The Highs and Lows of New Zealand Fashion Week 2014

As we come to the end of another New Zealand Fashion Week, it seems like the appropriate time to reflect on some of our most beautiful, unexpected, and above all just plain favourite moments. From the front row to the backstage, here’s a look at the highs and lows of New Zealand Fashion Week 2014.

 

The Highs 

Kate Sylvester made a welcome return to New Zealand Fashion Week after a five-year hiatus. Kate’s beautifully constructed collection presented in front of a packed showroom, offered a refreshing perspective with billowy greatcoats, A-line midis and male models in women’s wear – referencing the menswear roots of the collection.

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At NZFW, the tunes are as trendsetting as the clothes. Live performances were an unexpected trend, including seven drummers at NOM*d, Watercolours at Aim’s launch (the new label from Huffer), Ginny Blackmore at Andrea Moore and Ladyhawke at Stolen Girlfriends Club.

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The bob is back! Annah Stretton, Juliette Hogan and Kate Sylvester all followed the trend. While big hair and braids seem to have given way to sleek and understated styles like those seen at Zambesi, Salasai and Andrea Moore.

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The Lows

Cultural appropriation seems to rear its ugly head every few months in the fashion industry, and it did so on the runway at New Zealand Fashion Week with designer Dame Trelise Cooper including headdresses to open her show. Taika Waititi’s response to Dame Trelise Cooper’s collection after her controversy summed up the general feeling:  “I think I understand what Trelise means by 70s vibes” – a time when it was cool to be culturally insensitive and racism was super awesome. Nice throw back to better times, babe, we native people celebrate with you!!! #imissracism.”

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There’s no official guidebook to being a good Fashion Week-er. However there is an unsaid, unofficial (but really quite true), front row etiquette that any attendee should try and adhere to. Anyone who’s ever sat second row (or, you know, further back, ahem) has encountered that person who’s so thrilled to be at Fashion Week that they constantly snap photos of every single look, blocking the views of the people behind them and bombarding their newsfeeds with three dozen blurry, overexposed runway photos. Here’s hoping people learn how use their smartphones wisely — and respectfully – during Fashion Week next year.

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