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
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
Above left Christian Dada. Above right Vivienne Tam.
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Tokyo wrapped up Sunday as cherry blossoms bloom in Japanâs capital. Over the last couple of seasons, Tokyo Fashion Week kept its target on European and Japanese buyers and audiences, but this season, it has eyed the growing Asian market, especially China. It makes sense since Chinese consumers have now become the worldâs leading buyers of luxury goods.
Japanese fashion brand Christian Dada was the fashion week opener for the autumnâwinter 2013â14 collections. Christian Dadaâs designer, Masanori Morikawa, is known as a stage costume designer for the American pop singer Lady Gaga during her Born This Way Ball 2012 tour. Morikawa has been showcasing his signature style with a rebellious yet silent dark beauty, but this season he got inspiration from a Chinese mythological bird called the fenghuang (phoenix), which is the theme of his collection. Leather jackets and pants are mainly in black and white with blue, red and gold patterns representing the fenghuang. The most memorable moment of Morikawaâs show was definitely his signature tall boots with bird wings.
Chinese-born designer Vivienne Tam held a special runway show during Tokyo Fashion Week to celebrate the 15th anniversary of her brand in Japan. Tam presented the same collection she first showed at New York Fashion Week for the lunar New Year. Chinese calligraphy added unexpected twists in her latest collection in a modern and punk-like way, which successfully engaged with the fashion-savvy Japanese audience.
Johan Ku, a Taiwanese designer, presented his signature knit collection. This season, Ku revealed the sexiness of a womanâs silhouette, with the theme of Anna, the female lead in the 1992 movie Damage. Unlike his last several collections, this season was full of pieces that showed off plenty of skin using holes, fringes, and asymmetric necklines. They all look randomly placed but are well calculated, demonstrating Kuâs skill of knit-work, boosted since his last collection.
Japanese veteran designer Hiroko Koshino was one of the highlighted designers at Tokyo Fashion Week, presenting her collection on the last day. She also eyed the growing Asian market as she presented her new âeast meets westâ look. In her collection, Floral Memories, it was not just flower-patterned dresses that walked down the runway. Her floral inspiration was everywhere: from texture of fabric, colour choice and make-up, to draping and rounded silhouettes on each of her looks. The natural phenomena of flowers were represented in an artistic form, rather than the romantic image which many designers use.
Since the Great East Japan Earthquake, Japan has been investing a full effort to shift its gear towards marketing its brand outside the country, especially to the growing Asian market. There are still criticisms that Tokyo Fashion Week is marketing internally, while the fashion-savvy audience in Japan is interested in street fashion, which they call ‘real clothes’, as opposed to high fashion from the runway. Tokyo Fashion Week continues to tackle those challenges, and the next several seasons will be key to turning things around, to become a new trend-setting global destination.âYuka Murai, YM Biz & Media
Japan Fashion Week Organization
Above left Johan Ku. Above right Hiroko Koshino.
Yuka Murai of YM Biz & Media is a correspondent for Lucire.
Having viewed the Zambesi winter collection late last year in amongst the craziness of New Zealand Fashion Week, I had forgotten what my favourite pieces were (as so happens when you view collections six months before they are due in store and in quick sucession). When the invitation to attend the Wellington store’s winter launch appeared, the chance to stroll down memory lane and rediscover my favourites, and find some new gems, was welcome.
Zambesi is one of those labels that is best appreciated up close. What appears to be plain shirting fabric is, in fact, a very fine mesh; or a print is turns out to be something else upon closer inspection. With the models rocking some looks from the collection, it was a joy to rediscover those well turned-out and brilliantly cut coats and jackets, tailored in fine wools and pieced together with wax-finish leathers. There were the beautiful brocades and jacquard prints featured on pants and dresses, the gorgeous knitwear, and one of my favourite standout prints of the season, the chequerboard print in butter yellow and ink navy.
Stand-outs from the small showing in store were: the lace and knit dressâa beautiful, tight, sleeved dress with almost lace crochet detailing with tiny sequin embellishments, the perfect day-to-night outfit; and the black sheer silk shift dress with bandage-like side detailing and fringe work. The movement when the model walked was exquisite and very on trend with the flapper-esque feel to it all.
From the menswear range, everything, from the military-style coats to the sharply tailored Slimane-like suiting, was very slick and super-stylish. The chequerboard pattern shirt is a must for winter, crafted in beautiful almost lace-like fabric. Also on the must-haves, one of the many coats that are in the collection: my favourite was the double-breasted wool coat with piece leather sleevesâcut with a surgeon’s scalpel this is a classic that will never date.
The hair for the show had a very cool vibe to itâa mix of dishevelled chic, a wet look mixed with dry rough-and-tumbleâdirected by Buoy creative director Michael Beel. It was the perfect touch to the collection.
Zambesi’s winter collection is in store now.âSopheak Seng, Fashion and Beauty Editor
Finnish designer Piia HĂ€nninen, whose collections are based around sustainability and ethics, has relaunched her website with a new look, in time for her springâsummer 2013 season.
HĂ€nninen’s new collection, Zebra in the Savannah, can be purchased via her website, while buyers and media can check out her autumnâwinter 2013â14 collection, Wolf and Cherrywood.
The spring collection combines the elegance of well cut garments with a wild Scandinavian print, with an inspiration from the African wild as well as 1960s Paris. The collection uses natural fibres, cotton and silk, while the prints are the subject of a collaboration between the designer and Teemu Keisteri, an artist.
She manufactures mostly in Finland, with fabrics printed in Finland and Germany. Her influences are from Italy, where she had worked for brands such as Fendi, while she trained at the London College of Fashion.
More of Piia HĂ€nninen’s work can be found at www.piiahanninen.com.
Top From Rembrandt, the navy pinstripe Cooper-Lotus suit with blue neat Metropolis shirt, striped Italian silk tie, paisley silk pocket square, and 1950s mother-of-pearl tie bar. Above Charcoal mouline Hawke-Lotus suit, with teal Fairlie V-neck jersey, white Metropolis shirt, bottle green Italian silk tie, and silver silk pocket square.