NZ Fashion Festival: Night One
The first night of Fashion Festival went off without a hitch. Ten designers showcased their winter collections, and all these ranges were consistent with their wintery shades, but each stood out in their own right - utilising interesting fabrics and patterns to make each piece super chic and wearable.
Moochiʼs winter collection was presented first, opening with a grey, almost sparkly, cropped suit, with pants cut to a 7/8 length. The consistency of the collection was something that really stood out from the start - the fabrics and shades used throughout the varied looks tied the range together nicely. The use of fur should also noted, with a fur shrug and very large fur coat standing out in particular. Duly noted was Moochiʼs very noticeable shift from corporate attire to a more edgy style – a move capturing more of the fashion market.
WeʼAr showcased their yoga and street wear collection next, with plenty of super fine cottons and lavish hand-finished detail. Designed in New Zealand and handmade in Bali, these WeʼAr garments are purpose built for conscious living. Shades of black, light browns, and greys were pertinent throughout the collection, with pops of red coming out here and there. Hats were also a prominent feature of the range, with stylish feathers decorating trilbys and fedoras. Silk harem pants were also seen on the runway - it seems that this style could these be making a comeback this season..! The wearibility of the range was something that struck the audience early on - the simple but stylish designs can be easily incorporated into any wardrobe.
Blak Luxe was up next, with plenty of lace (in shades of maroon, black, and navy blue) throughout their winter collection. While lace is a highly unexpected choice for winter, its feminine edge allows for a stylish choice for those wanting to escape the wintery blues - even just for a day. Blakʼs addition of pleather leggings under numerous lace pieces showed the audience just one of the ways that lace pieces can be styled for winter. Knee high socks made a comeback from the runways of 2011, and were paired with rugged lace up leather boots. This particular shoe choice added an unexpected edge to the laceoriented outfits, with the contrast standing out and definitely making a statement.
Neverblackʼs collection featured shades of beige, brown, navy blue and khaki. Navy blue straight-legged trousers were prominent for men, paired with smart brown loafers. Another stand out look for men from this collection was a brown suit with corduroy pants - channeling an almost geek-chic image very well. Camo-printed skinny pants for girls were also spotted on the runway, with a khaki chiffon dress closing the collection.
Starfishʼs ethical garments were presented on the Fashion Festival runway next, with winter-esque suits featuring prominently throughout. The brand added the very cute black sparkly socks from last yearʼs Fashion Week show to some of the outfits, tying the two shows together very well. Lace gloves added a hint of femininity, contrasting nicely with the warmer fabrics presented. A particularly stand-out look featured a pair of burnt orangecoloured leggings, that was teamed with a navy blue chiffon top. This could potentially be the new seasonʼs form of colour-blocking – very winter appropriate!
Espritʼs collection came next, featuring different hues of greys and browns, with black and white thrown in for good measure. The occasional floral print appeared here and there, and even a pussybow blouse was featured - very cute! Esprit gave us lots of stylish corporate wear options to consider, and I could imagine taking most of the pieces from day to night quite easily. Of notable mention was the plaid workwear Esprit showcased – there were dresses, and shirts (to suit everyoneʼs tastes depending on just how much plaid you can handle!).
Stormʼs collection came seventh, with a beautiful bright red trench coat opening the show. This flash of colour really showed that we can wear brights in winter - such a refreshing take on the otherwise dreary winter season. Another stand out was a long tulle skirt paired with a creme knit, leather gloves and belt. The use of tulle was a really interesting addition to such an outfit, with the contrast between the chunkier knit and an otherwise light fabric captivating the audience instantly.
Salasai sent their collection down the runway next, opening with a stylishly relaxed menʼs outfit - checked pants with an oversized printed sweater, giving a nod to an almost loungewear look. The rest of the collection featured a prominent prep school chic, with tartan a consistent print throughout. Tartan dresses with lace collars saw audiences reminisce about the old school days, showing that this preppy style can be made into something thatʼs wearable everyday.
Coop was up next, showing for the second time ever (they debuted at Fashion Week just last year). A particular stand out for me was the bright purple one shouldered dress that opened their show, which featured an unexpected industrial-inspired metallic zip. The purple hue didnʼt leave the runway with that dress however, being splashed on knit sweaters, velveteen scalloped short-shorts, and a cutout dress with purple lace inserts. Creams and grey prints came out later in the presentation, with a pop of mint arriving in the form of a stylish cropped jacket.
Closing the show was the new brand on the block, Skull and Bones. At the beginning of this presentation, screens were rolled down from the ceiling of both sides of the runway, showing a video that very effectively introduced the brandʼs image and what the designer wanted to portray in his garments. There were lots of printed tees in this show - coming in shades of white, grey, and black. These were presented with tight blue or black jeans, and occasionally a scarf or beanie bearing the brandʼs prominent skull and cross bones logo.
What a fantastic show to kick off the week! Bring on Day 2!
- Lena Aseeva
All imagery: Will Seal.