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September 27, 2013

The 2013 Brancott Estate World of Wearable Art awards: Kiwis take Supreme prizes

Anna Deans/11.00

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World of Wearable Art

Above The Exchange, by Christchurch sisters Tatyanna Meharry and Natasha Meharry, which took home the Supreme Award in the 25th Brancott Estate World of Wearable Art (WOW) awards’ show tonight.

In a departure from recent years, Kiwis stole the show at the 25th Brancott Estate World of Wearable Art (WOW) awards’ show, bringing in the three most prestigious awards. The Brancott Estate Supreme WOW Award Winner went to two sisters from Christchurch, Tatyanna and Natasha Meharry. They created a two-garment entry called The Exchange, which emulates a living modern Treaty of Waitangi. The garments, which also won the New Zealand South Pacific section, are constructed out of coins and ceramic feathers. This represents the idea of cultural consumption and the interchanging of gifts and promises. This design is truly a work of art invoking a strong emotional response from the audience, due to its beauty through exquisite craftsmanship as well as its cultural identity. It is a true and pure representation of New Zealand and here at Lucire, we are excited and proud New Zealand has gained such honour in the show this year.
   Peter Wakeman from Motueka took out the runner-up Supreme Award Winner prize. His garment, Chica under Glass, also won its category, the prestigious Avant Garde section. The garment consists of a Barbie pink, shiny, structured dress which amazingly is made from fibreglass and plywood. This garment crosses the boundaries between sculpture and garment, as it emulates a poofy dress, but it contrasts to the initial idea by being completely stiff and static. His garment effortlessly represents the Avant Garde section, having created a piece of art based on fashion rather than creating a piece of fashion itself. Mr Wakeman seamlessly bridges the fashion to art boundary.
   Dame Suzie Moncrieff, the founder of WOW, was joined by Christine Hellyar and Margi Robertson on the judging panel. Dame Suzie stated all decisions were unanimous and they were extremely impressed with the calibre of every garment and model on the stage. She stated, ‘It is inspiring to create a show worthy of exhibiting such incredible works of art.’—Anna Deans




World of Wearable Art

Top The Exchange, by Christchurch sisters Tatyanna Meharry and Natasha Meharry. Centre row and above Second-place winning entry, Chica under Glass, by Peter Wakeman of Motueka.

Brancott Estate Supreme WOW Award
Winner: The Exchange by Tatyanna Meharry and Natasha Meharry, New Zealand.
Runner-up: Chica under Glass by Peter Wakeman, New Zealand.

American Express Open Section
First: Mantilla by Fenella Fenton and Jeff Thompson, New Zealand.
Second: Sisters of Acropolis by Tracy Koole, New Zealand.
Third: Hay Daysie by Kate MacKenzie and Deidre Morgan, New Zealand.
Honourable Mention: Nostalgic Opium by Lau Siu San and Ka Wai Lam, Hong Kong.

Avant Garde Section
First: Chica Under Glass by Peter Wakeman, New Zealand.
Second: Funeral by Hiu Ming Yuen, Hong Kong.
Third: Crazy Hair by Wei Ting Kao, Taiwan.
Honourable Mention: She Only Sees wth Mirrors by Rodney Leong, New Zealand.
Honourable Mention: Kiitos by Chi Kin Lai, Hong Kong.

Children’s Section: Reinterpret the Tutu
First: Tui Tin Tutu by Helen Fuller, United States.
Second: Tweety Pie by Paula Rowan, New Zealand.
Third: Ballet Chevaux by Amy Beales, New Zealand.
Honourable Mention: Choo Choo Tutu by Ross Hardie and Rachel Hardie, New Zealand.

Air New Zealand South Pacific Section
First: The Exchange by Tatyanna Meharry and Natasha Meharry, New Zealand.
Second: Hakaturi by Svenja XX, Australia.
Third: Turangawaewae by Anna von Hartitzsch, New Zealand.
Honourable Mention: Venus Anadyomene by Kirsten Fletcher, United Kingdom.
Honourable Mention: Reversely Twisted by Hong-yu Chen, Taiwan.

Weta Workshop Costume and Film Section: The Crazy Curiosities of the Creature Carnival
First: Inkling by Gillian Saunders, New Zealand.
Second: Unnamed Soldier 627 by J. Scout Isensee and Verity Pitt, United Kingdom.
Third: Pan Animalia by Michelle Yeager, United States.
Honourable Mention: Lunanoia by Jane Ewers, New Zealand.
Honourable Mention: The Caught Jester by Wendy Burton, New Zealand.

Gen-I Creative Excellence Section: Art Forms in Nature
First: 25th Jubilee Guest by Margarete Palz, Germany.
Second: Born to Die by XiaoTong Guo, China.
Third: Shield by Marjolein Dallinga, Canada.
Honourable Mention: Jellyfish, Coral, Sea Anemone by Iun-chi Liu, Taiwan.
Honourable Mention: Hybrid by Erica Gray, Australia.

WOW Classic Car Museum Man Unleashed Section: Psychedelic Revival
First: Astrodelic Psychonaut by Erna van der Wat and Karl van der Wat, New Zealand.
Second: Psychedoublelic by Jo Drysdall and Sebastian Denize, New Zealand.
Third: Bobby Dazzler by Dinah Walker, Mark Walker, New Zealand.
Honourable Mention: Angels Trippy Trumpet by Fifi Colston, New Zealand.
Honourable Mention: Mandala Man by Susan Holmes, New Zealand.

Shell Sustainability Award
Winner: Queen Qwerty by Vicky Robertson, New Zealand.
Runner-up: Return grom the Dead by Christopher Davis, New Zealand.

WOW Factor Award
Winner: Lunanoia by Jane Ewers, New Zealand.
Runner-up: Reflective Ray by Zhang Qing, China.

Shell Student Innovation Award
Winner: Sided Eve by Yang Shang, China.
Runner-up: Silver Illusion by Yuru Ma, China.

Booker–Spalding First-Time Entrant Award
Winner: Unnamed Soldier 627 by J. Scout Isensee and Verity Pitt, United Kingdom.
Runner-up: E. T. Buddha by Tushar Koche, India.

New Zealand Design Award
Winner: Samurai Silent Dragon by Dylan Mulder, New Zealand.

Wellington International Award
Winner: Funeral by Hiu Ming Yuen, Hong Kong.

Wellington International Award: UK/Europe Design Award
Winner: Slave of War by Hana Amer, United Kingdom.

Wellington International Award: America’s Design Award
Winner: Gokstad Alien Queen by Lynn Christiansen, United States.

Wellington International Award: Asia Design Award
Winner: Funeral by Hiu Ming Yuen, Hong Kong.

Wellington International Award: Australia and South Pacific Design Award
Winner: Hakuturi by Svenja XX, Australia.

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September 6, 2013

New York Fashion Week spring–summer 2014, day 1: keeping it soft

Lucire staff/14.13

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BCBG Max Azria, via Instagram

For those who caught our live stream during day one of New York Fashion Week’s spring–summer 2014 collections, congratulations! We’ll keep the stream up, but, for those of you who missed the shows, we feature them below.
   Nicholas K, BCBG Max Azria, Supima, Tadashi Shoji, Marissa Webb, Candela, the Art Institute of New York and Richard Chai are covered.
   Nicholas K took an Apache inspiration, creating soft, earthy sportswear. BCBG Max Azria also kept things light, with loose shapes and soft shades. Tadashi Shoji kept things feminine with lace, frills, lattice-work and pastels.
   Marissa Webb had a more edgy style with her reinterpreted schoolgirls, with skinny ties, corsets, and leather miniskirts, in brighter colours and tweed. Candela, however, kept things soft with sheer silk and lace, with its installation.
   The Art Institute of New York showcased the work of current students Daniel Jennings, Darhel Anthony, Haley Hysong, Ian Jai Park, Josimar Torres and Michael Doyle, and graduates Diana Sanchez, Isaiah Isaac (both from 2012), Luz Ortiz and Qutishia Lee (from 2013), who hold Associate of Applied Science in Fashion Design degrees.
   Richard Chai’s collection was expressly soft—he cited his inspiration as ‘soft geometry’—though it featured some harder stripes and geometric shapes. However, the detailing was indeed softer, with pleats, sequins, and billowing trouser legs.

Nicholas K

BCBG Max Azria

Supima

Tadashi Shoji

Marissa Webb

Candela

The Art Institute of New York City

Richard Chai

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September 5, 2013

New York Fashion Week, spring–summer 2014: live stream

Lucire staff/16.54

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On Lucire’s home page is our live stream from Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week New York. Here’s a slightly larger version, which can be expanded full screen.
   Paris editor Lola Saab is in New York covering the spring–summer 2014 fashions, with photographer Stephen Ciuccoli. A post-Fashion Week report will be published in our pages, along with regular updates with video.

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New Zealand Fashion Week autumn–winter 2014, day three: group shows and undiscovered treasures

Sopheak Seng/16.41

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NZFD Online
My Boyfriend’s Back
   Opening the runway for day three was Masterton-based designer Danielle Burkhart’s My Boyfriend’s Back, with its collection, She’s in Bloom. Dark, brooding romance, fresh innocence, and beauty in bloom appeared on the runway in devorĂ© velvet and sheer rose print fabrics, fashioned into dreamy romantic dresses. Boiled wool was crafted into draped, oversized boyfriend capes and jackets, while sheer lace and silk were given the maxi-dress treatment (something Burkhart specializes in well). Colours of deep navy, sweetheart red and soft camel beige were grounded in onyx, slate and whites. The draped layering was there, but with it came structure, which is nice to see. This was a mature departure for Burkhart and showed her progression as a designer who is starting to become more confident in her designs.





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Matthew Beveridge/Matthew Beveridge Photography

Millicent
   Wellington designer Paula Shepherd’s label Millicent dĂ©buted her New Zealand Fashion Week collection, entitled Blur and Focus. This was a collection that concentrated on the juxtaposition of textures, form and fabric. Leather mixed with wool, linen and silk, cotton and jersey, hard and soft, structured and relaxed. Stand-outs from the collection would be the leather pieces which were cut with a surgeon’s scalpel, fashioned into skinny cigarette-style pants with zip hardware detailing, and the finalĂ© dress that Shepherd wore herself, which was shift-like in texture linen and with laser-cut leather sleeves. It was a beautiful cheongsam rose-print knit jersey with thigh-high split: a great fashion show-stopper that would appeal to everyone young and old.






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Sheryl May
   Sheryl May’s autumn–winter collection, Reign Falls, comprised spirited pieces that stayed true to the brand, taking inspirations from the streets of London (May’s second home). Her love of print was evident in her choice to bombard the runway with clashing tartans, florals and an avian owl. Skinny leg tartan pants were paired with floral long-line tunics, while the same floral print was repeated on an embellished body-con dress. The stand-out accessory of May’s section was the owl print bag which was paraded on the last model. Its kitchy cool vibe was the perfect thing to lift the spirits among those who were jaded.




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Mardle
   For Mardle designer Shiana Weir, the inspiration of Japanese onna-bugeisha (female warriors), French saints and Jeanne d’Arc were the inspiration. A collection of russet colours in jacquards and brocades were showcased in structured pants, and jackets. For a Wellington-headquartered title, it was great to see more of the capital’s presence at Fashion Week.


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Nikita Brown/Nikita Brown Photography

Love Hotel
   Love Hotel ended the showcase with its Love on Line collection. The brand stayed with floaty, ethereal chiffon and silk printed kimonos and nĂ©gligĂ©e-style slips. They branched out and did wide-leg culotte dungarees which saw much-needed structure in the collection. While the soft and floaty kimono look works in warmer climates, it was hard to see it working in colder, milder weather. The oversized berets failed to add to the collection: the show could have been edited better.


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Nikita Brown/Nikita Brown Photography


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Nikita Brown/Nikita Brown Photography

Daniel K

Matthew Beveridge/Matthew Beveridge Photography

Daniel K is just waiting to be discovered by more people. Beautiful, elegant pieces spoke of ease and purity of design. Opening the show was a series of wave-inspired-print pants, dresses and tunics in shades of grey and white. Upon closer inspection, the print had a cellular microscopic print which added to the allure and mystery. Harem pants were cut beautifully and draped perfectly for the right amount of fullness and fluidity. What stood out as the star of the show was the gorgeous knitwear: it was by far one of the best knitwear collections seen to date. The cherry red Wave Knit top and Blue Knot dress will be one of the biggest selling tickets come winter. From the gorgeous colour through to the manipulation of fabric creating texture and lightness, this was by far one of my favourite new discoveries: the show delivered on everything from styling to music. There was drama and a precise vision not only of a runway sense, but a commercial one. Great things are coming for this brand and it will be exciting to see how it further develops.





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BMW New Generation
The BMW New Generation showcase is often met with excitement and trepidation as three unknown designers are thrust into the spotlight. For this year’s three designers, it was exciting to see very distinct and clear personalities and design visions from such young brands.

Beverley Riverina
   From fleece to fashion, the label recalled 1970s’ home crafts as traditional methods of spinning and knitting wool were displayed in every which way possible. From macramĂ© bags through to Afghan-style vests and dresses, everything had a homely quality.


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Nara Paz
   Nara Paz was a surprise hit: formal gowns and eveningwear are not what the New Zealand market naturally gravitates to. We may be more a T-and-jeans kind of country, but on the odd occasion where dressing up is required, this designer should be on your speed dial.
   While some of the pieces felt a little bit too understated for evening or too derivative of other designers (nothing is new in fashion; however, be careful when referencing that it doesn’t become copying), the stand-outs from the collection were the beautiful black ensembles that neared the end of the runway. A tailored satin smoking jacket was paired with a “mullet” hem-style tulle layered skirt: it was a fresh and interesting take on evening wear. The black sleeve knit dress with the plunging cut-out back and leather accents was the perfect dress for wowing an appreciative audience from all angles.






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Nikita Brown/Nikita Brown Photography

Crooked Seven







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   Crooked Seven was also a surprise discovery, clean and modernist with its Mondrian-like print, tartan in cobalt, grey and black, and a flying moth print. This was young, edgy brand that would appeal to a mass market not only here but overseas as well. The splashes of red were unnecessary, but the collection left me hankering for more of its sporty-meets-glamour, easy-to-wear pieces. Reverse sheer shirts and trenches, beautifully cut jackets and pants all were crafted with a refined and mature hand.


Matthew Beveridge/Matthew Beveridge Photography

   This year also saw the public vote in a week-long competition in which BMW gave away a NZ$5,000 voucher to one of the designers who showcased as part of the New Generation show. Crooked Seven won, and it was not hard to see why.

Swimwear
For the first time this year, New Zealand Fashion Week offered a swimwear showcase, an opportunity jumped upon by Surface Too Deep and Tigerlily. New Zealand is one of those countries where togs are almost ingrained into the psyche of our nation when summer arrives: it was exciting to see NZFW embracing this as a focus to customers.








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   Surface Too Deep showcased their spring–summer collection, entitled Bonnie and Belle. Kaleidoscopic and floral prints, and classic black were shown in a range of colours and styles. Designer Sarah-Jane Abraham is one clever lady: the cuts of the Surface Too Deep swimwear don’t change too dramatically season to season, but the prints and colours are updated to sit with international trends. Having only recently shown this collection in Australia to a receptive crowd, Abraham was on to a sure thing. Shades of pink, fuchsia, turquoise and sea foam as well as black and jade were printed onto balconet bra tops and high-waisted knicker-style swimwear briefs with cute buckle detailing. This is swimwear designed with real women in mind. The collaboration with Wellington’s Flash Jewellery was the perfect relationship, simplicity and elegance rolled into one outfit. Bring on summer.
   Tigerlily showed tribal Aztec resort wear with string bikinis and beach cover-ups being the label’s mainstays. Fringing, tassels and an eclectic boho traveller vibe were seen, with a palette of dusky oranges, neon pink and chambray blues. It was interesting to see the pieces modelled, though an edited eye could have been cast over some of the looks as all the layering hindered the view of the swimwear.







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Pia Boutique
Pia Boutique’s solo dĂ©but at NZFW was an interesting one. For the 24-year-old designer, this was an opportunity to showcase her spring–summer 2013–14 collection. The collection was nice with lots of prints crafted on to shorts and dresses with an overload of frills on hems and hips. It was a colouring box of magenta, shades of pink in all its guises, turquoise, and cobalt blue. Stand-outs from the collection were the almost-neon-pink lace shift dresses, and the printed gown at the end. While it was nice to see the collection in full, with all the colour variations that some garments came in, a more edited eye could have been cast, and newer design styles added to showcase the designer’s ability.







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Nikita Brown/Nikita Brown Photography

Salasai


Nikita Brown/Nikita Brown Photography

Finishing the day’s proceedings on a high was designer Kirsha Whitcher’s label Salasai. Her 12 looks were a carefully styled collection of wearable cosmopolitan fashion that would sit well within any market. Clearly the move from Hawke’s Bay to Perth has had a profund effect on Whitcher, as Salasai is fast growing into a more polished brand. Everything from the knitwear to the outerwear and accessories was lust-worthy as the gathered crowd of appreciative and captive fans oohed and aahed at each piece that came down the runway. Best of show was the kimono-cum-bomber jacket (the best bomber of the week). A beautiful silk print of birds and fauna was fashioned with striped knit collar and hem. Creating a beautiful silouhtte, paired with artfully draped harm pants, this was a lookthat could be seen on any sidewalk of any international city. The short sleeve cape style coat was also stand out in its beautiful camel colour. The bird print also appeared in a shirt and pant combo that created the eautiful isllusion of one fo the season hottest trends the jumpsuit. For the boys, drop crotch trousers in deep slate grey and check tartans of black and white was paired with old school jumpers with contrasting colour lines. Ostrich feathers and wool shearling collars added a bit of fun and glamour to the proceedings as did the crystal accessories that adorned the models looks. This was by far the one of the weeks highlights and it was nice to see a show that was so clear in its message and self assurance of bradn identity that it only needed 12 looks to definie what the Salasai brand is all about.—Sopheak Seng, Fashion and Beauty Editor








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September 4, 2013

New Zealand Fashion Week autumn–winter 2014, day two: tying the knot to underground magic

Sopheak Seng/14.43

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Deryn Schmidt

Matthew Beveridge/Matthew Beveridge Photography

Opening day two of NZFW was Wellington designer Deryn Schmidt. A photograph that her daughter Millicent took of her son Lars’s mobile originally inspired her winter collection, entitled Capture This. This image was later developed into the first exclusive textile print for Schmidt, adapted by textile designer Andrea Stark. The collection was not too much of a departure for the brand: the mature ĂŠsthetic of the Deryn Schmidt brand was there in the beautiful tailoring, impeccable attention to detail and flawless finishing in the structured coats, skirts, jackets and capelets.
   However, what appealed was her foray into knitwear. For the first time, she worked with local knitting mills to develop some outstanding knitwear: a beautiful pointelle knit cape with frilled edging in deep berry and putty, as well as the tri-colour stripe V-neck pullovers. These added great dimension to the collection and helped showcase something else that Schmidt has an eye for. Stand-outs from the collection were Schmidt’s coats and her signature pants which were cut in beautiful cords, velvet and wool, and came in chocolate, grey and berry. They also came in a cigarette style with gold zip ankle detailing, legging-style with mesh panelling, or in a classic tailored suit style.
   Schmidt ventured into eveningwear as well, which was a study in contrast, with her draped dot mesh and knitted body dresses, showing a feminine ’30s, as did the brocade bustiers and sheer negligĂ©e-style dresses worn with colour-matched leotards. Styled by Barry Betham, the show took us onto a bygone era of glamour as hair was waved and bobbed in a silver-screen siren style, helped along with the deep berry lips and soft make-up by Smashbox.






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Nyne
Hamilton label Nyne was next, with their collection entitled Nomadic. This was the label’s second outing at fashion week, while celebrating the design collective’s ninth birthday. As a cloud of smoke appeared from the back of the runway and a lone musician strummed on a bass, the parade of models in their layered looks stalked like a modern-day wandering tribe, in search of greener pastures in a desolate barren landscape. This was a more thoughtful collection for the group, and it was exciting to see how the brand has developed season after season. Having long been fans of their clothing, it was a breath of fresh air to see maturity in their designs and a considered and self-confident hand. Colours of slate grey, black and white were punctuated with blood red. The collection borrowed heavily on menswear references, creating a soft androgyny to the collection. Wide-leg shorts, slouchy style shirts and fisherman-knit jumpers were paired with fluid layers of draped long-line skirts and vests in crĂȘpe, viscose, georgette and mesh. Outerwear was cut in molten wool, and leather-like Ts provided shelter against the harsh elements, as did the specially created wide-brimmed felt hats. From the styling to the models with their faux hawk of fish braids to the considered layered, this was a collection that delivered a strong and clear message for winter. When disassembled on a shop floor and the pieces are laid out, it will still all make sense to any wearer, and pieces will be treasured upon one’s travels.




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The New Zealand Weddings magazine bridal showcase
The New Zealand Weddings magazine bridal showcase is open to the general public and is a hotly sought ticket for any bride-to-be and her beguiling groom. For the coming bridal season, designers looked back to traditional bridal attire as lace in all its guises made a return back to the runway as a strong key message.

Vinka Bridal
   Vinka Bridal opened the show, looking back to the ’70s, with its crocheted lace two-piece bridal suit through to the ’80s horror of lace and meringue-like confections. Thankfully there was a sigh of relief as contemporary interpretations of these trends were showcased in sleek shift-style gowns. Heavily embellished in crystals and lace, there was still the element of the past, which worked beautifully and is a big trend for bridal fashion.






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Sera Lilly
   Designer Sera Lilly certainly knows how to draw in a jaded crowd of fashion people: bring out the kids in adorably cute and beautiful creations. For flower girls, Lilly created ballerina-style tulle skirts with three-dimensional flower appliquĂ©s in colours of navy, peach and white. She also offered easy-to-wear casual dresses that were fun and flirty. For the page boy, Lilly offered beautiful tailored florals as well. For the bride, this is where Lilly shone, sending a more fuller-figured bride down the runway. It was great to see how Lilly caters to such a diverse range of customers—and it should be noted that she supported marriage equality. Simple and elegant, her designs are made to flatter women: a stand-out was the gorgeous lace appliquĂ©d peplum top and tailored pants.





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Crane Brothers
   Murray Crane’s Crane Brothers label offered the groom a very modern take on traditional wear. Prince of Wales check and houndstooth suits were cut slim, and trousers skimmed the ankles, as men’s fashion took on a more European feel. It expressed itself further with the tie and pocket square. Pale greys, deep navy, browns and Bordeaux red are some of the key colours for the wedding suit; Crane Brothers also offered le smoking as an alternative to the tuxedo for the brave groom.







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Alma Wong
   Alma Wong followed next with her whimsical, pretty and princess-worthy gowns. Wong was the only designer who dared to showcase colour, albeit in pastel hues of lilac, blush, rose and soft mints. Colour is a big trend for brides overseas and it was good to see that there is someone offering international trends to a New Zealand consumer base. Her gowns are cut beautifully and expertly beaded, each one more stunning than the last.




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Robyn Cliffe
   Robyn Cliffe took us on tour of the roaring ’20s for her collection offering Gatsby-inspired sheaths of beaded crystals and bias-cuts gowns in champagne and ivory silk. No ’20s bride would be complete without a flapper-style veil or headband to complete the look. Cliffe delivered some of the most stunning gowns, blending over-the-top ideas with understatement, where the fabric spoke all the words. She also gave some of the best veils from the show. Artfully styled.






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Working Style
   Working Style was a new addition to the line-up this year and in turn offered great suiting for men, everything from traditional tuxedos and two-button suits through to morning coats with tails. They again offered velvet smoking jackets in shades of wine and navy as an alternative; pants were cut slim and jackets even slimmer.




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John Zimmerman
   John Zimmerman closed off proceedings for the bridal show with his couture line. Extreme glamour was the call of the day as giant tulle confections paraded down the runway and extravagant headpieces topped off each look. The closing gown for the show really pushed the boundaries of art, fashion and bridal wear as leather and lace were mixed with crystals and beading, the dress referencing stained-glass windows and Theirry Mugler’s Aliens collection, with its hip peplums and highly sexualized vision.







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Underground
What do you get when you cross 10 photographers, 10 designers and an underground carpark? You get what can only be best described as Andy Warhol’s Factory on acid. The mastermind behind today’s fashion installation was Chris Lorimer of Ciel PR. He gathered 10 of the best emerging and underground edgy labels and created mini-living mise-en-scùnes in which every label showcased a teaser from their upcoming winter collections. Stand-outs from those that showed were Jimmy D., whose label is still one to watch, as his quirky sense of humour comes through his clever and ironic use of imagery in clothing. Kowtow also stood out for its maturity in design, in creating fashionable and wearable clothes with a conscience. Geometric grids in black and white were fashioned into soft tailored jackets and shirt dresses, easy-to-wear and comfortable, and it was interesting to see the brand branch out into woven garments. Thistle Brown showcased his usual quirky and off-beat knits. New discovery Eugene was a welcome sight as her soft colour palette of sky blue and grey was fashioned into an amazing bomber and skirt outfit—I wanted to see more.
   The installation also showed works from some of New Zealand’s most talented photographers. The concept behind the show was brilliant as it gave people the opportunity to view garments up close, admire the details and experience the vibe of what a designer is trying to speak to us about, something often missed in a runway show.



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Stolen Girlfriends
Stolen Girlfriends’ Club rounded out the day’s events with an off-site show in yet another car park. Leave it to the design collective of SGC to pack out a car park of loyal and die-hard fans who are willing to stand six deep just to breathe in and soak in the coolness that is SCG. Dirty Magic is the title of the collection and called upon references of ’90s Nirvana-era grunge, black magic, witchcraft, gypsies, goths, boho and punk. Pinstripe suiting, mauve tartan and flocked velvet paisley were the key fabrics which were fashioned into tailored trousers and jackets for guys, school-grey shirts and punk-inspired knicker-bockers. For women, the stand-outs were the gypsy-inspired dresses that were cut with thigh-high splits as well as leather and velvet bell-bottom trousers. Other stand-outs were the wraparound kilts, tartan maxi-skirts, leather high-waisted skirts and the leather and hair cape. Shown in a concise and strong colour palette of black, red, deep wine, mauve and school grey, it was a well edited and grown-up collection. Perfectly accessorized with tribal-look jewellery fashioned from safety pins and wide brimmed hats with bandanas of paisley fabric, this was a show that oozed coolness from its very pore. If you strip away the crazy styling and make-up, there was a commercially wearable aspect to the clothes that will definitely keep the punters vying for a piece of the SCG lifestyle.—Sopheak Seng, Fashion and Beauty Editor

















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Nikita Brown/Nikita Brown Photography




Nikita Brown/Nikita Brown Photography

Editor’s note: A more comprehensive follow-up on Stolen Girlfriends will appear in an upcoming print issue of Lucire.

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September 3, 2013

New Zealand Fashion Week autumn–winter 2014, day one: a quality start—it surreal thing

Sopheak Seng/15.37

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Twenty-Seven Names

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Opening New Zealand Fashion Week this year was Wellington brand Twenty-Seven Names with its brand of kitschy cool ’90s nostalgia. From the opening bars of a Mariah Carey song through to the casual coolness that their clothes have come to epitomize, designers Anjali Stewart and Rachel Easting looked towards the famous work of RĂ©nĂ© Magritte, the famous Belgian surrealist artist, for their Winter collection, entitled I’m Lost. The collection was very much one of what the brand does well: easy-to-wear dresses, shirts and cool pants that will appeal to their current customer base while attracting more converts. However, for winter, the duo put some real effort into the outwear component of their collection. One stand-out was the Bella Caped trench, showcased in beautiful navy wool to dramatic effect. The other stand-out was the swing coat in cherry red. They were a great departure for the designers and showed the brand’s continued growth and its maturity as it develops. For lovers of Twenty-Seven Names, their fun and playful prints will appeal this season, showcased in the love hearts featured in a great brocade, while Magritte’s famous apple and bowler hat motifs also appear as well. The pair’s foray into knitwear was also a great string to add to their bow; the cable-knit jumpers were luxurious and on-trend. A rich and playful colour palette of deep navy, cherry red, camel and gold set off the Twenty-Seven Names winter collection and was a welcome and playful start to the season.



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Matthew Beveridge/Matthew Beveridge Photography

Lela Jacobs


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Next up was Lela Jacobs, an ex-Wellingtonian, now based in Auckland. Jacobs is a master of fabric and textiles, manipulating, bending and shaping them to her will. It was evident in her show where her layering of fabrics featured in a beautiful cerebral meditation show, where live musicians played the soundtrack for the catwalks and models paraded in a trance-like state down the runway with candyfloss like hair and pantyhose skullcaps. The classic Jacobs colour palette of black, white and cream appeared in gossamar silks, raw linens, and cottons and beautiful reserved vintage fur. Jacobs’ work is one where it is best showcased up close and on the walking form, where it is better understood how she envisions her pieces to be worn. Stand-outs from her collection were the vintage pieces of reversed exposed leather and fur inner, the beautiful washed-wool capes that would be worn a million and one ways, the open-weave scarves, as well as the many silk pieces that are layered over. By the number of devotees to the label that sported a Jacobs piece, it was evident this is her signature and she is great at it.

Company of Strangers



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From the cerebral to the grungy underground car park of the Sofitel Hotel, the Company of Strangers show was one to behold. Entitled Libertine, the show was a perfect platform for demonstrating designer maturity and the development of the brand. It was also a great show for amazing coats and jackets. Inspired by the work of Austrian expressionist artist Egon Schiele, the collection drew upon his paintings and drawings, which inspired the zig-zag, almost-tribal-punk-era motif fabric that ran throughout. The soft, draped silk pieces were juxtasposed with the strong utilitarian vests and coats that stood out as strong contenders for next season’s wish list. From street-style fighter pilot jackets reimagined as capes with zipped detailing through to war-era trench coats with patch leather detailing, there was something for everyone, each more lust-worthy then the one before. Burnt umber, muted rose, rich plums and emeralds punched colour into the deep black, charcoal and white base palette. This collection also saw the introduction of merino knitwear into designer Sara Aspinall’s repertoire. She didn’t disappoint: the deep V-neck jersey knit dress will definitely be one to have for the coming season as its beautiful cutaway hem and understated elegance are to be treasured. The collection was definitely in keeping with the title: it had a maverick spirit about it and knew no bounds of pushing the brand further into people’s minds.

Hailwood

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Hailwood showed next, with a notable and well rounded collection of separates, something designer Adrian Hailwood does well. This season saw the introduction of the new Hailwood denim collection, H by Hailwood, a dream that designer Adrian Hailwood has long had. The collection opened with a strong focus on casual separates (something that Hailwood does well), caped coats in camel, and deep wine and olive green wools were paired with denim, Ts and jumpers. Bomber jackets (a perennial favourite) were fashioned in washed silk, and came in a plethora of colours. The mood shifted as after-five wear started to appear on the runway. Les smokings and draped cocktail gowns were fashioned and stood out: Hailwood has an inate ability to dress and design clothes that suit an everyday woman that works with a modern, professional lifestyle. A cheetah motif appeared numerous times on the runway but it looked best in a short bustier-style cocktail dress, which would sit well with a broad age range of people. The final gowns in the show were also brilliant and closed off proceedings nicely, a silver lùmé-look gown and mint and gold sequin flower-embellished dress added a touch of glamour.








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Andrea Moore

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Matthew Beveridge/Matthew Beveridge Photography

Andrea Moore’s winter offering, entitled Northern Lights, was a great explosion of colour for winter, everything from chartreuse, orange, fuchsia, navy and cherry red. Moore is one of those designers who isn’t afraid of colour and knows how to use it to her advantage. Her collection has been inspired by a tale of a trek through dark Nordic woods and the fairy tale of princesses turning into swans, and foals as princes in disguise. The collection was a fairytale to behold. A dark Gothic thread wove through most of the pieces and, like all good fairy tales, there is lightness and a happily ever after. Outerwear, which is a strong suit for Moore, was evident in her precision-cut coats and capes that flattered the body and gave shape to the female form; silhouettes were focused back on to the waist as jackets were nipped in to accentuate. Stand-outs from the collection were the fuchsia pink jumpsuit which was paired with a royal blue jacket, the swan-print tank dress which was whimsical and magical at the same time, as was the beautiful cocktail dress with circular frills around the hem and necklace. Fashion and fantasy collided to make wearable clothes which will be coveted by many a woman come next season. Moore knows clothes and knows what women want to wear, and is a master tailor in getting the fit right.

Zambesi

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Nikita Brown/Nikita Brown Photography

Zambesi is always a hot ticket and seats to their show are like gold to the fashion Ă©lite. This year’s showcase did not disappoint. The show opened with the back door of the runway sliding open to reveal a calm and almost serene scene of backstage madness. While models lined up ready to take to the runway, we got to see the full glory of their being touched up by hairstylists and make-up artists, and being lint-rolled before taking their entrance onto the runway. However, all of the theatre did not detract from the clothes, which, after all, is what fashion week is all about! Zambesi does what it does best, and that is the soft yet structured tailoring in both their women’s and menswear. From the coats through to the leather T-shirt, everything is about finishing and quality, and the dark edgy cool vibe that the brand does well. The dark colour palette of winter blacks, grey, khaki and sand was broken up with chambray blues and olives, fashioned into cocoon-, almost Balenciaga-like couture proportions; tailored pants and suiting were strong points as well as the military coats, bombers and trenches. The final outfits of the show are what stood out for me: the blood, almost cherry, red was a great colour palette to end the show on. Giving a feeling of jubilant festivities to end the night, ’50s-style knee-length skirts with a daisy camouflage print motif stood out as the crowd favourite, its gossamer lightness providing a nice finalĂ© to all that structure.—Sopheak Seng, Fashion Editor













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