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New Zealand Fashion Week autumn–winter 2013, day two: from joining forces to fun and frivolity


NEWS
Filed by Sopheak Seng/September 5, 2012/15.16


The second day of shows for New Zealand Fashion Week was more jam-packed than the first with a continuation of austere, commercially driven clothing that will sell come winter time.

Twenty-Seven Names and Ingrid Starnes
Twenty-Seven Names and Ingrid Starnes joined forces and showed as a group show off-site this year to help bring the huge cost of showing at NZFW down for each party. The early morning show was a mission but media and buyers were coaxed out with the promise of coffee and breakfast to help cure those late-night work hours. Designers Anjali Stewart and Rachel Easting showed a collection of tried and true styles. The traditional polka dots and heart prints were out in force in a palette of soft sorbet and pastel tones, while a strawberry print was a refreshing sight to see for winter. These helped to break up an otherwise monochromatic colour story of beige, navy, grey and cream. Breton stripes added more textural and print interest to the collection of button-down shirts, flirty shorts, knit jumpers and cute, easy-to-wear dresses. The collection didn’t veer too far from the designers’ past collections but in these recessionary times, it is best to deliver something that will make people part with their money, and the duo have got that covered with their geeky cool chic clothes.
   Ingrid Starnes’ second showing at NZFW was strong and continues to grow the label’s signature handwriting of effortlessly cool, wearable clothes designed for the modern, fashion-conscious women. Hunt’s End was inspired by characters travelling to the great British countryside for a traditional fox hunt, and the fabulous party that ensues afterward. Characters such as Judy Garland and Princess Margaret were a few of the reference points for the collection which showcased a good strong suiting story coming in tweeds, hondstooth and checks. Dresses were also dominant in the collection with ’40s silhouettes still a strong touchstone for the young label. A stand-out was the beautiful cape-sleeve dress that came in a delicious soft grape purple. A dark and traditional autumnal colour palette of rust, brown, olive and deep navy was injected with burnt mustards, powder blues and soft purples. Quirky rope detailing was added to the neckline of dresses or used as decorative brooches. The pussy bow blouses, argyle houndstooth cardigans added to the eccentric Britishness of it all.

New Generation
Dmonic Intent

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Matthew Beveridge/Matthew Beveridge Photography


Nikita Brown/Nikita Brown Photography


Matthew Beveridge/Matthew Beveridge Photography


Nikita Brown/Nikita Brown Photography


Matthew Beveridge/Matthew Beveridge Photography

   The New Generation show is also a highly anticipated showing of up-and-coming designers from around the country. This year’s four designers selected to showcase at Fashion Week proved that the creative industry is truly alive and kicking. Starting proceedings off on the second group show of the day were the Woodridge sisters of Auckland-based label Dmonic Intent. The brand has had great success in the past through the Miromoda fashion competition, winning them showing time at NZFW for the past two years, putting the designers in great stead for their first official ready-to-wear range. Playing with print and texture of traditional Māori weaving patterns but funked up with neon yellow, fluoro orange, deep purple and navy, the collection showed a strong vision of an independent woman who takes charge. Pants were cut in the sheerest of fabric and billowed like gossamer sails as the model stormed the runway, while a bandage dress with peekaboo slits had a more editorial edge, harking back to the trio’s more experimental edge of their earlier work. A cohesive colour story accented with punches of blood red and cobalt blue (the colour de la saison) livened up the collection.

Silence Was

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   Yujia Wang’s label, Silence Was, has already had quite a following with her quirky but minimalistic take on fashion, and her deft hand at precision-cutting clean, simple lines that flatter the wearer. A slight mod feel to the collection was felt through the clean lines of cute smock dresses and tunics, with subtle keyhole and cut-out details and bracelet sleeve-length dresses. An orange check print added vitality to the collection of muted cream, bone and charcoal greys. Masculine, clean-cut lines featured on great coats of almost teddy-bear-like fur, rearing themselves in the quirky zip-up jumpsuit which you can piece together with a grey blue woollen jumper. Teddy-bear-fur featured as well on many of the collars of garments while the stand-out was the shearling coat.

Daniel K


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Matthew Beveridge/Matthew Beveridge Photography


Nikita Brown/Nikita Brown Photography


Nikita Brown/Nikita Brown Photography

   The Daniel K label showcased a beautiful collection of earthy-toned separates which had an organic feel. Easy comfortable clothes, perfect for the coming season. The stand-out print of the collection was a rope detailing with dissecting colours of deep bottle green and navy. Floor-length cardigans were wrapped and draped to encase the wearer while coats were cut in cocoon shapes, adding further to the earth-mother vibe of the show, a commercial collection which has great success if it carries on, along the same vein.

Arielle Mermin




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Matthew Beveridge/Matthew Beveridge Photography

   Arielle Mermin channelled the late ’70s with her début collection at NZFW. The call of Halston, Bianca Jagger and Studio 54 was evident in the silhouettes of many of the pieces. This collection of great separates and suiting showcased the young designer’s ability for cut and proportion. A bottle-green velveteen trouser was cut with a surgeon’s scalpel and was so on trend with what European designers are doing. The collection threw in some great paisley tribal prints and mixed decades with ’60s-style shift and ’80s shoulders on jackets. It was also effortlessly glam with turtlenecks making a comeback through the burnt orange mustard floor-length knit dress.

Deryn Schmidt


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Matthew Beveridge/Matthew Beveridge Photography

Fashion’s latest media darling Deryn Schmidt’s solo show did not disappoint one single bit. After débuting last year as part of the New Generation showcase and receiving media attention for her impeccable tailoring skils, Schmidt returned, this time turning up the oomph factor and setting the bar very high in terms of finishing, polish and attention to detail.
   After years of experience in the workrooms of some of New Zealand’s top designers, Schmidt proved that she has taken on board fit as the key factor that makes her stand out from the rest of her peers. Trousers were cut in either a slim or wide leg and gave the models the perfect derrières. Coats were a staple of the show as well: an orange fitted bomber jacket with an elasticated back waistband was easy elegance at its best.
   Her love of fabric and texture was evident in the myriad of prints, velvet, sequins, wool suiting and cashmere on display, none of which was confusing or detracted from the overall feel of the collection. A techno tribal print was a key fabric for the collection, as was the watercolour-like inky blue and mustard print, fashioned into a kimono sleeve kaftan and floaty gossamer skirt. The show hit all the right trends and notes: pant-suits were a strong focus (Schmidt is known for her great pants and, season after season, these are the first things that sell out) while pencil skirts came in tweeds and checks. A rainbow palette of burnt orange, sienna brown, avocado green, turqoise, lilac, and dove greys helped to further tell the story of strong, inspirational women—and this is what these clothes are all about, giving you strength through clothing. Panelling was also a strong feature of the collection and was best used in the final dress fashioned out of chiffon with sequinned trim running down the side. The use of differently aged models further portrayed that the Deryn Schmidt brand can work for anyone of any age and range. This is one versatile and talented designer who will go far, and hopefully this platform will showcase her abilities further to the rest of the public.

The New Zealand Weddings Show
The New Zealand Weddings Show is always an exciting one to see. No expense is spared in the production. The wonderful scent of freesias and lilies filled the room completely as you entered the venue, as garlands of the stuff were strewn along the back wall. There is certainly no recession here when it comes to bridal fashion. Crystals, lace, tiaras, veils and the works were brought out in force for the annual event. And with a packed out venue, it isn’t hard to see why expectant brides come to this event.

John Zimmerman Couture


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Matthew Beveridge/Matthew Beveridge Photography

   John Zimmerman Couture delivered over-the-top opulence: Cinderella-style ball gowns closed his section of the show while déco, Great Gatsby-inspired numbers were festooned with chez glass and Swarovski crystals to dance the night away for any vintage-inspired bride. And with even bigger headpieces than what was shown at the Royal Wedding, this was couture at its best.

Michelle Yvette, Anna Schimmel, À la Robe


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Above Michelle Yvette.


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Above Vinka Designs.



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Above Anna Schimmel. Below À la Robe.


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   Michelle Yvette’s range of gowns were simply beautiful with their three-dimensional artwork on silk and taffeta; her bone- and cream-coloured gowns were phenomenal. Lace in all its guises is still a big trend in bridal fashion as were handkerchief hems in gossamer silks. Sleeves also appeared new and modern again on gowns as vintage-inspired fashion begins to seep into bridal as shown by Anna Schimmel and À la Robe.

Sera Lilly


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Matthew Beveridge/Matthew Beveridge Photography

   Sera Lilly stole the show, however, with her cute children’s bridal attire for flower girls and page boys. Her bridal range continued the tactile, three-dimensional trend, appearing on a full skirt and bodice.

Crane Brothers



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   Crane Brothers delivered a concise selection for future grooms: everything from morning suits to the classic tuxedo. Grey and black dominated with the trend for textured jackets, with tuxedo pants still being in fashion for the groom. Bright pops of colours were brought through in pocket squares and knitted ties (not just for the office).

Andrea Moore



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Matthew Beveridge/Matthew Beveridge Photography


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Nikita Brown/Nikita Brown Photography

Andrea Moore’s collection, entitled The Hunt, was inspired by an equine theme in the country (a very popular theme this season). The collection was impeccably tailored, as you would expect from Moore, and her love of vivid colours came through strongly in her selection of wool coating and suiting. Emerald greens, orange, cobalt blue, Huntsman red, black onyx, purple and black came in a plethora of coat styles, from short, cropped jackets, to blazers and riding coats—all cut tight across the body. They came in solid block colours as well as bright vivid checks and tweeds. A galloping horse print was used extensively in the collection, and featured on everything from printed jeans in emerald and navy to a maxi dress in red and navy. Fox fur was the added touch of luxury, best displayed on the sleeves of a cropped jacket that came in walnut and black. Fur stoles added another dimension to the wintery collection and came in rainbow-bright colours as well.
   The second half of the 45-look show seemed to be a bit disjointed from the first half of the show. Neon pink and fluoro orange polka dot shirts and dresses were thrown into the mix, while tie-dye ombre silk tunics and kaftan style dresses semmed like we were viewing another collection altogether. The show could have benefited from a good edit, removing the second half and giving the audience more of the horse prints and coats in bright colours. A special mention to Michael Beel, creative director for the hair in the show, is deserved: super-high ponytails were fashioned for the model and pulled through military-style riding hats and bandaged up with strapping.

Riddle Me This

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Nikita Brown/Nikita Brown Photography


Matthew Beveridge/Matthew Beveridge Photography


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Matthew Beveridge/Matthew Beveridge Photography

Riddle Me This was an interesting show, with show notes referencing the Big Bang Theory and creation as touchstones. It was an interesting collection of wearable pieces once you edited out all the styling of the show. Sometimes it is often better to try and keep it simple so that consumers can picture themselves buying the product. Stand-outs of the collection were the houndstooth print dresses and pants. Stretch velvet tartan was fashioned into body con dresses and also pencil skirts. It added the luxe dimension to the usual, easy-to-wear casual pieces. A Tex-Mex neo-tribal print was also amazing as well. Key colours from the collection were powder-puff blue, candyfloss pink, and mint green, injected with touches of cherry red and deepest navy and onyx.

Trelise Cooper



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Matthew Beveridge/Matthew Beveridge Photography


Nikita Brown/Nikita Brown Photography


Nikita Brown/Nikita Brown Photography

You are always guaranteed a show when you are invited to Trelise Cooper. Running only about 20 minutes behind schedule, it was pretty tame for the label, which last year was notorious for making guests wait an hour. This year’s first set-up was a back wall of gold foil helium balloons that created an archway for the models. The Cooper collection opened the show and a riot of colour poured onto the runway. Floral digital prints were showcased in acid neon colours while other prints were morphed and transformed into digital floral landscapes. Checks and stripes in muted tones were juxtaposed against all the bright colours. Again it was hard to see what was actually shown from the back of the venue. The balloons were taken away and up popped a screen of illuminating art nouveau swirls and spires. The ‘grandeur of Belle Époque-era glamour’ was a note in the show handouts. Big Edwardian hair and models’ faces covered in tulle with black ostrich feathers added a dark gothic edge. Black-and-white S-bend shapes were shown on the runway before a storm of candyfloss pink and strawberry reds with accents of gold. Bright florals and abstract gothic prints were thrown into the mix as well. This was another collection that could have done with a well edited eye as most of the silhouettes and shapes were repeated numerously and only a handful needed to be.

Kat Gee


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Nikita Brown/Nikita Brown Photography



Matthew Beveridge/Matthew Beveridge Photography


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Matthew Beveridge/Matthew Beveridge Photography


Nikita Brown/Nikita Brown Photography


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Nikita Brown/Nikita Brown Photography

Closing the night’s proceedings was the first solo jewellery show of Kat Gee, of Kagi fame. The show was a mixture of art, dance, live theatre and burlesque. There was stilt-walkers, ballerinas with feathered headdresses and bustles, and dancers in feathers doing mating calls. It was a bit of fun and frivolity on a day where austerity ruled the runway. Birds of paradise was the inspirations with native birds inspiring the collection. The bright vivid colours of the feathers were the go-to for some of the pieces. There were four birds that were featured in the show, especially created by famed director Morag Brownlie.—Sopheak Seng, Fashion & Beauty Editor

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