The Group Shows: Part One
Guys, I have 20 pages of scrawled notes from the first group show but I am going to try hard to keep this reasonable – especially since I didn’t have a camera so pictures will have to wait…
EDIT: if you’d like to check out photos you can
First and foremost: I greatly enjoyed getting to sit in the very front row. I was cool though guys, I even put my goody bag aside without even peeking into it. In fact, I shoved my fur vest into it, such was my nonchalance. There was enough people-watching to last a lifetime, and yes, the shoes were pretty amaze.
This group show encompassed Trelise Cooper Wellington, Moochi, Taylor, Lucy McIntosh, Mardle, Nouveau, Ashley Fogel, and Hermione Flynn.
It was interesting seeing several designers all at once, particularly because it highlighted trends and common themes throughout the collections. If you don’t own a pair of printed pants, now is the time to buy a pair because judging by this show printed pants are going to be everywhere. Other common trends that were reflected in these shows included:
- the high-low hemline: this is the mullet skirt but in all variations, including coats. This was also combined throughout with handkerchief hemlines, which just clamours of the 90s for me. I cannot get on board with this personally, but I do think that if you pick the right thing and style it up this can give an outfit a bit of edge.
- layering: seriously, every single designer layered bar one. There was also a lot of draping; clothes that clung but weren’t tight.
- neon: I expected to see pops of neon and these showed up in Moochi and Mardle. Mardle used an acid green which I particularly liked. These colours were used mainly in trims and accessories but Moochi did have a neon blouse.
- sportswear: this was big in the recent global collections and there was an element of sportswear in the Moochi collection. I really enjoyed a pair of black pants with a wide waistband with a drawstring. They would be a fun pair to wear to work as they are still appropriate.
- prints. Or rather, PRINTS. While there were tonnes of black, cream, grey and taupe pieces (it is New Zealand after all) there were also prints galore in bright summer colours. Trelise Cooper dominated the prints – they were highly detailed, whimsical, and played together beautifully. Print-mixing, as you might expect, also made an appearance.
- socks with heels. The stylists used both slouched ankle height socks, and knee-high socks. I love this look, but haven’t been able to work out how to integrate it into the daytime. However, maryjanes with high socks and a demure skirt = excellent date outfit.
(in the order they showed…)
“Inspired by the relevance of clothing in a social context, Hermione Flynn creates her collections from social oddities – a gentleman on the bus wearing a waistcoat and tie over his rain jacket… an obese woman dressed in head to toe sportswear… a gay man designing his wedding “dress”…“.
My overwhelming impression from this collection was: the colours of the winter sea, and the feeling as your clothes billow in the breeze. The opening outfit featured sleeves that came down over the hands and hung loose for several inches; the rollneck on the dress was pulled up over the lower half of the model’s face. I loved a pair of billowing 3/4 pants in a light chiffon that moved sensually as the models strutted. This collection juxtaposed draping against occasional severe items, like structured cropped tshirts layered over the jersey items.
“Beautiful tailoring, luxurious fabrics and feminine designs characterise the Ashley Fogel collections. As a label that consistently delivers high quality ready-to-wear garments to many women and loyal customers, Ashley Fogel has cemented its own special place in the New Zealand Fashion Scene.”
The first model stepped out in printed pants with a leather jacket and a quiff, and I knew I was going to like this. In a hair note: the girls had incredible unusual French braids running down the back of the head (without a tail) – if I can find a pic, I ‘ll add it later. This collection felt like it was in two parts to me: the first was masculine, almost rockabilly and super cool. The second part was more French Riviera, with bright skirts, shirts knotted at the waist or done up sloppily, with a kind of careless holiday vibe. However, throughout this collection the stylists had used huge amounts of sparkling jewels from Dyrberg Kern which gave the looks a more luxe vibe. My favourite item was a pair of hyper-floral pants which looked like an updated cigarette pant.
“The Lucy McIntosh Fashion label underlies the basic Sculptural, and tailored need of a woman’s body. All collections are inspired by a form of architecture or construction, Lucy takes the sharp masculine forms of a structure and creates feminine fluid lines. Focused on the organisation of space around the human body, Lucy McIntosh builds a wearable environment for her customers.”
The core of this collection is a play on a men’s shirt.
An initially monochrome palette was relieved by splashes of cornflower blue, ink blue and an almost mustard yellow. The clothes were severe, with no accessories and every collar buttoned up to the neck. It really felt like this collection consisted of variations on themes. Most particularly, the shirts and jackets were made up of self-contained layers, almost as if a cropped shirt had been put on over an otherwise identical but longer shirt. The atmosphere was dreamy and low-energy. My favourite item was a divine black collarless coat with a tobacco-coloured lining.
“Nouveau combines unique illustrated prints with fashionable women’s street wear and apparel. Nouveau is designed and made in Wellington, New Zealand.”
This collection was very reminiscent of lounge wear, with oversize tshirts in soft jersey (including one that could definitely double as a nightgown – albeit a very stylish one). The necklines were high, almost to the throat, or a boatneck. In a few items that high neckline was relieved with a keyhole just above the sternum. I enjoyed a pair of full, blousy black shorts that sat just above the hip and which I think would look great with a structured shirt, a pair of high denier tights and some high boots. The last dress was a combination of blue shiny crinkled fabric and red satin, with a shoestring and a really seriously pointy hemline. Words can’t describe, but it gave me a strong sense of nostalgia.
“The name moochi was created to describe the clothes you want to wear, it is all about a style, not an age. Whether racing around town, meeting friends at night or chilling at your local on a saturday morning, it is all about looking and feeling amazing, mooching in style.”
Love those black drawstring pants! There was a sequin shift dress with long sleeves that I thought was absolutely amazing and would be great for a bridal shower or rehearsal dinner, as well as a pearly silver dress which featured an uneven dropped waist (sounds weird, was amazing) and moved like water. I loved that some of the looks verged on “ghetto fabulous” with tight, shiny fabrics and accessories like a leather baseball cap. Even the more sophisticated looks had an element of bling. The clothes were fun, and young. Moochi also showed a pair of neon yellow and grey plaid pants with a jacket featuring leather and (probably) faux fur, which looked sensational.
“It started in 2008 in pursuit of the perfect tee-shirt. Fuss-free and practical, but feminine and flattering, that tee remains the heart of all that is Mardle. But while its beginnings may have been humble, designer Shiana Weir has her sights set on bigger things. Her designs are classic – the perfect backbone of your working wardrobe, and yet they have enough intrigue that you’ll look forward to wearing them. Ultimately, Mardle is understated elegance, proudly made in New Zealand.”
I loved this from the first outfit. They used texture, digital prints, and sharply-coloured accessories to create a fresh and innovative look. I particularly noticed the use of longer belts knotted across the torso, and the colour of those belts as an anchoring point in looks with extremely brave print-mixing. Skirts and dresses featured a low-profile bubble hem and the silhouette was ladylike. There were splashes of watermelon pink (including a beautifully tailored maxiskirt) and acid green. The print reminded me of Van Gogh’s Starry Night. My favourite look was a full maxiskirt in the print with a gorgeous red, textured top. Although that sounds like a lot of look, it worked perfectly.
“taylor boutique fosters individual creativity and experimentation while ensuring wearability in an exclusive fashion surrounding. We’re small and unique with constantly changing styles. Our fabrics are sourced and imported from the best mills in the world and are always the main focus of our styling – with many fabrics allowing only three or four garments to be made in each fabric.”
Immediate contrast to Mardle with a post-apocalyptic, Winter of Fire vibe immediately obvious. This was definitely the most “art as fashion” that we saw all evening, although there were more wearable items as well. The first model wore all cream, with a fitted cap (reminiscent of Jean Batten’s aviator hat, actually) and a long cape. Her clothes were layered and reached to the floor, and featured a shorn fur as well as other textures. As she swept past, you thought of primitive queens or goddesses. The makeup deviated from that in the other shows, by including broad swipes of a white, chalky substance. The models wore fingerless leather elbow gloves in a matte, pebbled leather. Many of the outfits featured large woollen cowlnecks. There were some slightly discordant moments, including a sheer, plaid overskirt that seemed school-girlish. The palette was almost entirely black and cream, with just a very few items in blood red. My favourite item was a cream dress in a chunky knit, with a contrasting jersey insert down the length of each arm.
Trelise Cooper Wellington
“The sassy spirited saloon girls have emerged this winter bringing Cooper the 1800’s Americano Prairie Couture. Smoke signals transpire from the Wild West into the oceans beyond revealing ships sailing into the misty pink horizon. Brambles and berries intertwine to devise delectable berry pie, raffia wrapped especially for the rodeo.
Frolicking Foxes and whacky magical birds are relishing this winter’s vintage bouquet whilst fantasizing over Trelises’ return to colour this winter. Diamond dressed bunnies at the animal tea party spot the swan fluttering its feathers frivolously from afar. The little crowned kitten creeps through the forest of forget-me-knots in the spring country garden; in search of wonderland!”
As mentioned above, Trelise Cooper just blew it away with their prints. They were complex, detailed and fantastical – I spotted a kitten peeking out from under a jacket at one point. It was obvious that this brand has access to some of the best in fabrics and workmanship (even if the style isn’t your cup of tea). Some of the items did veer a little far toward “child” for my taste, such as a smocked dress, but the cowboy hats with a disproportionately deep crown were fantastic. The saloon girl outfits had a faded colour scheme, including butter yellow and Wedgwood blue which worked beautifully with the slightly old-fashioned vibe. I particularly liked the use of ribbons at the neck of blouses, fastened at the throat. The collection included dresses that were heavily sequinned, and again we saw the use of knee high socks. However, in this collection the socks had furry pompoms on them, or came up in a point behind the knee. Everything was just more carefully constructed and rich in detail. For example, one dress covered in a swan print also had a slight wing flowing from behind the shoulder; there was also a coat with tails, cut
as though it was peeling open.
It’s off to bedfordshire for me now, but before I go: tell me about a trend you hated but came to love. And which of the designers above sounds most like your cup of tea?