The Week that was NZFW 2014

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Bella Smith wearing Celine Rita on the NZFW runway

It's hard to believe another New Zealand Fashion Week is done and dusted already, yet again it flew by in a blur of lipstick, sequins and hairspray, especially as the shows only last just over three days now.  NZFW is a special event for me in the sense that it's the first fashion week I ever attended (more years ago then I'm going to admit to here) and I'm a huge fan of all the amazing creative talent we have in NZ, it's always a pleasure to see some of my favourite labels on the runway.

Despite the fact the event is slowly shrinking, like many other fashion weeks overseas, there are always at least a few shows on the schedule I'm excited for.  The morning of the first day I was definitely full of anticipation and as is usually the case with the first show, this year by Nom*D, it was a brilliant one.  I'm not going to go through each show one by one here, I've reviewed pretty much all of them on FashioNZ, so this is just going to be my highlights and personal thoughts.

So what did I adore? Well, Kate Sylvester's clever collection Tartt was one of my top shows.  As always everything about her presentation and range was carefully considered and perfectly executed.  The clothes were beautifully tailored, her male models styled so well yet still in womenswear and the finale of book pages confetti was a nice play on her literary inspiration.  Also making a return to the runway this year were Juliette Hogan and Celine Rita, I loved Juliette's use of stunning muted prints, black sequins and nineties slouchy style. Celine's on the other hand was all about bold colours, gorgeous lace and feminine silhouettes. I'd wear pretty much every piece of both collections.  Zambesi's range was by far one of the most cohesive and intelligent collections, the inclusion of royal blue, blanket-style jackets and their use of Queen's Flash Gordon soundtrack helped the show stay on repeat in my mind for hours afterwards.

Also rating highly on my list for the week was Hailwood's seventies glam, COOP's cute playfulness, Lela Jacobs transcendental androgyny, Salasai's contemporary cool, Lucy McIntosh's modern femininity and Pardon My French's sixties chic.  The Underground installation held many visual treats as six more alternative designers showcased their creativity in a presentation curated by Ciel PR's Chris Lorimer.  Although I really enjoyed the whole thing, Meadowlark's striking collection was my favourite and I loved the occult inspired theme.

Out of the New Generation labels, whose collections were spread over two shows, my picks were the ladylike wearability of Wilson Trollope's collection and the feminine florals of Amber Whitecliffe's range the most. I also really enjoyed the colourful creativity by Itzme, it will be really interesting to see how these labels develop and grow in coming seasons.

Although NZFW this year felt a little more subdued than previous years, with much less of my media friends in attendance and a noticeable lack of buzz at the venue, it was still pleasing that so many labels delivered strong collections and will hopefully have successful seasons come winter next year.

Just in case you're wondering why all the below images are watermarked Yvonne and I had trouble last year with our work, her photos and my words, appearing on other people's blogs completely plagiarised, unfortunate but true. 

You can read my more detailed reviews of every show and see more of Yvonne's photos on FashionNZ.

Lela Jacobs
Wilson Trollope
Pardon My French
Lucy McIntosh
Kate Sylvester
Amber Whitecliffe
Meadowlark at Underground
Images by Yvonne Shearer

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