Fashion,  Uncategorized

NZFW // Parties, Problems & Pick-Me-Ups.



So guys, I wrote a whole post. Actually multiple. And then, get this, Day 3 of NZFW, the day when all would be released of my own tired hands, my laptop decided to freeze mid-login. I could not so much as view my desktop, let alone, access anything residing in pertinence on the goddamn hard drive.


To claim this event was situational disfortune would be lying (at least somewhat) on my own part. My laptop has been crapping out for months. In fact, it took so long to construct these once-standing posts, given it could only hold about 12 photos at once. A single more and the thing would go haywire. It’d threaten self-abomination.


As it turns out, Apple doesn’t send false threats. No, each warning with which you respond “remind me later” simply demands that you receive an in-your-face, sucky-as-shit call to action weeks on. Note: do the update, clear the caches, eat the cookies.. and do so, today. That, or accept the ill consequences destined for you sometime soon.


The point is, we’re here. It’s Day 3 of NZFW. I have woken with a sore head from the night before. It is dreary outside and I need a shower. But first, I thank my 1am self for having taken off my make-up. I look bad, but not as bad as I could. We had spent the latter of the evening at Dr Rudi’s brewery co. for the Federation after-party. Majority of the post-events have been situated here: it’s a rooftop bar in central Auckland and offers good space for socialising, dancing and lots of vodka, lime and soda. It’s also a locale in which you’ll find undisciplined media folk.




Rule one of being a delegate: don’t party – or really party – until the last night, when the work is (for the most part) done. You’re too busy to be hungover, too tired from the day to be tired from the night, and what’s more, you lost sight of hunger in its raw sense at 3pm. Since then, it has reached new and unknown territory. Who in the right mind brings a drink to, say, Apollo 13?


This gal! You’d be looking at her. Or reading her words. Whatever, the issue is, I can’t say no to a dance. Like seriously, grace a scene with Wild Thoughts and I will do so equally with a reenactment of its short film. To that same question of which I’m sure comes up in Rihanna’s team meetings: but how will we make this accessible to your average joe, I am the living answer. To say no and go home, to me, is a disservice to the brand.


I’ll tell you how we got to such a point.
And I suppose, it makes sense to start at the beginning. All the best fairy tales with their rises and the inevitable shit-storms do so too. This one is not exempt of the stereotypical structure.


Last Friday, I flew up from Wellington for yet a fourth/fifth NZFW. I’ve lost count. Two hours in Auckland (and three cocktails down), I found myself hands-full with outfits for the week (these I’d selected when I’d visited for Tony’s 21st), courtesy of the team at Undertow Media.




On successive days, I would operate over-time, ensuring all such social media management work – or at least, that of which I could schedule prior – was complete. To name a few tasks, I planned shoots amid my NZFW schedule, made some sort of rough sequence of my outfits, and edited 50 odd photos for a client (not NZFW-related).


Monday came and was a stress given the literal storm with which it chose to welcome the week. I picked up my delegate bag, proceeded to argue with the rain, and then, with Tony who (kindly, yes) offered to pick me up in it. It turns out I wasn’t standing in the most appropriate location, and thus is sufficient to conclude my utter lack of geographical awareness. I shan’t argue to or fro.


What matters more is what happened that Monday evening. NZFW began the way it always does: with a most glamorous opening soirée (note my use of ‘soirée’ to make the line resound of glamour: subtlety is depth, folks). Once a year, Viaduct Events Centre transforms into a mansion such as Gatsby’s, only with less swing dancing and more sass-walking. The Mercedes Benz do more than roll up outside; all white and sleek, one resides here within the room. Above it, falls a dazzling chandelier.




These walls are ears to socialites as they are too for many whom share the endeavour. I don’t ponder under which category I fall. It really doesn’t matter. So long as you think you’re someone and exude that you are, you epitomise the title here at Fashion Week. That’s the beauty of it. One can become whoever they prefer day-by-day, even, show-by-show.


It only made sense that Zambesi be the opening act. One of international reputation itself, the label felt right at home on the Flooring Foundation Runway. The collection was earthy, remnant of dark, eerie nights and blue-sky days. It was bright. It was bold. It was edgy. But all such adjectives aside, there is really only one word to describe the presence of Zambesi at NZFW 2017.




Music, make-up (a lime-green and orange eye), styling and casting. Every facet was fierce. Much like Manahou Mackay her every show (pictured below for GEOJ).




When that shit drops, it’s going to be awesome. It’s sure to re-invent yellow, and rest easy, it’ll see the turtleneck and the wide pant suit another season too. All important boxes, ticked.


Unless it’s the NZ Weddings show (a favourite every year), I’m not bought by naf music and a botanic garden by way of an NZFW show. So one can imagine my excitement when Not For You, a grunge and confronting, emerging label, embraced the catwalk for a second year in the New Generation show.


I saw and remembered Jerome’s work last year. I watched him again as part of a little showcase in Wellington a month back. Each time, I’ve been impressed. I get as giddy and excited – in a I-want-to-punch-stuff-and-be-awesome kind of way – every time I see his stuff. If I was a guy, I’d be wanting one of everything. Why, I’m a girl, and I still do. Not For You is in your face, it’s branded as fuck, but it works.


It works because this isn’t just about making ballsy (yet structured) clothing, but pairing these with a characteristic message. Jerome draws attention to outstanding homeless statistics, and sources a lot of inspiration for his collection from street tagging and signage.




In an industry which constantly throws itself between creativity and superficiality, that designers embrace more meaningful, more real issues is pertinent to the relevance of the industry on a political scale. It’s such bravery which makes me proud of NZ designers, such as Jerome. I back this guy and his concept completely. It’s good to see him back on the national stage.


3 shows later and I find myself coveting a completely different vision. I described a Hailwood look on Instagram as “1950s Mom come 20th cent. Daisy Buchanan.” My first thought when I saw this show: that Hailwood had epitomised what I’d hope to be as a mother. Beautiful and glamorous. Effortless and elegant. Relaxed and yet, ultimately sophisticated.





This palette of oranges and navy blues, greys and shimmering golds, said she would exist in the 1950s. So too did the midi skirts, the big hair and the even bigger fur coats.


At times, she transgressed to the seventies, adorning motorcycle jackets and flared pants.


Wherever, she was dreamy and life was perfect. Such perfection was not depicted as boring nor dissatisfying as it was in The Hours. It was sensational. Like visiting an old theatre. Evening wear was as romantic. The dress code was black, gold or a moss green. As only Daisy would, she arrived best in a shimmering cocktail dress. In this version, however, Daisy was not wildly ditsy and lost. Her whimsical dress was complimented by a tailored blazer; one which detailed her strength, her determination.




Speaking of such things, it is 7am and I must get up for another day in the faster of not-so-fast-fashion lanes. Expect more from me soon – unless, of course, there’s another technological catastrophe. Then, expect nothing. In fact, perhaps a deletion of this blog in a fit of rage.


Who am I kidding? This is far too fun.


Talk soon,


McKenzie xx

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