehow wearable streetwear when the pieces were dissected. Divine knits and innovative uses of wool and cutting were executed with a sharp eye. Bold colours of red, aqua, soot grey and black were used to great effect.
   Their second collection at Miromoda was traditional Dmonic Intent at its best. The trio used zips and leather to create couture pieces of art, and created magic with their halter dress made from zip stoppers, a hard feat to do without verging into costume territory.
   Tara Warren, who showcased one of the few menswear collections over the course of the week, did not disappoint. Childhood Memories was inspired by the shapes and colours found in tukutuku patterns on the panels of marae. The only international designer as part of this year’s showcase, her collection was concise and to the point. A beautiful knitted cardigan with vertical stripes and zig-zag patterns, and relaxed cut trousers, showed the designer will have commercial success if she continues in this direction. The muted colour story of ash grey, camel, white and black was highlighted with accents of mustard, blood red, and deep navy.
   Aroha Tapsell’s use of boiled wool and vibrant colours in her collection Brighten Up Winter in Wool is also deserving of a mention. Punchy orange, cerise, chartreuse green and navy met precision cutting at its best, each line thoughtfully designed and planned with trimmings of zips used to enhance the garment. It would have been lovely to have seen this as a full range.

Miromoda
Miromoda
Miromoda
Miromoda
Miromoda
Michael Ng/New Zealand Fashion Week

Christchurch Earthquake Appeal
The Christchurch Earthquake Appeal show gave Christchurch designers the hope of raising awareness for their city’s continued need for assistance.

Christchurch group show
Christchurch group show
Christchurch group show
Michael Ng/New Zealand Fashion Week

   Kathryn Leah Payne started off the show with a little black strapless lace bodice with sweetheart neckline, matched with an elegant mini pencil-line skirt gathered at the waist. A navy silk jumpsuit, tiny gold polka-dot textile on a black maxi-dress, and dévoré velvet leopard print blouse in rose and navy, stood out as lovely extras.
   Mauve, indigo, wine-gum purple, volcanic red and black all came in block coloured pieces at the Eclipse show. Draped cut-out shoulder tops and dresses in silk and short merino tunics made several appearances, with the last piece adding colourful stripes.
   Mister had a fun Hansel and Gretel theme with yummy-looking felt wool gingerbread men broaches, and plenty of bow-ties and mini-ties. Tartans in blues, reds, black and purples were prominent along with candy-striped shirts and an autumn-leaf pattern embroidered on wool pieces. Overall each piece was beautifully tailored and fitted.

Christchurch group show
Christchurch group show
Christchurch group show
Michael Ng/New Zealand Fashion Week

   Leading stylist Angela Stone launched a new range which featured gorgeous oversized ’70s sunglasses, a Mediterranean blue sheer mini leopard print, sheer silks and gathered sleeve and scoop-neckline detailing. The last number was a stunningly simple white cotton long-sleeved sun dress with lovely cut-out lace features above the hem and sleeves.
   Caroline Moore showed next with an assortment of leather pieces, mostly in fuchsia, black and turquoise. Ruffled plackets and hemlines, rabbit collars and biker-chic jacket silhouettes were among the favourites.

Christchurch group show
Christchurch group show
Christchurch group show
Michael Ng/New Zealand Fashion Week

   Dramatic music set the tone for Japanese-born designer Sakaguchi whose colour palette consisted of charcoal, metal grey and black. A sheer silk water blurred print in white and black featured on billowing blouses and a high-collared trench in a liquidy textile resembling black oil was unique finishing touch.

Merino show
The Merino show was a fusion of wearable and sustainable fashion. Considering that throughout the world wool is one of the most underutilized fibres, yet one of the best for clothing, it was interesting to note the designers selected as part of this year’s merino showcase.

Merino
Merino
Merino
Michael Ng/New Zealand Fashion Week

   Life of Riley designer Thérèsa Brady showcased beautiful merino knit dresses and separates in easy-to-wear shapes in a palette of dusty rose, teal and blacks that would flatter any figure.
   Starfish showcased key pieces from its Lunatopia show with an emphasis on wool garments. The beautiful starburst print by Greta Menzies was on display in jackets, leggings and on gorgeous knit tops, while wrap and draped cardigans offered in slate grey and dusky blues offered viable cover-up options come winter. Sustainable fashion need not be boring for winter, so rock on with Lunatopia.

Merino
Merino
Merino
Merino
Michael Ng/New Zealand Fashion Week

   Miranda Brown’s Conscious Cloth collection was a stand-out with its vibrant pops of colours and beautiful prints. All Creatures Great and Small featured beautiful stylized prints of the laughing owl and huia. Vivid orange, hot pink, turquoise and emerald green all made an appearance. Her use of innovative subtraction cutting meant that some garments had zero waste and little to no impact on the environment; her dyeing technique was similarly responsible. She is yet another designer who is not afraid to show that sustainable fashion need not be boring. It was also great to see Brown sashaying it down the runway to the samba sounds and enjoying every minute of it.

Merino
Merino
Merino
Michael Ng/New Zealand Fashion Week

   Vicki Taylor had sports on the mind with her merino collection. Working with a palette of cream, white, grey and black, Taylor created clothing that could be layered and worn in a multitude of ways. Merino, silk and leather were fashioned into a sport luxe-meets-post-apocalyptic world, with cocoon shapes and trains making a big impact. Precision cutting of the cloth meant that the pieces could stand out on their own, while working within one’s existng wardrobe come next winter. Stand-outs amongst the collection were the jackets that came wrapped, featuring draped collars, and the ombre silk top layered under poncho-style merinos.
   Models’ faces were white-blocked as if cheering for their favourite team, accessorized with textured black protective style head-wear and arm-warmers.—Sopheak Seng, Fashion & Beauty Editor, and Vicki Matias, Senior Writer

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