Tag Archives: NZFW 2017

NZFW 2017 | Liberation in the form of leopard print

Model Max Stroomer loves collaborating with a team to express an idea, look and attitude.  

He says, “Everyone comes from different areas of expertise and experience to bring their own creative touch to the final product.  Whether that be a photo shoot or show.”

Professionally, he’s modelled for just over three years but prior to this he’s worked with some of New Zealand’s leading agencies as a brand ambassador.

Max walked the runway during this year’s New Zealand Fashion Week.

“I got lucky this year, I had a show each day.  I was pretty stoked!”

Max walking for Federation

For him, fashion week is a chance to show off his personal style.  It’s what he loves about it.

“It’s not secret everyone does weeks of prep to get outfits together for each day.  It’s something everyone attends takes part in.”

While his personal style may be relaxed, the most memorable show for him was the one for World Brand.

“I wore a leopard print jacket and had purple and pink glitter lips with a gold glitter wig.  I’ll never forget it; it was such a liberating experience.”

Max for World. Image courtesy: @worldbrandinnz

When asked about what happens backstage, he said it’s where all the action is.

“Picture a dozen models, each having a minimum of two dresses, show directors, makeup artists running around frantically trying to do touch-ups and photographers with cameras in your face.  It seems like chaos, but it all somehow works.  You have to stay focused, alert and happy all at the same time.”

So, does he get nervous before the show?

“The nerves are the best part.  Everyone has their remedy – mine is to dance and sing to myself to whatever song is playing on the runway.”

Max walking for Barkers, NZ Weddings Magazine

As a professional model, Max needs to take care of himself.  What’s his routine?

“Diet is number one; portion control and eating mostly vegetables is key.  But generally, it’s staying on top of living a balanced life.”

Image courtesy: @maximilianstroomer 

With the rise of ‘Insta-models’, we wanted to know his thoughts; love ‘em or hate ‘em?

“To be honest, I don’t think there’s a difference anymore between a model and an ‘Instagram model’.  Being proficient at social media is essential; we have to be successfully utilising all platforms to make sure we maintain and gain more of a following.

“The more people there are wanting to see your content, the better opportunities you get with work with brands and photographers.  A lot of overseas clients will specifically ask us how many followers we have; to them it’s another avenue to reach an audience.”

Image courtesy @maximilianstroomer

Max Stroomer is an Auckland-based model who is currently signed to 62 Models & Talent.  When he’s not walking the runway or pouting in front of a camera, he can be found at Chemistry Interaction, an integrated advertising agency where he spends his days as an Account Executive.

NZFW 2017 | From rookie to runway ready

Lyle Adams has always been creative; doing everything from drawing to making and designing.  It wasn’t until he picked up a camera that he actually considered himself a creative.  For him, the camera services as the halfway point to quenching his creative thirst.  However, he struggles to label himself as a photographer.

Born in South Africa, Lyle emigrated to New Zealand 8 years ago with his family and recently became a citizen. He studied at Unitec Institute of Technology, receiving a Bachelor in Design and Visual Arts / Photography & Media Arts.

As a photographer, he’s still on a journey to find his signature style. For his fashion and beauty photography, he always looks for a connection.

“I want the model to be immersed in the process; to get lost in the tone and style of the shoot. I encourage the models to do what they want according to the ideas I give them in the beginning.”

This year, Lyle joined the mac+mae crew as one of our official photographers covering New Zealand Fashion Week.  While our more seasoned crew prepped him, the week that unfolded was still a new experience.    

mac+mae crew, Sin-Mae Chung & Christine Mansford

“My first New Zealand Fashion week was awesome.  I met so many cool people and learnt so many things; overall it was a cool experience.

“For the most part it went well, although at some points I felt like I was part of a herd of sheep being shoved into a pen.”

Photo pit at Katherine Victoria

As one of our main photographers, it was Lyle’s job to ensure we had maximum coverage across the week.

“I was invited to many shows and I had the option of ‘photographer in the pit’ or seated.  While you can’t beat the ‘pit view’, I must admit I wanted the backstage pass.  I saw so many interesting shots other photographers were able to get.  Maybe next year.”

For Lyle, some of the best moments from across the week was meeting the plethora of characters outside the venue.

Photographer, Aki Ang

“I loved meeting people outside and doing some street style shots.  You see these bloggers, models and photographers online with tens of thousands of followers and assume they’re unapproachable, but most/all of them are down-to-earth, friendly and easy to talk to.

“There was a moment in the photographers pit where I put down my camera and just absorbed the atmosphere that is NZ Fashion Week.”

Mercedes-Benz presents Zambesi

Lyle photographed over 14 shows across the week and his favourites were Zambesi and Andrea Moore.

Andrea Moore

“I loved photographing Zambesi and Andrea Moore because of the atmosphere they created with their lighting props.  Another show that stood out was the Graduate show, some of the designs were detailed, unusual and interesting.

The Graduate Show

It was clear pretty early on in the week that our rookie photographer was more than runway ready, but hindsight is a powerful thing, and there were some lessons learned.


“With the power of hindsight, I wish I didn’t try to go to all the shows and end up with thousands of images each day then try to edit/process them.  Eventually some shows started to blend and look the same, while the ones I missed were the interesting/different ones.”

Katherine Victoria

You can check out Lyle’s NZ Fashion Week photos for mac+mae on our Facebook page and to check out his other work, visit his website.

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?


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

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?


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.


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.


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.


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.


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?

NZFW 2017 | 5 mins with Tanya Carlson

Designer Tanya Carlson is a fashion force to be reckoned with.  Since graduating for the renowned East Sydney TAFE, she has designed over 200 custom wedding gowns, created costumes for over 10 stage productions and has successfully launched and continued a label for nearly two decades.  CARLSON is a label synonymous with superb tailoring, clever design and a quality finish that has garnered many loyal customers.  CARLSON returns to the NZ Fashion Week runway next week.

What inspired your collection?
My collection this year is a celebration of CARLSON’s 20 years in fashion and features one-off, handcrafted designs created from our fabric archives. Other specific inspirations include 90s sportswear, vintage western, chinoiserie and 60s eveningwear.

Name 3 NZ designers we should watch out for….
The three designers selected from Otago Polytechnic (Laura Bennett, Kimberly Ramsey and Letitia Powell) for the NZ Fashion Week Graduate Selection are very promising.

Describe your quintessential customer…
The CARLSON woman knows who she is – she is independent, confident, and understands quality and style.

What’s your social media of choice?

Who do you love to follow and where?
I love following @adrianjoffe, @hamishbowles and Fiona Pardington @hinakehe on Instagram. It’s a fantastic mix of art and fashion and all three provide a wonderful commentary on the creative industries.

What are the top 3 songs on your Spotify playlist?
I’m currently exploring music for the show, so have been listening to Prince, Alabama Shakes, and Hole.

Word association:
New Zealand – Home
Fashion – Inspiring
Music – Uplifting
Art – Influential
Winter – Layers
Holiday – Surfing