FREE|STYLE with Julie Roulston #4
Editor-at-large Julie Roulston brings FashioNZ readers the very best from her fashion beat, each week...
WATERSHED MOMENT OF THE WEEK
At a special FINZ (Fashion Industry New Zealand) meeting last Wednesday at Kermadec (the venue thanks to Trustee Paul Blomfield, who PRs it), members cast an informal vote that FINZ continue as a stand alone association, rather than look at becoming part of the Designer’s institute of New Zealand - DINZ.
FINZ members at NZTE's Path to Market Programme, March 2012
FINZ is 10 years old and executive Mapihi Opai has resigned after eight years in the role, in what she describes as “taking a leap of faith and seeing where I land.”
Only three of the existing Board members have put their hands up for another term of service, with both Blomfield and fellow foundation member, customs agent Geoff Merz, staying on as trustees. The sizeable opening for new Board members does not pose a problem, as numerous good quality nominations have been made - we heard talk of Katherine Broughton from Beat PR, Myles Taylor from Ezibuy, and Amy Louise Bailey from Yahoo.
Apparel Magazine publisher Peter Mitchell has offered his offices and support structure for the new executive. In spite of ongoing difficulty in procuring members and funding, passionate and active FINZ members like Vicki Taylor and Mark Thompson (taylor Boutique) and Kellie Taylor (Moochi) were joined by newer faces like Emily Sharma-Miller and Eleisha Balmer (Ruby) and Myken Stewart and Damon Wolfe (New Zealand Fashion Week) in a unanimous vote in favour of a future for FINZ.
LIKELY-TO-BE-ENVIABLE UNIFORM OF THE WEEK
Paris-based Australian Martin Grant was last week named as designer of new Qantas uniforms, destined to replace the current Peter Morrissey-designed uniform of 11 years’ vintage, in 2014. Qantas CEO Alan Joyce described Grant as excelling in a rigorous selection process, with the designer saying that what earned him the role over others is “the tailored and simple, chic, timeless quality that I always strive for.”
Qantas boasts a star-studded list of past uniform designers like Pucci and Yves St Laurent, but Grant names the 1971-1973 uniform designed by Madame Germaine Rocher as his favourite.
Martin Grant flanked by models wearing past Qantas uniforms
(the Madame Germaine Rocher design is immediately to his right)
Born in Melbourne, Grant launched his first ready to wear collection 30 years ago in 1982. He has shown as part of the official Paris Fashion Week calendar since 2007. He co‐designs Barneys Private Label, has created two “Brown Label” collections a year for Agnona (Zegna Group) since 2008 and - from last year - has also created two capsule collections a year for Moncler. Grant’s red carpet clientele includes Cate Blanchett, Kate Hudson, Juliette Binoche and Tilda Swinton.
André Leon Tally (Editor‐at‐large, Vogue USA) is quoted as saying: ‘Grant’s work speaks to the international woman, the woman who travels, the woman who works, the woman who wants to be dressed with appropriateness, yet who has that appeal when she turns the hand‐finished buttons in her geranium red Martin Grant coat’.
LINE EXTENSION OF THE WEEK
Back home, not only has Company of Strangers moved showrooms to Ciel PR: designer Sarah Aspinall has launched a new diffusion brand ‘Strangelove’ - oh, and had a baby boy in April to boot.
Strangelove will be priced under $350 and has a slightly more youthful target than Company of Strangers. Each season is to be inspired by a pop culture icon, with Blondie’s Deborah Harry the ‘young, beautiful and rebellious’ muse for Spring/Summer 2012/2013 (S/S 12/13).
Designer Sarah spent the first six years of her career in the NomD design room before leaving to launch Company of Strangers in 2008.
ATTENTION GRAB OF THE WEEK
Visitors to Ciel PR’s showroom open day were welcomed by a knockout display of bags, belts and neckpieces by Katie Smith for her Kate of Arcadia label.
Kate of Arcadia
Formerly part of the Deadly Ponies duo, Katie left a few years ago to spread her wings and while in Australia landed a job designing for Mimco, who sent her around the world for inspiration for their collections. She returned to New Zealand last year and began her own brand.
S/S 12/13 - the second season for Kate of Arcadia - was inspired by a trip to the London Natural History Museum, and a fabulous dose of designer imagination sees its colour palette highlighted by “the could-be pelts of extinct creatures never seen in our lifetime. in deep orange and mustard.” The season sees the introduction of some men’s pieces – sub-branded as ‘K of A’ - a clean and modern backpack, satchel, belt and card carrier, only available in in matte black.
- Julie Roulston