My Highlights of New Zealand Fashion Week 2013

Linen and family calling it was time to return to reality.  New Zealand Fashion Week 2013 has been one of the most quirky, upbeat and inspiring experiences I’ve had in a while.  A place where people are comfortable being themselves and accessorize accordingly.   A place where people are on show and are aware of that but are not snobby nor hierarchical.  The people I talked to or sat beside at shows were smiley, friendly and oozed positivity.  All in all it was a fantastic two days.

Here are my highlights:

Day 1.  A beautiful sunny spring day in Auckland.
Lela Jacobs: De
An atmospheric show with slow beat and meaningful live music that transported the audience into an eerie mood.  The sultry male and female models slowly moved down the catwalk wearing mainly black floaty garments.  Each model had crimped hair and wore a small stocking like cap drawing the viewers eye from top to bottom.  The collection was comfortably non fitting and featured words such as ‘decentralize’ in typewriter font on the back and shoulders.  
The collection De, named so as a prefix in interrupting something then reversing and undoing it for example to construct, then deconstruct lived up to its title.  In a letter to each viewer found on the seats at the beginning of the show Lela Jacobs personally thanked everyone for being there and explains that De is a personal culture that has taken her to where she is now.  I guess we all centalise and decentralise at times in our lives and Lela’s show was remanisant of the yin and yang that life brings.
Lela, a rural girl, self-taught designer approaches her collections with thought provoking, highly wearable, locally made fashion.  It is said that Lela Jacobs is more than just a fashion brand;
it is a constantly evolving channel for her design and self-expression and this show proved just that.

Company of Strangers
Autumn / Winter 2014: Libertine

In the unlikely off site location of a luxury hotel car park basement, designers Company of Strangers put on a high energy, unconventional show.  Speaking to ex-model turned fashion blogger Nikki Gapes before the show, she told me that this was a first time she had expereinced a show in an underground, enclosed space.

The show was titled, Libertine to symbolise the maverick free spirit.  The collection elegantly displayed this through its use of simultaneous strength and sensuality.  Fashion and comfort are two words not commonly used together.  This collection had coats and capes with zips and domes showing the strength side of the collection while the comfortable baggy and tappered trousers proved its sensuality.  

This was one of my favourite shows of the day for the reason that I found I liked around 80% of the collection, particularly for it’s comfort and femininity. 

 Boys from the popular New Zealand blog Four Eyes.

Model and New Zealand’s Next Top Model Judge Colin Mathura-Jeffree struck me his sexiest pose.
Winter 2014
Large flashing lights at the entrance to the runway kicked off the Hailwood show.  The every day collection had a ‘something-for-everyone’ theme.  Ranging from business suits with pencil skirts and elegant ball gowns to jeans and every day jackets.  
Hailwood can be found in the US, UK and Japan and has clientele including celebrities Tilda Swinton and Miranda Kerr.
Hailwood goodie bags with Joico hair products.
Deryn Schmidt
Capture This.  Autumn / Winter 2014
It’s a lovely story behind the designer Deryn Schmidt.  Learning crafts and sewing from her Nana, then completing a Fashion degree she has spent a decade moving up the ladder of the fashion world to have her dream of being a designer accomplished with her own label.
Her show, inspired by her 4 year-old daughter was all about the modern woman.  From the working woman’s clothing to rock chick chic and studded wide brim hats.  The music behind the show was fun with up to date dance tunes creating the vibe.  All Schmidt’s clothing are 100% New Zealand made. Very impressive in the age of made in china.

 The photographers pit.

Silver hat coolness, blogger Aych McArdle waits for the start of the show.
All photography / Laura Thomas

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