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Home Features Free|Style with Julie Roulston

FREE|STYLE: the NZFW 2012 NICE list

In honour of Isaac Hinden Miller’s onetime post, this week’s column is dedicated to everything except the clothing.

Twelve New Zealand Fashion Weeks down the line, what’s still NICE?  What’s NICE and NEW?

 

Ruby finale NZFW 2102

Image: Giana Patel

 

NICE:  RUBY ACHIEVES THE IMPOSSIBLE AGAIN
Many slightly less high end, more commercial labels have tried to make Fashion Week work for themselves across the years.  While Ruby may have a younger target audience than those that have gone before, at the core the label consists largely of great separates.  For the third time in a row its strong brand and excellent styling (special shout out to the fab eyes by Amber D and her MAC teams, too), resulted in a very satisfying show that will get its share of press.  Plus - the Ruby team are lovely and deserve every good thing that comes their way.

NICE:  THE ESSENTIAL BREAKFAST SHOW
Blue Sky (presented by ghd) thoughtfully stepped into Ruby’s shoes and picked up the Fashion Week brekkie spot.  It takes a strong label to get everyone out of bed in time, and the combination of twenty seven names, Ingrid Starnes and Atomic coffee was potent.  You’ll already have read that the collections were great - plus!  They also had some of the best music of the week.  No sooner had we made an enquiry, than uber-PR Murray Bevan had hand delivered the CDs to FashioNZ, so you can hear for yourself - CLICK HERE.

 

Simon Pound (Ingrid Starnes) pre Blue Sky

c/- Atomic Coffee Roasters

 

NEW:  FOOD TWEET
Someone at New Zealand Fashion Week and/or Mint Kitchen is listening.  Those $12.50 barbecued to order pitas were sensational, and sensational value.  On behalf of impoverished media types, FREE|STYLE thanks you.

NEW:  COMPANY OF STRANGERS
Sara Aspinall didn’t let an early-season factory fire, nor two children (one of them a small baby) affect her in the slightest.  Styled by former ‘Fast and Loose’ owner, now TV-stylist Charlotte Rust, the Keith Haring-inspired Company of Strangers show was a colourful, yet edgy winner that has shot her right up towards to top ten.

 

Company of Strangers NZFW 2012

Image: Giana Patel

 

NICE:  ...”ANIMALS OR CHILDREN”
No New Zealand Fashion Week would be complete without them.  New Zealand Weddings Magazine gave us Sera Lilly’s own children, as the first three littlies on the runway in the flower-girls and ring-bearers section of her part of their show.  You really do appreciate an ‘Awwww!’ moment to break up the serious fashion taking-in.  Meanwhile, Andrea Moore managed to pull off gimmicky hair that actually added to her show - FREE|STYLE wasn’t alone in loving Michael Beel/ghd’s ponytails pulled through the top of hats to create - well - ponytails.  If you’re wondering why they looked familiar, have a look at the Queen’s Mounted Guards, who provided the inspiration for the do.  Bravo.

 

Hair by Michael Beel for ghd, Andrea Moore NZFW 2012

Image: Sam Lee

 

NICE AND NEW:  MORE UPLIFT THAN A WONDERBRA
No sooner had we sighed at the prettiness of Trelise Cooper’s closing lightshow - fibre-optic flowers on pouffy short skirts - than Kagi had us alternately tittering at, and titivated by, her David Attenborough and her scantily clad, bejewelled dancers in her Birds of Paradise show.  Trelise and Kat - you took the end of a long, hardworking day and made it a celebration.  (I was going to say ‘gentle’ celebration, but I did hear that Noise Control were called to Trelise’s afterparty).

NICE:  A WOMAN’S PREROGATIVE
Kirsha Whitcher proved that sometimes changing your mind is an excellent thing.  Her late confirmation to the NZFW schedule, proved an essential part of the week’s offering.  While the lemon linen for Winter may be indicative of Salasai’s new Perth base, it sure looked good on the runway.  Seasons? Schmeasons!

 

Salasai finale NZFW 2102

Image: Giana Patel

 

NICE:  VIVA AUSTRALIA @ NZFW
It makes so much sense.  We are an important export market for Australian designers, and  they look so fresh and different in an NZFW context.  My only (impractical) wish was to have seen Charlie Brown on Australian models - our girls took away from the label’s appealing other-ness, a little.  Loved this formula and hope it’s something NZFW can reproduce - how about a little Lisa Ho?  Or Alice McCall?

NEW:  THE EXCEPTION
Bless Vicki Taylor for breaking all the rules - she doesn’t wholesale and nor does she have any intention of wholesaling - but DAMN that girl can put on a show.  Hope Fashion Week can manipulate Vicki’s self-declared ‘vanity’ and get her back for more.

 

taylor model, Vicki Taylor, Michael Beel for ghd and Helen Luo (Smashbox)

c/- Michelle Weir/BeautifulBedlam.com

 

- Julie Roulston