The Big Idea, an amazing online creative community has supported me in getting to New Zealand Fashion Week this year and covering all the shows. It has truely been one of the most incredible, full on weeks of my life. Here is the post I wrote for them.
Fashion Week in New Zealand was founded in 2001 by Dame Pieter Stewart and has continued annually for the twelve years since. Through boom and recession it has evolved with the times, this year it faced a clash with New York fashion week, meaning designers such as Karen Walker opted to show internationally rather than locally. With the change in audience bloggers have been much more of a feature and many designers have shown their 12/13 Spring/Summer ranges, rather than all showing their Autumn/Winter 2013 ranges, to be more current with what the public will see in store sooner rather than later.
In the front row of NZ Fashion Week is the whose who of celebrities, TV stars, fashion publication editors, journalists and popular bloggers. The entire audience dresses to impress, either wearing a piece of their favorite designer showing that day or something to make a visual statement. Bigger names often get dressed by a brand wanting to have their product photographed in media.
Fashion shows are often hugely theatrical events full of things to look at, and the ones this year that have been the most memorable have been highly dramatic and full on performances. From the catwalk, backdrop staging, lighting, to some shows even having dancers perform.
Trelise Cooper stole the show with light up invitations, goody bags, and multiple “stage sets”. The Weddings show created a romantic mood with flowers everywhere, love songs playing throughout and warm soft lighting.
The Kagi jewellery show was a cabaret performance art/fashion all in one go. Collaborating with Morag Brownlie’s Birds of Paradise ‘cabaret burlesque comedy’ show was an amazing showcase for a spectacular collection of jewellery.
Charlie Brown was the drama from across the ditch. With a “Naught & Nice” theme and a giant mouth at the entrance to the catwalk the show was full of rich prints and textures; (cheetah included) feathers, parasols and oriental inspired accessories. Annah Stretton’s part two of her show, 20 years retrospectively, started off with her iconic Boar head and followed up with several dancers and models twirling and prancing all down the catwalk, even featuring famous NZ drag artist, Cindy of Samoa, winner of TV’s Stars in their Eyes.
Friday is day four and the final day of media and industry shows with the public NZ Fashion Weekend kicking off first thing on Saturday with the Designer Garage Sale. Behind the scenes bloggers, TV crew, photographers, celebrity minders and many, many more work around the clock creating, organizing, documenting and publishing NZ Fashion Week.
There is not as much debate this year as there was last year, on whether this event will continue to happen in New Zealand and the economic effect it has as a large scale event in Auckland. I look forward to watching how it evolves to stay current in an increasingly online and digital world.