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August 28, 2014

New Zealand Fashion Week autumn‚Äďwinter 2015, day three: Hailwood and Kate Sylvester up the standard

Sopheak Seng/15.11

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Lucire‚Äôs fashion and beauty editor Sopheak Seng and photographer Matthew Beveridge look at day three’s mixed bag of shows.

New Generation
   Vibe: Four up-and-coming designers showcasing what they have to offer the fashion world as the voices of the future.
   Clothes: Like a pick-and-mix bag of lollies, there were some dud and then some great pieces. Overall, the collections seemed forced and not polished enough. Construction of the garments left something to be desired, as there were twisted seams and puckering on most trousers and dresses, and a lack of cohesion in ideas, novelty and innovation. Stand-outs, which were few and far between, were Itzme, with their androgynous take on soft tailoring and sportswear. A bright colour palette of fuchsia, purple and orange showed great potential but was let down by shoddy construction and finishing. Nomsa Mabuto showed a good collection of predominately separates of coats, pants and shell tops in a colour palette of varying shades of green.


Trish Peng
   Vibe: Sportswear for ready-to-wear, gowns and party dresses.
   Clothes: Laser-cut bomber jackets and circle skirts with anoraks and ‚Äô80s ruffled off-the-shoulder tops and bright multi-coloured striped pieces. The collection then diverged into party dresses in bright pop colours. This was where the collection was let down: poor fabric and construction choices meant that under the glare of the lights, the gowns didn’t feel luxurious enough‚ÄĒand this was viewed between people’s heads in row B. Also the fits of the gowns on some of the models were not great, either. It is the little details that are often overlooked that add to the polish of a collection.
   Look: directed by L’Or√©al Professionnel New Zealand ambassador, Michael Beel, who created an origami-inspired criss-cross weave pattern in the models’ hair, then gathered into a low ponytail. Simple and elegant.

Designer Selection
   Vibe: In-season showcase to consumers. Fun, commercial fashion.
   Clothes: All in-season summer pieces from the 30-odd designers that were showing as part of New Zealand Fashion Week. Think bright, fun, commercial pieces that you could buy off the racks the moment you walked out of the show. The middle section of the show was presented by Woman’s Day, who showed a selective range of garments in red and white styled by Lulu Wilcox, featuring models in turbans and carrying red heart-shaped balloons, reminiscent of a Banksy street art piece. Closing the show was Jockey, who set hearts a-flutter with five All Black players, including Victor Vito, showcasing the spring‚Äďsummer 2014‚Äď15 underwear looks for men, and model Nikki Phillips showing the women’s range.

Hailwood
   Vibe: Wearable streetwear with a glamorous edge. Rock concert chic.
   Clothes: Streetwear-oriented, the collection was denim-heavy but moved into Hailwood’s take on his draped velvet gowns that work for every body shape. The d√©vor√© silks and velvets were great, as were the sequinned jackets and dresses that closed the show. Stand-outs, however, were his denim range and the oversized unicorn motif ponchos. Super-cool, relaxed dressing.
   Look: Dirty, gritty, but pretty. Messy and textural.

Kate Sylvester
   Vibe: Romantic, literary geek chic, celebrating nonchalant luxury and refined classics.
   Clothes: Vintage-inspired with references to menswear and long days in an English countryside, tucked up in your boyfriend’s clothes, his pyjama bottoms or boxers with his robes and shirts. Great masculine-inspired tailoring in regatta stripes and polka dots. Sheer dresses and blouses added a soft romantic air to the collection as did the long Isadora Duncan-style fringe scarves casually draped around the models’ necks. Loved the return of males on the Sylvester runway and stand-outs were the camel trench, open shirt, and striped trousers casually rolled up with brogues. All this romantic vision was helped along by a cascading shower of ripped pages from a book.
   Look: Just rolled out of bed, slightly textural hair with just flushed make-up.‚ÄĒSopheak Seng, Fashion and Beauty Editor

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August 27, 2014

New Zealand Fashion Week autumn‚Äďwinter 2015, day two: from softly and rosy to Zambesi’s superheroes

Sopheak Seng/16.05

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Fashion and beauty editor Sopheak Seng, and photographer Matthew Beveridge, cover day two of New Zealand Fashion Week, with Pardon My French, Lucy McIntosh, the NZ Weddings show, Pia, Andrea Moore and I AM, Juliette Hogan and Zambesi.

Pardon My French
   Vibe: ‚ÄôSixties beatniks with a touch of glamour.
   Clothes: Skinny leather pants spliced with rose gold zips and ponte, houndstooth composed of flying swallows, turtlenecks, oversized cocoon coats, draped skirts and dresses crafted in shades of beige, white, black and greys, all paired with ballet flats, a floppy beret and chunky hosiery.
   Look: Poker straight hair by Sara Allsop of Dharma for GHD and smoky kohl-rimmed eyes by Samantha Holley for MAC.

Lucy McIntosh
   Vibe: Grungy punk seen through a refined, modern eye.
   Clothes: Androgynous and structured coats and jackets in fine cashmere wools‚ÄĒfull-length or blazer, there were different variations with some in the new shape of the double-breasted vest. Mini- and midi-length pleated skirts all worn underneath. Almost an ‚Äô80s throwback. The stand-out was the rose-print jacquard that featured on pants and jackets.
   Look: Messy dirty glamour hair with a touch of bronze on the cheeks and nude lips.

NZ Weddings show
   Vibe: Bridal and all things cute and white.
   Clothes: Gowns upon gowns of lace, tulle and sheer. Stand-outs were Hera Bridal with their √ľber-cute children’s range of flower-girl dresses; and the Mint lace and tulle dress. The show signalled the death of the strapless gown as well as the princess style, as there were more streamline gowns on show, with cut-out detailing and a focus on the back. Crane Brothers and Barkers both showed great grooms’ attire with Barkers offering up a shorts option for the fashion-brave.
   Look: soft goddess cascading curls with romantic blushing bridal make-up.


Pia
   Vibe: Cruisy summer days at the pier.
   Clothes: Considering she is known for her graphic digital prints, there was not a lot of that on show as the focus was more on garments in solid colours of beige, white chambray, soft mints and blush pinks. The only prints that were featured were strawberries, watermelons and anchors, which all felt derivative. New shapes in tunics and fabrics provided interest as did the Adidas slides with white sport socks.
   Look: Beach‚Äďboho hair with a slick of white eyeshadow that looked zinc-like.

Andrea Moore and I AM
   Vibe: Surrealism meets ‚Äô70s Charlie’s Angels and a bit of Studio 54; I AM was athletic sport-luxe.
   Clothes: Great coats in a cacophony of colour from emerald, through to beet pink and cobalt blue. Dresses and jumpsuits featured heavily in the collection as did lace and faux fur. Stand-outs were the striped faux fur coat and fur-trimmed bags, and Moore’s new venture into eyewear and jewellery. A great deal of editing wouldn’t go amiss; however, it was good to see the brand expanding into a whole lifestyle idea.
   Look: ‚ÄôSeventies Farrah Fawcett blow-outs, bouncy hair with bright fuchsia and burgundy lips.

Juliette Hogan
   Vibe: Juliette Hogan goes dark grunge.
   Clothes: Typical Juliette Hogan with a focus on all things feminine: pleated skirts and moody florals featured throughout the collection. However, it was the final pieces in the collection that really stood out: a floor-length sequinned maxi-skirt with casual T-shirt paired with white New Balance sneakers as well as the full floor-length gown in the same fabric. They gave us something new to the Hogan brand we have all come to know and love. Heavy on the black. A live band also gave something unique. Having to wait for over an hour for the start wore thin, but this was a show which lightened the mood of the weary guests.
   Look: Clean, fresh-faced beauties, chic New Yorker.

Zambesi
   Vibe: Futuristic superheroes, Flash Gordon song on repeat with strobes of blue and bright white lights and Zambesi decal on the runway.
   Clothes: No sequins or sheer in sight: the focus was on soft tailoring as well as structured suiting and casually cool clothes. Palette of black, cerulean blue, grey, khaki, olive, and touches of mauve and lilac. Stand-outs were the dressing gown-style coats in the softest of wools, the oversized knitwear, the cerulean blue boots, the tone-on-tone suits as well as the giant XXXV logo (commemorating Zambesi’s 35 years in business) blankets that were worn as capes, superhero-style, by the models.
   Look: Faux hawk fins that ran down the centre of the females, as well as the clip-in extensions for the male models, it was all about texture and grit. Fresh-faced.‚ÄĒSopheak Seng, Fashion and Beauty Editor

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August 26, 2014

New Zealand Fashion Week autumn‚Äďwinter 2015, day one: Nom D to Stolen Girlfriends’ Club

Sopheak Seng/14.13

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New Zealand Fashion Week’s autumn‚Äďwinter 2015 shows, now shifted to August, kicked off strongly with Nom D. Fashion editor Sopheak Seng was there, with Matthew Beveridge in amongst the photographers.

Nom D
   Vibe: Rock concert glam. Standing-only “seating” made it feel like you were more at the concert rather than a fashion show. Along with the seven balaclava-wearing drummers, this was a great opening to New Zealand Fashion Week. Black earplugs also added to the chicness of it all.
   Clothes: Nom D favourites and signatures that have been reinterpreted in new cuts and fabrications, kilts, gauzy knitwear, great printed Ts, sleeveless vests, coats and pinafores. Loved the bombers, and floor-length kilts, all wearable by so many different age ranges, as evidenced in the crowd that attended. Also loved the cut-out felt helmet-like hats from Marmalade Hats‚ÄĒsamurai warrior anyone?
   Look: Poker-straight hair that looked like flat dreadlocks, wrapped and twisted into ponytails or worn flat against the hair, seemingly moving to the beat of the drumming. Painted black and white ears.

Shen
   Vibe: Grown-up glamour with urban concrete jungle sport-luxe thrown in.
   Clothes: Camo prints in olive and khaki jacquards featured in bombers and sheath dresses, diaphanous draped and tucked sheer dresses, and soft tailoring. An east-meets-west influence with lots of kimono and bell sleeve action on the runway, also evident in the gold paisley foil pieces. Collection needed editing and proper styling but not bad for a first outing.
   Looks: Chic chignons and fresh-faced beauties.

Lela Jacobs
   Vibe: Haunting beauty in a post apocalyptic world. Hanging light bulbs illuminated the runway while models walked in a trance-like state down the runway. Opening with black and then into whites and creams and an almost mocha colour.
   Clothes: draped diaphanous silks and voiles paired back with open weave knits, chunky and fine layered again with draped harem-like pant. Loved the androgynous feel of the collectionm with pieces all easily translating to both men’s and women’s looks, the lamb’s wool cape and printed silk pieces and the mini glove necklaces. Truly Lela Jacobs at her best.
   Looks: sooty eye make-up paired with centre-parted hair, braided into an almost Hasidic style.

Underground
   Vibe: Cool kids hanging in old silos with great fashion and music playing. Exhibition-style layout with each silo showcasing a different designer.
   Clothes: Standouts were Meadowlark (beautiful jewellery, septum nose rings and signet rings and bracelets piled high on the arms); Jojo Ross (a beautiful white dress with a water feature inside that constantly changes‚ÄĒclever girl); Jimmy D (slogan-heavy ‚Äô90s collection which had catchphrases from Russian bride advertisements).

Salasai
   Vibe: Polished eccentric arty folks and the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat.
   Clothes: Great bombers, pinafores, dungarees, double-layer fit and flare dresses and great shirts. A muted colour palette of chocolate and deep burgundy kept the collection clean and sophisticated. The abstract prints will be sell-outs, also no menswear, made this a very strong collection for Kirsha Whitcher.
   Look: clean chignons and a flush of yellow eye shadow.

Stolen Girlfriends’ Club
   Vibe: Glam rock meets bogan motorheads at a party. The longest runway and stadium lighting from the Western Springs Speedway showed the garments in their best of the day.
   Clothes: A bit ‚Äô70s and a bit ‚Äô90s. Mustards, duck-egg blues, black and greys. Mixed in with some metallics and glitter. Hell for leather with nearly every second look featuring leather splicing, or a leather jacket. Not sure about the knitted bell-bottom trousers but loved the mustard turtlenecks on the guys, as well as the final√© looks of the glitter skater skirts and pants.
   Look: Grungy cool wet-look hair, slicked back off the face, and great sunglasses to combat the glare of the lighting.‚ÄĒSopheak Seng, Fashion and Beauty Editor

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August 7, 2014

Miss Universe New Zealand 2014 finalists bid farewell to the Cape Dara Resort, Pattaya

Lucire staff/13.32

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Alan Raga

It’s always hard saying goodbye, especially in tropical temperatures in the 30s, and facing a prospect of the remainder of winter back in New Zealand‚ÄĒbut that’s what the top 25 finalists at Miss Universe New Zealand had to do today. The last breakfast of the tour at the Cape Dara Resort was a fitting farewell to the five-star treatment given by the property. There was a brief moment for some shopping, before the afternoon transfer to Subarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok.
   The finalists began checking in at 3.45 p.m. local time, with their flight arriving in Auckland on Friday morning NZST.
   From there, they will continue competing in the entrepreneurial challenge, raise funds for Variety, the Children’s Charity, and head to the countdown to the final at the Sky City Theatre on September 18, 2014.
   The public can vote for their favourite contestant, either through an online i-vote or text voting: see nextmissnz.com/top25.shtml for voting details. Further updates of the competition are on the Miss Universe New Zealand Facebook and Instagram, with hashtags #missuniversenz and #munz14.






Alan Raga

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August 6, 2014

Miss Universe New Zealand 2014 finalists arrive in Pattaya, Thailand

Lucire staff/3.45

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Alan Raga

The Miss Universe New Zealand 2014 finalists, currently touring Thailand, wound up their Bangkok events on Monday night with an event hosted by the Charoen Pokphand Group, a Thai conglomerate set up by Chinese immigrants in the 1920s, at the Grand Mercure Bangkok Fortune hotel.
   On Tuesday, they set off for Pattaya, famous for its beach resorts, 100 km southeast of the capital. Pattaya City put on a welcome and luncheon for the top 25, again well attended by officials, before a visit to Thai Thani, a Thai arts and culture village. Thai Thani, to open on August 8, aims to showcase its cultural parades and activities, and the finalists were given a personal tour by its owner, seeing Thai food from different regions and traditional performances. They also participated in fruit carving under instruction from Thai Thani’s staff. Nigel Godfrey, executive director of Miss Universe New Zealand, presented officials with gifts, including a framed souvenir featuring photographs of all 25 finalists.
   Four contestants had their swimwear shoots Tuesday with photographer Alan Raga, again wearing Surface Too Deep and Honey & Co. swimwear.
   Accommodation for Miss Universe New Zealand in Pattaya is at the Cape Dara Resort, where they will remain till August 7.
   The Miss Universe New Zealand 2014 grand final takes place at Sky City Theatre, Auckland, on September 18. The public will have a hand in deciding the winner, through text voting and through the electronic i-vote. See nextmissnz.com/top25.shtml for voting details. Further updates of the competition are on the Miss Universe New Zealand Facebook and Instagram, with hashtags #missuniversenz and #munz14.










Alan Raga

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August 5, 2014

Miss Universe New Zealand 2014 finalists fulfil their diplomatic mission

Lucire staff/5.51

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Alan Raga

Other than the early 5.30 a.m. call to get ready for a live TV appearance on Channel 5 to 10 million viewers in Thailand, Monday saw the Miss Universe New Zealand 2014 finalists fulfil part of their diplomatic role, visiting the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for an official function hosted by Sihasak Phuangketkeow, Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs. The Thai Ambassador to New Zealand, HE Noppadon Theppitak, was also in attendance, amidst substantial local media interest.
   It was also a day for the New Zealand national anthem, broadcast both on television in the morning and sung at the Ministry in the evening.
   They met the top place holders from Miss Universe Thailand, including Pimbongkod Chankaew, who will represent Thailand at the international competition later this year.
   At the ministerial event, Miss Universe New Zealand executive director Nigel Godfrey presented his opposite number at Miss Universe Thailand, Surang Prempree, a framed invitation for her titleholder to come to New Zealand later in 2014.
   In addition, four contestants had a very early morning shoot with Alan Raga, again wearing Surface Too Deep and Honey & Co. swimwear, completed before 8 a.m.
   Channel 5 has since uploaded its clip to YouTube, embedded below.
   Godfrey notes in his interview with Channel 5, as the Thai people are justifiably concerned about their perception in international media, ‘We have seen nothing but safety ‚Ķ For us we could not feel safer, and that certainly is something we will be telling people in New Zealand when we go back.’
   In the afternoon, the top 25 went to Central Embassy, a shopping centre in Bangkok, to try their hand at cooking traditional Thai cuisine at the Issaya Cooking Studio. Their experience has already hit the Thai press, appearing in Thairath, one of the biggest newspapers in the country.
   The Miss Universe New Zealand 2014 grand final takes place at Sky City Theatre, Auckland, on September 18. The public will have a hand in deciding the winner, through text voting and through the electronic i-vote. See nextmissnz.com/top25.shtml for voting details. Further updates of the competition are on the Miss Universe New Zealand Facebook and Instagram, with hashtags #missuniversenz and #munz14.










Alan Raga

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August 4, 2014

Miss Universe New Zealand 2014 Ô¨Ānalists experience Thai culture Ô¨Ārst-hand

Lucire staff/9.11

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Alan Raga

The Miss Universe New Zealand 2014 finalists had a 5.30 a.m. call on Monday, preparing to head to the Channel 5 studios in Bangkok for a 7 a.m. appearance with both the Thai ambassador to New Zealand Noppadon Theppitak and Miss Universe New Zealand executive director Nigel Godfrey.
   The show they appeared on, where they talked about their experiences in Thailand, reaches 10 million viewers domestically, and another 170 countries worldwide via satellite.
   Sunday’s schedule was somewhat more relaxed, with a morning visit to the Suan Sam Pran Riverside Thai Village to experience making traditional craft and food, as well as learning a few dance steps, while six contestants stayed behind for their swimwear shoots wearing Surface Too Deep and Honey & Co., with photographer Alan Raga.
   It was not until the evening that Thailand Travel & Tourism hosted the finalists at the Sofitel, before they returned to their accommodation at the Hilton Bangkok.
   Monday’s programme, meanwhile, saw the top 25 finalists at the Issaya Cooking Studio, where they tried their hand at cooking, at Bangkok’s Central Embassy shopping centre.
   The Miss Universe New Zealand 2014 grand final takes place at Sky City Theatre, Auckland, on September 18. The public will have a hand in deciding the winner, through text voting and through the electronic i-vote. See nextmissnz.com/top25.shtml for voting details. Further updates of the competition are on the Miss Universe New Zealand Facebook and Instagram, with hashtags #missuniversenz and #munz14.











Alan Raga


Friendship to Friend Trip

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August 3, 2014

A full day in Bangkok for Miss Universe New Zealand 2014‚Äôs top 25 Ô¨Ānalists

Lucire staff/5.33

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Alan Raga

The second day of the finalists’ retreat for Miss Universe New Zealand 2014, and the first full day in Thailand, was packed with activities for the top 25 around Bangkok.
   Most went for a morning visit to the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew, the temple of the Emerald Buddha, while photographer Alan Raga began the swimwear shoots for three remaining contestants, with swimwear from Surface Too Deep and Honey & Co.
   Lunch was served at Bangkok’s Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre, while a further three had their shoots done in the afternoon.
   The contestants were subject to immense media coverage, continuing to highlight what the Thai ambassador to New Zealand, HE Noppadon Theppitak, sees as contributing positively to the diplomacy between the two countries.
   A packed evening was lined up for all 25 at Asiatique, the Riverfront, an open-air mall featuring a night bazaar and, currently, Muay Thai Live‚ÄĒthe Legend Lives, a show performed at the state-of-the-art theatre at the venue nightly except Sunday. It chronicles the history of Thai kickboxing over the last three centuries.
   The Miss Universe New Zealand 2014 grand final takes place at Sky City Theatre, Auckland, on September 18. The public will have a hand in deciding the winner, through text voting and through the electronic i-vote. See nextmissnz.com/top25.shtml for voting details. Further updates of the competition are on the Miss Universe New Zealand Facebook and Instagram, with hashtags #missuniversenz and #munz14.




Alan Raga


Muay Thai Live

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