New Gen Emerging Couture NZFW 2018

New Gen Emerging Couture

Srishti Kaur on the runway at the New Gen Emerging Couture NZFW 2018 show. Images by Katherine Tuenter.

New to the New Zealand Fashion Week lineup this year is the New Gen Emerging Couture show, a group show from four emerging designers who choose to practice the art of couture – that is creating made to measure designs for bespoke clients with a considerable amount of craftsmanship behind each piece. When interviewed many of the designers’ spoke of modern couture, utilizing treasured values and techniques and merging them with the demands of faster production times. One may wonder who the couture client is in our current climate and today we were presented with a few different options.

Srishti Kaur
Showcasing a selection of bridal and evening looks, designer Srishti Kaur was inspired by the notion of eternal love, her gowns cut a simple silhouette and were made in exquisitely beaded and embroidered fabrics. Kaur utilised a dreamy colour palette of white, ivory, blush, and seafoam green punctuated by a black and gold embroidered gown. While design features saw plunging necklines, up-to-there slits and pretty over the bodice capes which added a modernizing touch to the collection.

Judy Gao
Judy Gao offered a parade of provocative, boudoir inspired looks all entirely in black. Her opener was a black leotard with a sheer floor sweeping cape – fit for a very modern couture customer indeed. Sheer gowns embellished with rows of small rosette detailing followed, then a sheer jumpsuit before two corsetry inspired gowns with impeccable boning and laceup detailing. Gao’s was notably the most well constructed and finished collection of the show.

Cecilia Kang
Easily the most flamboyant showing of the group, Cecilia Kang cites her fellow gay, crossdresser, and transsexual friends as inspirations for her designs. Kang’s opener was a sequinned gown with metallic fringing; this was followed by a voluminous skirted gown no doubt held up with a structured petticoat to achieve its shape – an age old couture technique. Gowns made in lace and sequins featured exuberantly ruffled panels adorning the neck and waist then followed. Kang’s finale was her take on an Victorian Era inspired dress, she presented a black lace high neck gown with long ruffled sleeves and a dramatic skirt and a floor sweeping cape

Ruscoe Bustenera
Perhaps the most cohesive range, Ruscoe Bustenera presented a very wearable collection. Bustenera’s opener was a fluid silk gown with a contrast bodice in a metallic jacquard which would feature heavily throughout in many different forms. A tightly edited colour palette of black, rust orange and white followed and we saw tulle skirted gowns, column dresses with fringe details and shorter evening gowns in the same jacquard. It was nice to see head to toe styling considered, with elbow length gloves and floral headbands as accessories.

Soundtrack: Being a group show meant there was an eclectic playlist of orchestral music, Lady Gaga, Lorde, Robyn and FKA Twigs.

Beauty Notes: The makeup team for New Gen Emerging Couture was from Kristen Stewart Academy and lead by head makeup artist Claire Randall. The makeup featured two looks, the first with darkened brows and a thick gliding line above the eyelid with dark and bronze tones, the under eye was dark and smoky, finished off with a nude lip. The second look was very natural, with bronzed skin, earthy and neutral tones around the eyes and cheekbones, a soft lip and a white dusting in the corners of the eyes. The hair was perfected by Michael Beel leading the L’Oreal Professional team. The hair also featured two looks, the first with a tight, low at the nape, sleeked back bun with high shine, the second look was hair down, sleeked back, also with high shine. The look they were going for was “rich, luxury and expensive”.– Michael Beel.

Images by Katherine Tuenter.