PHOTOS: Zambesi, MisteR dazzle at NZ Fashion Festival
Sun, 04 Mar 2012 2:19p.m.
By Ally Mullord
The final night of the New Zealand Fashion Festival was a mix of progressive and conservative design, with collections from Bendon, Hailwood, MisteR, Zambesi, Barkers, Stolen Girlfriends Club and Liam to finish the week.
View the photogallery for images from the show
The festival’s strength is in its ability to combine the accessible with the aspirational through showcasing a range of designers across different styles and price ranges, and this was evident in the mix of garments presented during the final evening.
Bendon led the show with a range of ultrafeminine lingerie sets, heavy on detail but light on fabric; cheeky knickers and buttock-skimming camisoles paired up with delicate lace bras to bring a racy yet luxurious feel to the runway. Models played up to the cameras, emphasising the youth and playfulness of the collection.
Barkers presented a range of classic garments, done well – no breathtaking moments or awe-inspiring designs, but a solid and wearable menswear collection. Strong silhouettes defined jackets in a range of styles, giving the wearer options from the boardroom to the ballroom.
Hailwood’s collection combined dramatic cuts and fabric choices with light textures and graceful silhouettes. Fringing provided textural detail for the collection, while a small, eye-catching blue floral print added intensity to classically structured dresses and tops. The opening garment, a blue/black fringed dress, set the tone for what was at once a wearable and covetable collection.
Jimmy D peppered black garments with geometric leather harnesses, white print detailing, and trailing fabric ties on intensely layered outfits. Splashes of red provided colour contrast, with dramatic draping, asymmetry and triangular hems defining womenswear. Floating fabrics and gauzy textures prevented the mainly dark collection from becoming too heavy on the eye.
Stolen Girlfriends Club presented an intriguing collection, leading with an oversized, hairy hoodie in black and grey stripes then moving on through exaggerated bell sleeves and a recurring, spiky black-on-white print. A full-length mesh dress with black patterning was a standout piece, as was the asymmetric tulip dress: finally providing an upmarket equivalent to the mullet skirt.
Liam’s collection was characterised by bold, block colour and uncomplicated shapes – the simplicity of their silhouettes, particularly in the dresses, verged at times on underdesigned – but the collection was elevated by touches of glamour, including cowl-backed dresses. Masculine tailoring in womenswear was unsophisticated, with straight, clean lines and a ‘borrowed my boyfriend’s blazer’ feel.
MisteR combined serious fashion with high-energy fun in a collection that centred around classic shapes updated with bold, bright prints and colours. Coloured checks and polka dots adorned knits, blazers and suits in mens and womenswear, with oversized bows and contrasting neckties adding contrast.
Zambesi ended the show on a high note, encompassing a range of design themes within their capsule collection. The majority of garments were based in black, white or neutral, with recurring cobalt and fluoro yellow adding cohesiveness to the collection. Trenches and boiler suits brought an industrial feel to the runway, while asymmetric fur pieces, waist belts and strong collar detailing added interest.
The New Zealand Fashion Festival was a one-week celebration of design at all levels, bringing together the familiar and the innovative to present a true kaleidoscope of New Zealand fashion.
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