Wednesday, August 31, 2011

NZFW 2011: Liam

This morning kicked off in a relatively civilised fashion with a breakfast show from Ruby that also features the latest addition to it's stable, Liam.  The location was fantastic, with a big clean white space and an expansive catwalk. The new label Liam takes its place as the quiet, refined big sister to Ruby and is designed by Emily Miller-Sharma who had been doing Madame Hawke - and provides a ladylike foil to the fun and youth of Ruby. Conveying this perfectly was show opener, local industry icon Penny Pickard wearing a cool and chic cream on cream outfit - possibly my favorite look from the whole show. The simple creams and blacks were offset with fresh, clean pops of teal, blue and red - the first two particularly working sharply with the crisp ivories. The aesthetic of the collection was particularly reinforced by the perfect hair and accessories; bouncy hair was ladylike yet relaxed and the simple black stilettos were such a refreshing change to all the fierce chunky shoes that have been so prevalent lately. It will be interesting to see how Liam does commercially, because I do think it is a welcome developement from Madame Hawke - being more true to Miller-Sharma's design aesthetic - and identifies a gap in the local market for a more pared back, ladylike aesthetic that is still youthful.

Click through for many more.

NZFW 2011: Day One In Motion







All videos taken by myself, please credit if reusing.

NZFW 2011 Backstage With Brigette Baker: Ingrid Starnes

 My girl on the ground Brigette Baker is backstage at all the shows this week for me. It's always good to have a second, closer look - especially at the marigold and those prints from Ingrid Starnes that I loved so much.

All photos by Brigette Baker

Questions From NZFW: Day One

  1. Does sheer hosiery under sheer silk make a collection "winter"?
  2. Why does water cost so much at the bar but then you are inundated with bottles in your goodie bags?
  3. Why is the coffee cart outside. In the rain?
  4. Why don't more stemless wineglasses have a thumb groove like the Kim Crawford ones? That is some super useful ergonomics right there. Good for shaky, caffeine inflicted motor-skills.
  5. Why cant I do my own makeup as amazingly as the makeup artists in the MAC Pro VIP room do it for me?
  6. How is Katherine such a fast blogger? That girl is amazing. Speed of light. Meanwhile I an slowly trying to put words together into semi articulate reviews.
  7. What has the knitwear percentage been from day one? 3% I'm guessing. Far too small for what are winter collections in a country with a major wool industry.
  8. Why did I lose the key to my MAC locker on the first day? Because I'm awesome probably.
  9. Why can't I own every piece from Juliette Hogan's collection right now? Now.
  10. Why does the bottom always fall off my plastic glass. This margarita isn't going to hold itself up.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ingrid Starnes Winter 12 "Arcadia"

The quietly ladylike winter offering from Ingrid Starnes was the perfect way to start day one of NZFW, with her debut show opening this years event. I've been impressed a with Starnes ever since the inception of her label a few seasons ago, so it's nice to see her reaching a larger audience as her work deserves to be seen and appreciated. The strength of Starnes' work is that quiet confidence in itself. Her relaxed, considered womenswear isn't yelling for attention nor apologising for its femininity. The vintage details and finishes she employs are also a refreshing change with their elegant attention to detail.

Her winter collection, Arcadia explores a post-war sensibility and the relationship between classic and refined clothing and the beauty of the vintage underwear that can lie underneath. These threads are a visible constant in Ingrid's work and define her unique, restrained handwriting - so it was interesting to see them explored and a larger scale.
A unique feature of Starne's collections and one that is most highlighted by a runway presentation is the way her clothing makes the female figure wearing it look. Although dresses are tea-length and the lingerie is old fashioned, they give the figure a softness and sensuality that so frequently missing in the overtly fierce, sexy or androgynous clothing we usually see. It is a refreshing reminder that the female form often looks at it's most beautiful when clothed in garments that understand its shapes, proportion and purpose.

Photo by Brigette Baker

 Photo by Brigette Baker

Photo by Brigette Baker

Photo by Brigette Baker

NZFW 2011 basically starts in one hour.

So I survived our major Uni presentations yesterday and I'm now sitting here in the media room at the new Viaduct Events Centre. Auckland has turned on the fog and the humidity, which is unsurprising really as the weather on day one at NZFW is always subpar. But that's all okay because we are in the flash new venue, I'm actually wearing heels (albeit low ones) and I have San Pellegrino x Missoni water! Life is good, although sleep deprived.

The much anticipated debut show from Ingrid Starnes kicks off day one in around an hour. She is the first show of a very busy day for Showroom 22 who are also producing the shows for Juliette Hogan, Hailwood, Salasai and TwentSevenNames. Today is definitely the biggest day of the week, which is good because I don't know how much adrenalin I have left.

As far as coverage goes this week, I will be blogging show reviews and an assortment of interesting pieces. Brigette Baker will be taking backstage photos and I will also be uploading plenty to Tumblr and Facebook.

Stay tuned kids! And now I must go have a coffee urgently before I keel over, cute.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Mustard Trousers Make Everything Okay

It has been a very long and draining week, with midnight finishes at uni and five hours sleep per night for who knows how long. So I'm pretty exhausted and fragile. And this all goes some length to explain my lack of blogging and withdrawl from real life. However there have been a few high points, the best of which being that I picked up my much anticipated spring pieces from Sherie Muijs! Naturally the first piece I wore was the brilliant flat-front cotton trousers in mustard the very next day. There's something about wearing shades of yellow that never ceases to make me feel happier. Not that you can tell from these photos, but that may be because it's 8am at uni and I haven't had coffee yet. But these trousers really are awesome, and the lighting really doesn't do the colour justice! Yellow makes everything better. I promise. Okay, I need sleep now. Or coffee. But probably sleep.
I am wearing mustard trousers by Sherie Muijs, cashmere cardigan by Karen Walker from The Department Store, white t-shirt and woolen scarf both from the mens section at Country Road, grey Simon De Winter socks from Farmers, vintage Dr Martens mary-jans from Vixen.

Weird lean. Weird. Obviously needed coffee or a lie down.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Counting Down to NZFW 2011 with Dan Ahwa

Awesome stylist, great to work for and all round cool dude (with some pretty great Pradas) Dan Ahwa took some time to answer some questions about this years NZFW.

What role are you taking in this years NZFW?
I’ll be styling the Salasai show and working again with styling the Twenty-Seven Names Look book/campaign, which will be presented in an exhibition. I’ll also be writing daily reviews for The New Zealand Herald website and attending as Fashion Editor for Canvas.

Do you think NZFW still has a valid role to play in the local industry?
I think it does as it creates a huge amount of awareness for a brand that wants to be taken seriously both locally and internationally. Designers are being more creative with how they can get more mileage out of the week; and it’s a good opportunity for them to interact with media, buyers and sponsors- all elements integral to determining the success of a brand and its relevance to its market.

How important do you think media is at our NZFW on a local and international scale?
Local media work hard and give a lot of good press for our designers- even though we don’t have to. International media are great in getting a handful of designers out there, however quite often the coverage tends to fragment post fashion week. Unless the international media coverage has a viral element to it, it’s not as effective as it used to be.

What is your favourite part of the week?
Seeing the team backstage after a show and the relief on their faces when it’s all done. It’s months of preparation and it’s nice to see everyone who has contributed to the show and their work be appreciated.

Highs and lows from previous years?
Highs would be the debut of Jaeha (2007), Zambesi at The St. James (2005) and the boat shed (2006), Jimmy D’s show (2006), Miss Crabb (2006), Salasai at the Hilton (2010) and Twenty-Seven Names (2010). Lows, Salasai (2009). Nice idea at the time, but not one to put in the portfolio. Kirsha would agree.
What is your dream local line-up?
I don’t have a dream local line up as there’s some good designers showing already and who have shown regularly, but if we’re dreaming here then the line up would include designers such as Kevin Berkhan, Doris de Pont, El Jay by Gus Fisher, Vinka Lucas, Miss Crabb, Nom*D and Carlson.
What are your must haves to get you through the long stressful week?
Phone, jet planes, whiskey.

What are you looking forward to most this year?
Seeing labels such as Workshop and Helen Cherry back on the schedule is something to look forward to; obviously I’m looking forward to Salasai and Twenty-Seven Names; as well as Zambesi, Jimmy D, Juliette Hogan, Ingrid Starnes, Ruby, Liam and some of the New-Gen designers. I’m also looking forward to working with my mate Amber D from MAC who’ll be the key artist for Salasai along with the MAC crew; as well as Lauren Gunn and Jason Li and the incredibly talented Stephen Marr team on hair; as well as my clever buddy Guy Coombes who’ll be shooting Salasai’s look book and campaign this season.

What shows do you think will be the strongest?
Zambesi usually put on a strong show, so no doubt they’ll maintain their reputation and showcase another good show. Shows that haven’t taken their inspiration too literally will be strong.
Other than the new venue, are there any changes for the event for you this year?
Going along as part of The New Zealand Herald team will be a new experience and I’m looking forward to working alongside a team of people whose opinions I respect.

What do you think NZFW needs to do to continue staying relevant?
The new venue will be a major shift for the event and will help it moving forward; as well as inviting more credible and influential VIP buyers and media from abroad. It’s not an easy task for the NZFW team to coordinate an event this big every year, so the key to ensuring NZFW stays relevant is to ensure those relationships between designers, organisers and sponsors are maintained not just for the week, but also throughout the year.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Counting Down to NZFW 2011 with Guy Coombes

What role are you taking in this years NZFW?
I will either be shooting backstage or attending a few shows.

Do you think NZFW still has a valid role to play in the local industry?
Yes, as long there is a local fashion industry, fashion week plays it's part. It is a good platform and step for any designer wishing to expand their business, create publicity and an image for their label, or even show overseas.

How important do you think media is at our NZFW on a local and international scale?
Media is important both locally and internationally to spotlight the talent we have here in New Zealand.

What is your favorite part of the week?
Wearing my hottest outfit and smoking out the front. And Twentyseven Names' runway music.

Highs and lows from previous years?
Pamela Anderson's breasts were quite high.

What are your must haves to get you through the long stressful week?
Crystal Geyser on tap.
What are you looking forward to most this year?
I hear the new venue has toilets inside. Win.

What do you think NZFW needs to continue staying relevant?
Good critics and honesty. Criticism is healthy and pushes you to do better, New Zealand is a bit afraid to say 'hey, that was kind of ugly' and put a face to the comment because we are also very sensitive about our work. My experience with criticism here consists of anonymous comments online which are completely irrelevant, but overseas I've had my work criticized constructively by some scary people that matter, to my face, and walked away knowing they are right and what I need to improve so I can fuck them sideways with something amazing next time.

Louis Vuittonimals

This animal sculptures made with Louis Vuitton leathergoods by Billie Achilleos are possibly one of the best things in the new issue of Love magazine. Not to mention now tied equal with the mink monsters by Rick Owens on my list of favorite bag-related inanimate animals of all time.
In other Louis Vuitton related news... Word on the interwebz is that Marc is going to Dior and Phoebe Philo is going to take over Louis Vuitton whilst still doing Celine.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Margaret Howell Fall 11 Campaign

The campaigns and collections from Margaret Howell and consistently among my most favorite season after season. The aesthetic is one I adore and the style, values and design integrity remain true year after year. Naturally I am excited that the fall campaign is finally out and, as always, quite perfect and so very Margaret Howell. It features regular muse Dree Hemingway who has come to epitomise the label in recent years after taking over the honors from previous regular Kim Noorda. I wish life could be like a Howell campaign day in, day out.

Male model unknown.

Counting Down to NZFW 2011 with MAC's Amber D

When it comes to makeup, I am a total MAC junkie and as the Head Makeup Artist for MAC in New Zealand, the wonderful Amber D is my go to girl when it comes to questions and inspiration. In fact the only reason I look semi human lately is down to my necessities like MAC's Face & Body foundation and their Mineralize blushes. They work wonders on a tired, drained and pale complexion. Although Amber is usually jetting around to all the international shows, this year since NZFW has been brought forward she will be on the ground working with all the local designers. So she kindly took some time to tell me what she'll be up to for this years fast approaching event.

What role are you taking in this years NZFW?
It's hard to know! Head Makeup Artist for MAC, co-ordinator of all our makeup teams, quality controller, body artist, silent panic-er, all-rounder....but mostly directing makeup with the MAC teams who are without a doubt the backstage leaders! Woop!

Do you think NZFW still has a valid role to play in the local industry?
How can in not? It's a huge achievement that New Zealand has a fashion week considering how small the country is. Fashion week is a great forum for presenting the image of a brand and while it can be challenging it’s interesting the rising amount of global attention it gets from traditional to new media. For MAC it’s a great place to showcase the talents of our team and to keep NZ beauty current and ahead of trend! Always ahead of Northern Hemisphere, never behind.

How important do you think media is at our NZFW on a local and international scale?
There's no point having a fashion week without media full stop. It plays a huge role with NZ Fashion Week as we are so far away from the rest of the world so with the full-on rise of media online it's a whole new ball park for NZ Fashion Week (and all international fashion weeks). People have access to it that they may never have had before from media who can't travel so far and from the public who can keep up to date in real time. It’s an exciting time.

What is your favorite part of the week?
Can I say when it's over? Haha.... Aside from that I love the adrenalin rush I get from shows....all nice, calm and relaxed, then mental, running, go go go..... I'm a fashion show addict. I love those "moments of brilliance" in shows when you're backstage and realize that something really special is happening. The Jaws theme playing at Zambesi in the boat sheds, Florence & the Machine playing as the incredible stained glass backdrop was revealed at Trelise Cooper, Nom*D on the stage at the Aotea centre.

Highs and lows from previous years?
Highs: Every Zambesi show from the last 8 or 9 NZFW's we have collaborated.
Working with my friends everyday of NZFW and seeing them progress over the years from assistants, dressers and juniors to fashion editors, key makeup artists, head hair dressers etc....
Seeing the work the MAC artists produce and feeling a ridiculous amount of pride at their depth of talent and incomparable professionalism.

Lows: The Red Bull hangovers (I’m addicted),
The disaster zone my perfectly clean and organised makeup kit turns into by the end of the week,
Trying to find somewhere to park all day when you have a 5am call time (not to mention the 5am call time)

What is your dream local lineup?
Zambesi, Lonely Hearts, Trelise Cooper, Nom*D, Kate Sylvester, Cybele, Jimmy d, Juliette Hogan, Salasai, Ruby, Huffer, Stolen Girlfriends Club, Workshop, Helen Cherry, Hailwood, Ingrid Starnes, twenty seven names, Kathryn Wilson, a big number of new up-and-coming designers, all of the people that MAC already collaborate with of course!

What are your must haves to get you through the long stressful week?
I couldn't do it without the amazing MAC makeup artists, dry shampoo, MAC prep & prime powder, MAC everything really.....and Tatum - MAC Communications Manager....the most calming person alive and one of the funniest people I know.

What are you looking forward to most this year?
The double header of fashion weeks, NZFW then straight onto a plane to work on NYFW! Phew!

What shows do you think will be the strongest?
You never know! Everyone caters to their market in different ways so I appreciate the presentation and vision that the brands create and how great they all are at doing that - often with pretty limited budgets. Go NZ!

Other than the new venue, are there any changes for the event for you this year?
Yes! There's one big one but it's a secret! All I'm saying is....if you're invited to the opening event on Monday night, you MUST go.

What do you NZFW needs to continue staying relevant?
To keep the new dates, and to push for International media to attend before they start the International show season, and for more companies to invest in sponsorship so that designers can keep showing and keep the industry alive! (Not too much to ask! Haha!)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Counting Down to NZFW 2011 with Katherine [is awesome] Lowe

Spending time with fellow blogger and all round awesome (dot com) friend Katherine Lowe is going to be one of the highlights of my NZFW this year - it's always a mare to find time to hang out usually, so having the same timetable for a whole week will be a treat. I can't wait to talk clothes, magazines and boys, moan about parking tickets, eat lamingtons and then wallow in mutual guilt about the aformentioned lamingtons. It's always so great.

What role are you taking in this years NZFW?
Official media delegate mayyyn! And by that I mean blogger.

Do you think NZFW still has a valid role to play in the local industry?
Yes. Well, I think so, for the exposure. I'm not sure how many new accounts designers get from NZFW, but for keeping the brand relevant and in people's faces, yes.

How important do you think media is at our NZFW on a local and international scale?
See above. Very. So a bunch of buyers see your collection in a show format, okay cool. In my opinion it's equally, if not more, important for the media to get the word out there for the consumers. If no one has heard of you or knows where to buy your clothes, then what?

What is your favorite part of the week?
Well, considering I have only really properly covered one NZFW before, I am going to have to say the feeling you get when you're working all day but actually enjoying the work you're doing. Is that lame? Sorry.

Highs and lows from previous years?
As before. Highs - meeting people, busting out work, the energy around the place. Low(e)s: Blogging pressure, parking. Parking is a nightmare.

What is your dream local lineup? 
I would love to see Karen Walker do a show that wasn't in season.

What are your must haves to get you through the long stressful week? 
You know what? Yes, it does feel kind of long and yes, it is pretty stressful at times, but you know what? So many people would kill to be running around taking photos and going from show to show seeing next season's collections. We're all so ungrateful and complainy. I need to be more appreciative of the fact that I get to actually do this. In saying that, my fashion week necessities are as follows: Laptop, iphone, internet, camera. Full batteries in all electronic devices. Cash. Nothing else necessary.

What are you looking forward to most this year?
The challenge of trying to fulfill my blogging goals for the week (which at the moment, are top secret). I'm pretty nervous and if I can pull it off I will be rewarding myself with some serious money spendage on congratulatory gifts to self.

What shows do you think will be the strongest?
I think Zambesi based on their experience. To be honest, I'm not an expert on these things. I'm looking forward to seeing shows of clothes that I like. And although I don't really talk much about Trelise Cooper, you know she's going to crank it with her target audience because she always does.

Other than the new venue, are there any changes for the event for you this year?
This will be the first fashion week I have ever covered on my own. Usually I have my trusty Isaac ( with me, but alas he is in New York this year, so I will doing it alone - it's quite nerve-racking, but also exciting. Also, Lonely Hearts is showing and I have never seen a Lonely Hearts show before. Oh, and I guess a big change is actually being registered as media on my own accord and actually knowing industry-related folk at the shows. It makes it much easier. It's only recently that people have actually started to invite me to shows without me begging them to let me in, which is a big change!

What do you NZFW needs to continue staying relevant?
Fashion is always about what's next, so I guess as long as the designers are showing new and exciting things that will interest everybody, then it'll always be somewhat relevant. I do, however, think that it's a great opportunity for NZFW to do some really great things with social media. It's the perfect opportunity to be ahead of the game and for the organisers to push the boundaries, change it up and try to be really innovative, you know?

All the best fashion shout-outs from Jay Z & Kanye's Watch The Throne

Because I can't get enough of this album. And because it has some brilliant designer name drops - although no Celine/Philo? Kanye, I'm a tad dissappointed.

Comme des Garcons, f*ck yo fresh - HAM

Prince William's ain't do it right if you ask me
Cause if I was him I would have Mary Kate & Ashley
What's Gucci my ni**a?
What's Louie my killa?
What's drugs my deala?
What's that jacket, Margiela? - Niggas In Paris

How can somethin' so gangsta be so pretty in pictures?
With jeans and a blazer and some Louboutin slippers. - That's My Bitch
Downtown mixing fabrics trying to find the magic
Started a little blog just to get some traffic - Made In America
New crib, watch a movie cause ain't nothin on the news
But the blues... hit the mall, pick up some Gucci - Murder To Excellance

Lanvin thousand dollar tee with no logos - Illest Motherf***er Alive

The Good, The Bad and the Brilliant

Yet another week of intermittent blogging sorry! I have had eleven days in a row of eleven to fourteen hour uni days. And am all fragile and emotional. It's so great. Except not really. But some things have been pretty great this week. Namely that Jay Z and Kanye's album Watch The Throne was released - it's everythng you could imagine and more. So yeah, here is a break down the few parts of my past week that haven't been uni-orientated.
Good: And Bad. I've been to Little And Friday three times in the past 9 days. This is a good thing because the food and coffee are amazing. But it is bad in that if I keep this up, the tiny Karen Walker shorts I just put on layby won't fit by the time I've paid them off. But seriously, one of their chocolate brioches kept me going through lunch until 9:30 that night when I got home from uni and had dinner. Great value for money. Also, delicious. And they have Supreme coffee, my favorite.

Brilliant: Speaking of Karen Walker, I picked up a few new spring pieces that are highly wearable whilst it is still cold. This sweatshirt in particular has been brilliant - loose, comfortable and not too hot - and I've been living in it ever since.

Bad: Awful. Reading and seeing all the reports coming out of London has been horrifying. I don't even have words for how terrible and surreal it is. My heart goes out to everyone.

Brilliant: Watch The Throne by Jay Z and Kanye West. I have no words for how much I love this album - I've had it on repeat ever since I bought it. It's the ultimate post-empire reflection on consumerism, luxury, the American Dream, violence, anger and indifference. I think "Niggas In Paris" is my favorite - and I love "Gotta Have It", "Lift Off" featuring the one and only Beyonce and "Illest Motherf***er Alive".


Good: And Bad. I got the amazing new Linda McCartney book for my birthday and still haven't had time to read it yet.

Good: Spring pieces are slowly filtering in and revitalising wardrobes around the country. Meanwhile I've been weaning myself off the thermals and merinos that I have become so attached to. I'm dying with anticipating for the pieces I want from Sherie Muijs' spring collection.