Juliette Hogan's spring campaign image.
However nothing really competes with the impact a runway show can have on a brand's visibility and the subsequent success of the collection they show. So all this is going to change soon at the spring end of the calendar with the launch of a runway event to present spring collections from a select handful of local designers.
Entitled 'Blue Sky' - a name evocative of spring, new beginnings and optimism - and scheduled for Tuesday 24th of April the event is pioneered by Showroom 22 as a platform to counter-balance the priority given to winter collections and to give exposure to spring ranges. Unlike NZFW and NZ Fashion Festival, Blue Sky is strictly for trade buyers and media, with the focus being on successful exposure and sell-through rather than including the public in the fashion show experience - a move which I think is very clever and goes back to the traditional purpose of runway shows. The inaugural event of what is hopefully an annual occurrence will showcase three local designers - Alexandra Owen, Salasai and Juliette Hogan. Although all are in the Showroom 22 stable, Blue Sky is an event in its own right and will hopefully, in the future, grow to include a spectrum of other labels. With all the local designers like Kate Sylvester and Stolen Girlfriends Club who usually show at Australian Fashion Week opting out of that event this year for various reasons, it will be interesting to see what support and growth a spring show on home turf will have. It has the potential to be a highly successful and viable option for labels wanting to showcase their spring ranges to media and buyers, not to mention increased public exposure.
With hair and beauty by Stephen Marr and M.A.C cosmetics (who do the lion's share of shows at NZFW, not to mention countless local campaigns and editorials), each designer will have its own unique look. Hosted by Britomart's distinguished and successful Nathan Club and Australis House, the show will be situated in the downtown hub that is experiencing incredible growth, popularity and a rising fashion presence - especially now that stores like Zambesi, World and Kate Sylvester have opened their doors on Tyler Street. The Blue Sky event also coincides with the tenth birthday milestone of Murray Bevan's Showroom 22 - an anniversary that will no doubt be celebrated at the post-show party.
Stay tuned in the coming week or two - I have some exclusive interviews with the designers involved (Juliette Hogan, Alexandra Owen and Salasai's Kirsha Whitcher) about their spring collections and preparation for the show.