Another September, another Fashion Week. With New York just a few days away, fashion fanatics are undoubtedly prepping their head-to-toe-outfit schedules for their favourite time of the year. But it just might be the underdog and its unexpected bite who will wake us up, as New Zealand did last week. Missed it? Read on.
Dear Fashion Week heavy-weights, make some room for the Kiwis, ’cause you’ve got some sweet sartorial competition as seen at the just-wrapped New Zealand Fashion Week. International VIP press, aka refreshing, pen-and-paper wielding editors, like London’s Facehunter and New York by way of New Zealand’s Gala Darling, were flown in for a front-row taste of Kiwi couture. Sure, the runway and models might be shorter, the famous faces might be lacking (not a complaint as such), but the fashion – you know, what the week’s all about and stuff – was alive, stomping its way down the catwalk.
Here’s who worked it:
Karen Walker might be busy doing her thing internationally, but Zambesi (since 1979) is coming for the Kiwi fashion throne. Cherry Red Doc Martens and Chuck Taylors paired with colourful tights and zany prints; floppy hats and tailored suits for the gents; flowing velvet numbers; baggy black dress slacks; slicked back hair; bladerunner eyes and a soundtrack that made you want to hit the clubs. Win, win, win! On the flip-side of the fashion spectrum was Ruby. She represented all of the single ladies, as proved by the street style-photographer-friendly cuties in attendance. The metallics and chunky sweaters were offset by youthful pink-glossed lips and doll-like make-up perfection. Huffer is known for attracting all the cool kids, and they certainly know their audience. They closed the show with a bikini-clad model exploding out of a cake seconds before the catwalk turned into a champagne-splashing party. As for the clothes, it was all about cuffed skinnies, over-sized jackets in muted colours, and yes, those bloody creepers. And then, there were our favourite favourites -we’re talking to you, Lonely Hearts and Jimmy D. Both told a cohesive, aesthetically alarming story, whether it was Lonely Hearts’ sheer-heavy, brutally beautiful madness or Jimmy D’s witchy wonderland replete with voodoo-rivalling make-up a la Lykke Li’s “Get Some” music video and fantastic side-braids. Both ever-so-chic-ly incorporated dark and light elements. Both were styled to perfection (Lonely Hearts with matching caps and killer heels; Jimmy D with spikes and leather harnesses). Here, Jimmy D chats to i-D online about survival tactics and the colour black.
In 5 words or less, how would you describe this collection? Futuristic clan of witches. And I have one word left, so, uh, BLACK.
What are your NZFW survival essentials? Coffee and my boyfriend’s calming words.
Did you experience any FW nightmares along the way? A few freak outs/emotional breakdowns but nothing out of the ordinary in the lead-up to a show.
Who would you lose it over if they rocked some Jimmy D? Belgian model Hannelore Knuts or model/blogger Josefin Arestav. I’m also totally obsessed with former Finnish model turned buyer and stylist Minttu Vesala – she has this whole high priestess thing going on that would look amazing in this collection.
Out of all of the designers who showed during NZFW, who were your favourites? Personally I really loved Blak and Lonely Hearts.
What are your NZFW playlist MUSTS? I always compile a playlist of tracks that we whittle down to become the show soundtrack, like Austra, Tuxedo Moon, My Gold Mask, Soft Moon, Esben and the Witch, and Gang Gang Dance – and then balance this out with seriously cheesy pop that gets me through the long boring nights in the studio.
If you could have a front-row ticket to any fashion designer’s show in the world, who would it be? I guess I’d feel pretty flash if I was front-row at Chanel – but in saying that, I’ve been front row at a few Ann-Sofie Back shows and that’s a pretty cool place to be. She always does a very strong show.
Now that the show’s over, what’s next for you? A bit of R&R? Well, I just had a ‘normal’ weekend consisting of a sleep in, a leisurely breakfast, a spot of shopping and a movie – which was kinda blissful. But we’ve got Summer production to get on top of, before I go off to Paris and London for buying and a bit of a break. Bring. It. On.
Text: Alex Catarinella