As Wellington gears up to Africa Day this Saturday, with a 12-hour celebration at the Wellington Town Hall beginning at 11.30 a.m., thereâs a distinctively non-African name behind the scenes doing the make-up for the fashion show on the day, as well as the smaller Taste of Africa event at Te Papa from 6 p.m. tonight (May 23).
Kareen D. Holland, whose business KD One recently opened at Morrison Kent House on The Terrace, is applying her extensive experience in film make-up to the community event.
KD Oneâs natural skin care and cosmetics stemmed from Hollandâs years in film, working with such luminaries as Wetaâs Sir Richard Taylor.
Working at Taste of Africa and Africa Day is Hollandâs way of giving back to the community, something she was keen to do ever since KD One opened last month.
Africa Day showcases African culture through dance, music, arts, crafts and cuisine. It is the first major cultural event for African communities in Wellington.
KD One was mentored by Lucire publisher Jack Yan as part of his work with Business Mentors New Zealand.
After the announcement that New Zealand label Starfish was closing down, which Lucire covered first last Friday, customers received a farewell message in their email today.
Starfish will have a closing down sale with up to 35 per cent off, at both its website and its flagship Wellington store on Willis Street.
The email indicates that the company will trade for a few more weeks while liquidators at Price Waterhouse Coopers collect claims from creditors.
âWhile it is sad to say good-bye we’re proud of all we’ve achieved,’ reads the email, signed by founder Laurie Foon and her team. ‘Starfish has been an amazing platform to not only put all of our creative passion, but to also be part of our communities in Wellington, Christchurch and Auckland. We feel privileged to have been able to make a contribution to the NZ fashion scene as well as being able to voice our thoughts on social issues from motorways to pioneering ethical clothing.’
They thank customers âwho have loyally followed us, loved our clothes and given us massive encouragement along the way. It’s been more than we could have dreamed of. We’ve loved meeting you and hope that Starfish has been more than just clothing to you.’
Starfish was founded in 1993 by sisters Laurie and Miriam Foon. It was Lucireâs first featured label in 1997, and remained in our pages regularly as one of our favourites. It was highlighted in Summer Rayne Oakesâs international guide to eco-fashion, Style, Naturally.
Above Starfishâs Laurie Foon, photographed in 2011.
Above From Starfishâs heyday: the summer 2010â11 collection, Free Radical.
The companies behind Starfish have appointed liquidators, according to public notices placed in metropolitan newspapers today.
Both Starfish Retail Ltd. and Starfish Wholesale Ltd. went into liquidation as of May 8, with creditors expected to make their claims with Price Waterhouse Coopers in Wellington, New Zealand by June 12.
Starfish has had a long history in Wellington, and is one of the labels most closely identified with the city. Founded by sisters Laurie and Miriam Foon, initially selling out of the boot of their car, the company soon became known for its commitment to corporate social responsibility and the environment. Laurie Foon was Lucireâs first feature interviewee in 1997, at a time when Starfish was behind a movement to stop the city motorway bypass. It was one of many social causes that the company stood behind in its 20-year history.
The companies that are in liquidation now were incorporated the year after, though the label itself started in 1993.
Starfish also launched a more premium label, Laurie Foon, in the 2000s.
Its fashion consistently ranked among this magazine’s picks for each season, and was a highlight of New Zealand Fashion Week for Lucire fashion editor Sopheak Seng.
Alongside Untouched World, Starfish was highlighted in Summer Rayne Oakes’s international guide to eco-fashion, Style, Naturally.
Throughout its history, Starfish remained passionate about the environment and stayed true to its ethos. On principle, it resisted offshore manufacturing when many of its rivals opted for cheap labour.
Starfish’s liquidation follows the closure of long-time label Ashley Fogel and another highly regarded Wellington brand, Alexandra Owen.
Boring Gets You Nowhere is the title of the autumnâwinter 2013 collection from World; and no sentiment rings truer for the brand than this. It is by not being boring that this label continues to grow, but by experimentation with outlandish yet still highly commercial and wearable fashion. Others perilously traverse this fine tightrope but World somehow manages to succeed.
For its first full catwalk show in Wellington, Worldâs team brought out its A-game. The performance demonstrated true showmanship at its highest level: glitter, sequins, fur and possibly the kitchen sink were thrown into the mix. The result was a collection worthy of envy: clothing that runs the gamut of fine tailoring, couture dresses and to-die-for craftsmanship.
For women, the oversized tweedy suiting is perfect for either the office or as an alternative take on cocktail dressing: a long black velvet gown will allow you play femme fatale or damsel in distress, however you choose to dress it up. Ball gown-styled lace dresses and two-tone fur-collared coats stood out in the womenswear range. Bright winter florals and warm golden and dusky jacquards, appearing in peplum styled jackets and â80s pagoda shoulder dresses, gave the collection a point of difference. The brand has a strong Wellington customer base: once you strip away the crazy styling, hair and make-up, most of the garments are workable in everyday life. The brandâs following and versatility were evident by the number of attendees wearing current and archival pieces from the World brand.
For men, designers Benny Castle, Francis Hooper and Denise LâEstrange-Corbet pulled out all the stops to make it a truly bright winter. Scarlet red, deep navy, rich chocolates, vivid violets and turquoise are fashioned into impeccably tailored suits, complemented by whimsical printed shirts and colourful accessories. Winter tweeds and checks are crafted into exquisite hunting coats with contrasting shawl collar lapels and blocked panel coats. A stand-out for me would be the scarlet red cord pants and navy and check suit jacket, or the couture line floral print suit (only a number of these were made).
The brandâs creative hair director, GHD ambassador Michael Beel, and make-up director Olivia Wild saw to it that there was plenty of glitter, gold dust, Swarovski crystals and everything in between, creating fantastical looks that helped to translate the clothing to another level. Clara Bow- and Mary Pickford-styled bobs and finger waves were the call of the day, done the traditional way of course, the bobs clipped and pinned together with a multitude of gold bobby pins. Volume was key with many of the models wearing cloud-like creations adorning their heads, sprinkled in gold-dust and glitter and studded with spikes. Speaking to the duo beforehand, the brief was âThe Great Gatsby meets Downton Abbey on an acid tripâ. Eyes were smoky and sultry, while lips were scarlet red and sprinkled with glitter and crystals. Talon-like nails were prominent thanks to the creative nail technician at Buoy, continuing the nail art trend that has appeared on many international runway shows.
The collection is available for purchase from World stores now.âSopheak Seng, Fashion and Beauty Editor
Look out for the Body Shop’s Mothers’ Day gift packages. Lucire tried the White Musk shower gel and body lotion, a subtle scent of one of the Body Shop’s favourites. It’s an attractively packaged duo with a matching shower scrunchy. This would be a lovely treat for a travel gift when you just want a bit of pampering that’s a bit more than the hotel freebies, retailing at NZ$23. (Custom wrapping paper for Mothers’ Day is also available.) If white musk isn’t your scent, try the Japanese Cherry Blossom, a floral fragrance.Â There are several gift packages in this range: shower gel, body lotion, and hand cream. Most of the Body Shop’s top sellers have a gift package to suit your budget and your nose; Madagascan Vanilla Bean, Moringa Flower and my favourite, the Shea Pamper packâanything with pamper in the title works for me.
The Body Shop is also all about eyes with the launch in May of 21 new eye colours. I particularly liked that they can be used both wet and dry, so when you want a defined line or depth of colour, use them wet; for that smouldering or smoky look, layer or blend them. There are shades in this range for all eye colours, moods and occasions. You can have the subtle hues of Caramel Flirt, which is much more than a nudeâit has a lovely shimmer without being glitzy; or Sugar Gaze to give a lustrous highlight. Moonlight Kiss can be used as a liner or a smoky evening look, and for a young or more frivolous look, check out Berry Cuteâthink of a berry smoothy. Blueberry Night pairs wonderfully with Midnight Flirt. If you’re feeling earthy, the matte of Fig Leaf combined with the pearly Sweet Pea will fill the green tones beautifully.
Retailing at NZ$21 per mono eyeshadow, the Colour Crush range is produced in Italy from high-quality pigments and Community Fair Trade OilsÂ to the Body Shop’s high standard of sustainability and quality. The individual clear pack is compact and enables you to see exactly what you’re buying.âLinden Sprunt
Lucire has had a private preview of Mardle’s springâsummer 2013â14 collection, Bisou, Bisou. And to show that Mardle is the thinking woman’s choice for stylish staples, each of the outfits is named after a Kiss song.
Designer Shiana Weir has put the emphasis more on evolution, rather than revolution, given her feedback from her customers. She recognizes that unlike Europe and the US, New Zealand customers tend not to favour huge changes between seasons.
Characteristic of the collection is the X panel, either through using complementary fabrics on the garment. Similarly, Mardle has used a script X on a print, signalling the custom of signing kisses with an x.
The I Stole Your Love relaxed T blends Modal and polyester, and brings in a light, sheer look for springâsummer. We also liked her Nothing to Lose jacket, with removable shoulder pads that are held in place inside the garment with Velcro. The Shock Me mini-skirt has a distinctive black-and-white pattern, while the Crazy Crazy Nights dress has sequinned sleeves and a nice blush and gold Lurex finish. The Mardle Lizzie leather belt completes the outfits. Weir has also a colour palette that includes black-and-white, gold, and gun-metal grey.
The labels proudly bear the Mardle logo and ‘Made in New Zealand’, which will have plenty of appeal to its Kiwi customers. Mardle can be found online at www.mardle.co.nz, with its stockists (including Dunedin’s Salisbury Boutique and Havelock North’s Salsa) listed here.âJack Yan, Publisher