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New Zealand Fashion Week autumn–winter 2013, day four: theatrics and uniqueness


NEWS
Filed by Sopheak Seng/September 9, 2012/14.11



Nikita Brown/Nikita Brown Photography


Matthew Beveridge/Matthew Beveridge Photography

The last day of fashion week is always the quietest. However, things went off this year with a hiss and a roar with Phoenix Cosmetics’ Truly Outrageous showcase. This was a make-up show with a difference, with dance, music, theatrics, big drama, bigger hair and even bigger costumes, and jewellery by Claire Hahn.
   This was one which certainly woke and entertained a lethargic crowd who had been spent after the Stolen Girlfriends’ Show after-party. With everything from the ’80s as a reference point, the show opened to break-dancing boys in neon highlighter hoodies of blue, green, pink and orange. ’Fifties candy dresses, tutus made with My Little Pony, a full skirt of Barbie dolls and Flashdance-style models came out in neon leotards and high-shine, Bowie-style make-up. Inspired by Jennifer Grey water-dancing to ‘The Time of My Life’, there was a glitter shower cascading the model. Next came black T-birds and dancers, with exaggerated shoulders of feathers and studs. Models paraded out with studs stuck on to their faces, and clothes heavily embellished with the stuff.
   The stand-out from the section was the Mcqueen-esque model who strode the runway in a black ruffle mullet dress and whose entire head and face was covered in miniature mirrors. This was high-fashion make-up at its best. The best bit, however, was pure nostalgia, with four singers dressed as Jem and the Holograms, having a “battle of the music” with the Misfits. It was fun, colourful and was a bright way to start the day.
   The Miromoda show is always one I await eagerly. This is an opportunity to see the collections of the winning designers in a catwalk context. This year’s theme was polka dots (helped by Marc Jacobs’ collaboration with Yayoi Kusama). Models came out in everything polka-dot, from plastic raincoats to a highlighter yellow polka-dot dress, a polka dot balloon tied to one model’s hair, and a polka-dot blue bikini. Each model spun spotted pois to Justin Timberlake’s ‘Sexy Back’.
   It was a welcome delight and it was nice to see a show celebrating something unique. Everything was of an excellent calibre: it was fresh and edgy. If earlier designers were doing commercially safe collections, this was at the other end of the spectrum.
   Dmonic Intent showcased its second collection for the week: a couture collection with clean lines and moulded wool. Exaggerated shapes were refined and cinched in with obi-style belts. A muted and mature colour palette of greys and charcoal with flashes of red and cobalt showcased the trio’s ability for restraint and the beauty of their cutting skills, proving that they can do crazy antics and high drama as well as refined elegance. Coats were cut beautifully with pagoda shoulders being a key feature. Beautiful hand-blocked felted cloches added allure and mystery to these déco-inspired garments.
   Surface Too Deep, a Wellington swimwear label by Esther Miro and Sarah-Jane Abraham, showed a collection in bright, bold, tropical floral prints in refined and ladylike shapes. High-waisted bikini briefs were cut to flatter and hide tummies while cut-matching bikini tops created old Hollywood glamour. The collection was concise and well presented with models in floral headpieces adding spice and all things nice, and we could dream the day away lounging by the pool in one of the beautiful designs. Stand-outs from the pair’s début at NZFW would have to be the floral one-piece suit, which was cut to flatter with wide shoulder straps and classic lines, and the two-piece ombre orange, navy and fuchsia bikini. Either would work with a lot of women of shapes and sizes. These two definitely know what they are doing and it shows as most of the media in attendance rushed backstage to inspect the pieces up close.
   Christopher Huia Woods’s collection of dresses really impressed me with his eye and talent for editing. A palette of orange and black was crafted into a myriad of dress guises, cut to flatter, coming with frills and ruffles which seemed thought-out and considered. Some had traditional basket-weaving patterns—cool grunge for the MTV generation. What also impressed about his range were the amazing headpieces adorning his models’ hair. Created by talented hairdresser Jamie Dryden, these were true works of art. Hair that was cut and left over from Dryden’s hair salon was washed, bleached, dyed, recycled and fashioned into skulls that had a creepy ethereal beauty, which added to Woods’s collection.
   Other collections of note were from Poto Morgan and Marsha Ranginui Tamihana, who created beautiful garments from harakeke, showcasing their unique abilities to shape and mould the fibre into couture-like shapes. Pia Naera of Pia Boutique showed a collection of mature, elegant digital designs on floaty, elegant, simple shapes and leggings. Aztec tribal elements were fused with intergalactic imagery to create eye-catching, colourful designs. Indigenous designs are truly alive and kicking—and certainly on par with the rest of what the week offers.
   Closing out this year’s Fashion Week was Huffer, with its installation of its in-season summer collection. The brand is well known for party antics, and what better way to end the week and celebrate its new store opening than have a big Mexican-style party? Sangria, margaritas, tequila and sol beer were served to a packed crowd who had come to support the brand. The collection was classic Huffer—cool, easy-to-wear streetwear meets high fashion. Breezy dresses and loose shirts in chambray and a Tex-Mex cactus print featured throughout the collection, while for boys it was all about shorts and Ts and shirts. The team at Huffer also teamed up with famed photographer Mark ‘Cobra Snake’ Hunter to create its summer campaign imagery.
   The collection showed on a small runway lined with cactuses and Mexican memorabilia made out of the label’s key fabrics. Models paraded the runway and lined up tableau-style, each revealing a picture from the campaign. Not much was seen of the show as it was a rather packed, but it was a great excuse for a party to celebrate the new Takapuna store in the newly developed McKenzie’s complex.—Sopheak Seng, Fashion and Beauty Editor

Phoenix







Nikita Brown/Nikita Brown Photography




Matthew Beveridge/Matthew Beveridge Photography

Miromoda
Dmonic Intent

Nikita Brown/Nikita Brown Photography



Matthew Beveridge/Matthew Beveridge Photography

Surface Too Deep


Matthew Beveridge/Matthew Beveridge Photography

Christopher Huia Woods


Matthew Beveridge/Matthew Beveridge Photography


Nikita Brown/Nikita Brown Photography


Matthew Beveridge/Matthew Beveridge Photography

Poto Morgan and Maehe Ranginui

Nikita Brown/Nikita Brown Photography

Monique Lynch

Nikita Brown/Nikita Brown Photography

Hōhepa Thompson

Nikita Brown/Nikita Brown Photography

Pia Boutique

Nikita Brown/Nikita Brown Photography

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