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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.
Vibe: Sportswear for ready-to-wear, gowns and party dresses.
Clothes: Laser-cut bomber jackets and circle skirts with anoraks and ’80s 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—and 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’Oréal 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.
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–summer 2014–15 underwear looks for men, and model Nikki Phillips showing the women’s range.
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 dévoré 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.
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.—Sopheak Seng, Fashion and Beauty Editor