Category Archives: fashion

NZFW17 | Katherine Victoria AW18

TEXTURE!!! I had to write that in caps because that is what Katherine Victoria’s debut collection at NZFW on day 2 screamed at me. That should not be taken the wrong way either, the ensembles that paraded down the runway longed to be touched.

We had velvet, paillette sequins, faux fur, shearling and frayed applique.

It was feminine, fun, tactile, colorful and completely wearable with the silhouette focusing more on a cinched waist. The pieces that I loved were perhaps the more understated ones with the embossed knit dress and the emerald green pussy bow dress that looked absolutely stunning on Mary Maguet.

I should mention that this was perhaps one of the few diverse shows at NZFW so far.

The beauty look for the show was a favorite with a bold liquid line bordering the eyes that gave it an edge. I felt perhaps the tassel earrings were an after-thought and weren’t really needed.

Words by Dru Douglas.
Images by Lyle Adams. More here.

NZFW 2017 | 5 mins with Liz Mitchell

As one of New Zealand’s leading couture and bespoke designers, Liz Mitchell’s clothes are chosen for their sumptuous fabrics, impeccable tailoring and attention to detail.

She is an ambassador for the campaign for wool and was awarded MNZM for services to the fashion industry in 2005.

What inspired your collection?

Inspiration from the Bloomsbury artist Vanessa Bell and the Harris Tweed textiles.

Name 3 NZ designers we should watch out for….

I am interested to see Zambezi, Kate Sylvester, and Lela Jacobs.

Describe your quintessential customer…

My quintessential client loves the story telling of our clothes with the quality of fabric, the craftsmanship of bespoke, and the personal experience with our atelier.

What’s your social media of choice?

Instagram

Who do you love to follow and where?

Companies developing real ethical practices- Alabama Chanin, is a favourite.

What are you currently listening to?

Aldous Harding- Stop Your Tears, Aldous Harding – Imagining My Man, P J Harvey- The Glorious Land

Word association

New Zealand – inspiration

Fashion – passion

Music – essential background to life

Art – cultural essential to feed the imagination

Winter – my favourite time to layer up with wool

Holiday – relaxing with friends at Leigh

NZFW17 | Company of Strangers AW18

There is such an attitude with this collection that every woman can relate to. With Sara Munro discussing the inspiration behind the collection saying “Our collection began with a story we dreamed up about a woman who haunts her husband from the other side, she messes with him constantly so he can never forget her. ”

You get the sense of this woman with how the collection was styled, shirts half fastened, jackets worn almost completely pulled off the body, cut outs in knits, shirt dresses held up by cording, this sort of juxtaposition of masculine and feminine. The fabrication with the different use of textures of lace, leather, silks, wool made the collection interesting.

The collection’s colour palette was dark and moody with a splatter print that was reminiscent somewhat of Pollock. The purposefully disheveled hair and the pop of red on the lip gave the girl that edge to confidently pull off the styled looks.

With red drapes as a backdrop and red stripes on the runway, red is a colour of passion, love and devotion, all of which comes through the collection beautifully in different ways.

Words by Dru Douglas.
Images by Christine Mansford. More here.

NZFW17 | Rachel Mills AW18

Kicking off day 2 of NZFW was Rachel Mills who debuted her AW18 collection with an installation that had everyone queuing up to get in. Clever use of lighting and cardboard tubing set as the backdrop for each of the looks, with models lounging as everyone wove through the installation on a set path.

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Each look demanded our attention with beautiful knits, tailoring and luxury sleepwear all accessorised with bean jewellery made in Rarotonga. I always feel uneasy when designers draw references or inspiration from Pacific Island culture yet fail to cast a model from the Islands*.

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What I loved the most about the installation was that you could take your time to appreciate each look. It was a great reminder for us all at NZFW to slow down and appreciate the beautiful things in life. The collection felt easy, relaxed yet sophisticated and it was echoed beautifully throughout the installation with the styling, music and staging.

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It has been interesting to see the Rachel Mills brand grow from strength to strength after being a recipient of the AMP Regional Scholarship in 2016. It was a good start for Mills’ debut at NZFW and we can only imagine it getting better.

*Note: We were contacted by Rachel Mills’ team to inform us that models cast were of Maori, Asian, Argentinian, French and New Zealand European descent.

Words by Dru Douglas.
Images by Christine Mansford. More here.

NZFW 2017 | 5 mins with Tymone Betts

What do you get when you mix leather, brass and chrome?  The perfect combination of form and function, and the stylish new collection from Empire of Genius.  Aptly titled, Chain Gang, this collection is all about interchangeable bags that fit into the lifestyle needs of the wearer.

We talk to the genius behind the empire, Tymone Winter Betts.  Inspired by a number of things, but mainly rock’n’roll, laughter and the wild and wonderful cultures she encounters on her travels; Tymone’s pieces are a work of art, just like the women who wear them.  

Empire of Genius’ Chain Gang will be presented at The NZFW Accessories Showcase this Thursday.

What inspired your collection?

I was over rummaging through my oversized bag and wanted something more functional for running around in… I can move quite fast. Lol. My favourite piece is the inception set. I’m loving having all my essentials right there, when and where I need them. It’s kind of like an oversized necklace.

Name 3 NZ designers we should watch out for….

There are so many clever designers in NZ. It’s great that their are lots of different boutique designers in NZ focusing on quality products, slow fashion and smaller boutique runs which are made to last. And we need all of them! Trying to keep manufacturing in NZ is hard. But I make everything here because I love making and being involved in the whole process of creating the garments and bags.

Describe your quintessential customer…

Stylish, organised ,busy, fun- these pieces are perfect for the busy travellers, fashionistas and people who need to stay organised on the move.

What’s your social media of choice?

Instagram.

Who do you love to follow and where?

Inspiring people all over the world. That’s why I love Instagram.

What are the top 3 songs on your Spotify playlist?

Pure luck-ninajirachi, Baltimore-Nina Simone, Ophelia- the Lumineers. They are my chill songs ATM!

Word association

New Zealand green and quiet

Fashion slow and sexy

Music a necessity

Art everywhere

Winter my middle name

Holiday always need lots of these!

NZFW 2017 | The unspoken rules of fashion week

I’ve been attending NZ Fashion Week industry shows for nearly a decade; I started off as a rookie photographer and then a rookie writer.

Over the years, I’ve made and witnessed countless Fashion Week faux pas that no one should be proud of.  So, to help you fashion week first timers, I’m sharing some of my experiences below.

1 RUNWAY

Walking on the Runway: Unless organisers have added a platform to the show, the runway is most likely on the ground. Never, and I repeat never, walk on or across the runway. Doing this results in a stern warning from event staff. You might be wondering, “Why be so precious about the floor? It’s for walking on isn’t it?” Well, yes, but only after the show. Before each show the floor is cleaned or polished and sometimes beautifully decorated. You don’t want to be the person that ruins it in front of hundreds of people armed with smartphones and cameras.

2 Looking Inside Your Goody Bag

Looking inside your goody-bag: This unspoken rule not only applies at NZ Fashion Week; it applies everywhere. One must not be too eager to rummage through a goody bag before a show*. It’s not a good look and it can cause quite a mess for volunteers. I’ve seen empty goody-bags and their content all over chairs and floors, making these things the perfect tripping hazard.

*Exception: Food & drinks meant for consumption will be made obvious, sometimes they’re placed outside the goody-bag. And remember totake your rubbish with you – Be a good kiwi, keep it tidy.

3 Too Big

Using equipment too big for front row: Actually this should be avoided no matter where you sit, I’m talking about large tablets and massive camera lenses.

  • Smart devices: Over the years, I’ve seen the size of screens get bigger and bigger. Often these screens are blocking someone’s view and a photographer’s winning shot. What most people don’t realise is that large screens are distracting and are most likely appearing in all those runway photos taken from the photographer’s pit. No one is going to crucify you if that is the only thing you have, just keep in mind that other people are also trying to enjoy the show, just be discrete with it.
  • Camera lens: Another item to avoid using is a very long lens, I’ve done this and instantly regretted it. Seating spaces are tight, you’ll most likely be rubbing arms with the person next to you. My lens was not only getting in the way but I was close to giving people a concussion. Ditch the zoom lens and carry a small fixed lens. Trust me, it’s all you need.

4 Flash Photography

Flash photography: Avoid using flash photography, no one does it anymore. This was the first tip I received as  a rookie photographer. Most smartphones released in 2016-2017 perform great in low light environments, some will even let you control the shutter speed. If this all sounds too complicated, just set your camera to ‘no flash’. Or ask a photographer near by if they can help get the right settings on your device.

5 ATTITUDE

Having a Mean Girls attitude: I’ve met some of the nicest people at NZFW over the years, but I’ve also come across some mean girls.  Mean girls are the ones who are demanding, rude and mistreat the volunteers. Remember, everyone knows everyone in the fashion community and word will spread quickly.  Treat everyone with respect and you’ll be well looked after at shows.

6 Glued to your phone

Being glued to your screen: Shiny smartphone screens are mesmerising objects aren’t they? But please, put it down and say hello to your neighbour. You never know, you might be making lasting relationships with someone in the industry. Remember, the key to a blogger’s success is to network, network, network.

7 LEAVING

Leaving a show once doors have closed: We all understand emergencies; it’s the only time leaving a show midway is acceptable.  Leaving early is not only rude, it gives the wrong message and it’s disruptive to those trying to enjoy the show or event staff who are managing it.  If it’s a trip to the bathroom, my advice is to hold it for a bit longer.  If you choose to leave, you might not be let back in.  Most shows only run for an hour.

8 LEAVE YOUR BAD SHOES

Leave your bad shoes at home: You don’t have to be in the newest trends or the finest threads; but you should definitely make an effort. If you’re lucky enough to be seated front row, make sure you’re wearing nice shoes.  You may think that no one will notice, but someone always does.

9 dress to impress

Dress to impress: Fashion Week is your time to shine, especially if you’re front row. I’ve seen it all, including ball gowns and tiaras.  If you’re loud and proud, fashion week is where it’s at.  But if you’re struggling to find something, start with ‘smart casual’.  Remember, self-confidence is the best outfit; rock it and own it.  As Coco Chanel once said; “Don’t be like the rest of them darling.”

And that concludes my list of unspoken rules at Fashion Week While it’s not extensive, it’s enough to get you through the week.  Go forth and flourish my fellow fashionistas.

If you think I’ve missed one or have something you’d to add, head over to our Facebook page and share your tips with us.

New Zealand Fashion Week 2017 takes place in Auckland 28-31 August.  For all the deets, head over to nzfashionweek.com.

NZFW 2017 | 5 mins with Sara Munro

Since its inception 9 years ago, Company of Strangers has acquired a cult following for its proudly 100% New Zealand made range of high-quality garments, leather and jewellery.  Their mission is to create, re-create and collaborate.   Founder, Sara Munro honed her skills at NOM*d; starting her fashion career hand stitching rosettes made from mens’ vintage ties before moving onto becoming a sample maker.  CoS garments have a reputation for being meticulous yet experimental, reflecting a modern simplicity while combining luxury fabrics with contemporary functionality.  This is one label we’re excited to see taking over the runway at NZ Fashion Week.

What inspired your collection?

Our collection began with a story we dreamed up about a woman who haunts her husband from the other side, she messes with him constantly so he can never forget her. It’s subtle, it’s as if she is leaving an impression on his clothing, attaching a piece of her scarf to his coat like a belt, she cuts up his business shirts and turns them into dresses.  Slices through his tailored jackets, ghostly ink prints appear on the garments of hers she left behind.  The palette is dark and moody yet there is a feminine vintage softness of apricots spiked with an acidic twist.

Name 3 NZ designers we should watch out for….

Lela Jacobs, Ovna Ovich, Jason Lingard

Describe your quintessential customer…

Driven, confident, individual, creative. She knows what she wants, but is humble in her approach, loves to try new things

What’s your social media of choice?

Oh it’s Instagram it’s perfect for the short attention span of a creative!

Who do you love to follow and where?

I follow my kids! They see things so differently, they love adventure and going anywhere!

What are the top 3 songs on your Spotify playlist?

Star Fucker- Wildhood

C’mon Billy- PJ Harvey

Pink + White – Frank Ocean (to calm me down)

Word association

New Zealand – adventure

Fashion – fun

Music – forever

Art – life

Winter – layers

Holiday – when?