To the absolute pleasure of some, NZFW has finally closed its curtains for 2017. A friend had announced some wise words earlier in the week, “come Friday and I really don’t want to be here”, as if to predict the way I too would feel by close. I was sore from too much sitting and uncomfortable from too much standing. My SIM card was and does remain galore with content of which I am progressively losing the brain capacity to curate. That’s right, I’m asking for your pity. But even more so, for a breathe of fresh air, a break from shoulder-back struts and from trying to view final collections without prejudice – despite having already, and quite passionately, concluded my favourites. I offered little to the rest but the guarantee that I’d scoff the snacks in their goodie bags.
And yet that little sleep made me useless to do other than socialise and drink towards the end, I have left NZFW 2017 with no regrets. Okay, maybe just one: my absence at the designer sale. A classic case of things to do and people to see kept me and my card far away. Perhaps not such a bad thing, after all.
Oh, and a second, that because of laptop issues, posts shall run a little later into this week than initially planned. There are three outfits yet to reveal and I’m beyond excited to show you what we’ve done to capture them.
While I profess to be over playing note-taker, the Weddings show is one I would happily view over again, and then probably, four times more. How magical it was: a childhood fantasy of which has prevailed into my late teens and settled itself amid early adulthood. Naive as such, the NZ Weddings show, inclusive of designers such as Trish Peng, Modes and Working Style, had the capacity for confirming not just Prince Charming, but the Happy Ever After which would follow suit. For Trish Peng especially, Snow White and the seven dwarfs are far from fantasy. The birds who respond to her calls: the hardest-working among the land.
To construct a dress of flowers, as they discovered, takes an additional 5 arduous hours than Disney would have us believe (and a handy $20k). The result is nonetheless remnant of their dreamworld. The pastel-petalled gown shuffled the length of the runway and was complimented by more camera clicks than I have heard this entire NZFW, perhaps, since 2016’s never-ending trail (remember this?). She does some certainly wondrous work, Trish Peng. In that each year she astounds and even, outshines her own previous masterpiece, puts her – at least on a national scale – in competition with solely herself.
Wynn Hamlyn, a name with which I was not so familiar prior to last week, drew me into a most different, and yet, equally desirable falsity. As my friend Zoe (attending for Tessa Stockdale of Refined By) remarked at the time, “that was like doing yoga.” The runway was dotted by little green sun houses, and within them, we escaped, basking in exterior warmth. We were dressed in earthy tones, mostly structured pieces, and then, the most relaxed of red turtlenecks. Corsets of an electric blue. I dreamt of resting my feet by the pool, of running across acres of well-nourished land. I would wear a most beautiful brown leather jacket to board my private plane.
Sure, I lived the life of a fortunate mistress, but I was more truly a clever businesswoman. She who had dealt her money and played her strengths so tactfully, she could afford to vacate such a public life to enjoy a long summer. The far-protruding brim of her hat was a do-not-disturb sign, one of which she wore with absolute poise. Her hair lay delicately and effortless behind her shoulders. She was in this fast-paced, industrial world so much as she was out of it, dancing the sunny hills of Austria on a Thursday afternoon. I left inspired and at peace. A work of art has been this of Wynn Hamlyn. It was arguably my favourite showcase of all 25 or so I did see.
When later, Huffer models stood aligned to confront a strong, luminous light and a final, bold chord at Spark Arena on Thursday night, NZFW was over. At least, it was to me. This was the bang on which it deserved to end. Regardless, or perhaps because of the ill-sensical styling, it was epic. Puffer jackets were paired with long, floaty skirts. A sophisticated grey coat felt slightly humorous partnered with brown cowboy boots. There was an abundance of plaid and then, a random beret.
While it made little sense as a single showcase, it made far more as a multi-faceted commemoration. The show represented exactly the space that Huffer has filled its past 20 years of existence. Much as it has honed the epitome of sport luxe, it has too our tendency for four seasons in one day, never not hitting the mark on the ultimate Kiwi summer.
In style and in comfort, Huffer has catered for endless days at the beach, bike rides to the local superette and barefooted, balmy evenings. It has succeeded in highlighting our most diverse and effortless taste on a world stage, and yet, has never strayed too far from who we are on a local one. If it weren’t so experimental, and yet, quite stereotypically Kiwi, it wouldn’t have been a rightly celebration. This one was far less for the fashion critics than it was for the long-time fans.
In both structure and in definition, an NZ take on Fashion Week is notoriously lenient. That we insert kiwi ingenuity amid it all is as unsurprising. Of course, there are occasions when it be both embarrassing and limited. But there are times, equally, when it ought to be embraced. It does, after all, make us who we are. Even if this be, an absolutely ill-sensical lot.