New Zealand Fashion Week 2016

Last week, I had the pleasure of immersing myself into a bubble of fashion. For seven days straight, the industry’s most influential, hard-working and inimitable figures all came together to celebrate, see and be seen, and most importantly, to shape the local fashion scene. All wrapped up in the urgency of hurrying from one runway to another, New Zealand Fashion Week felt like a dreamy cocktail of right amounts of joy, craftsmanship, and pretentiousness.

Lessons were learned, people were met, and fashion was judged.

Although suspected, one of the somehow still surprising lessons learned was how much of a difference half a metre can make. Half a metre between those sitting front-row and those trying to get a peek from Row B or G. Don’t get me wrong, goodie bags and networking is great fun. But that’s not really what we are here for. Or is it? The whelms of publicity quickly blur the creative process of drafting shapes and sourcing fabrics. Publicity, which, at least, caters to public demand.

Yes, the dogged work of those behind the scenes was at times overshadowed by the bright lights of those closest to the champagne stand. Though some might argue, the latter offers a break from the usual low-key Kiwi spirit.

The styles shown had a prominent New Zealand signature to them while providing new kinds of grunge and wearability. Odes to 50’s glamour and 70’s flare were prolific. It can be tempting to treat fashion like it’s something impersonal and bland, its meaning sewn away in the many pockets. The world of fashion is ever-evolving, being shaped by what the public eye asks to see. It continues to carry meaning through the various facades it hides behind. There is a layer for everyone; you just have to look for it.

Every year, New Zealand Fashion Week is the beginning of a different story. This year’s is about sheer talent and sumptuous cocktails. Pure talent from local lands and those across the shore. Standouts include Christchurch’s BlackEyePeach, Auckland’s Eugenie, Wynn Hamlyn and Harman and Grubisa, Melbourne’s Erik Yvon and Kuala Lumpur’s Kittie Yiyi. The story continues with gorgeous cocktails of publicity-hungry fashion followers, trendsetters and those who just come along for the ride; like myself. Who knows what’s in store for next year?

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