Fashion Quarterly’s editor Sally-Ann Mullin and creative director Marcel Gull have hit the road in Holden’s Cascada convertible on a journey to iD Dunedin Fashion Week.
Follow along as this fashionable duo give updates, conduct interviews and check out all the latest hotspots Dunedin has to offer on their #FQRoadTrip.
6.30am We’re so #fitspo right now.
Another early start and our upper thighs hurt too much from yesterday’s efforts so we flag another Grit Strength class in favour of aerial silks class instead with Rochelle Brophy. This feels like meditation, yoga and working out all at the same time – it’s amazing for the inner core and it really stretches you out. After that we are completely in workout mode and move on to a Total Gym session with Cindy Bradburn, the director of Air Fitness. While listening to 80s beats, we really get put through our paces. Afterwards, we treat ourselves to a 45 minute massage – hey, we earned it! Air Fitness is a total healthy lifestyle experience and we float into Day 2 on Cloud 9.
8am Graffiti wall tour.
Once we realised the boutiques don’t open until 10am here in Dunedin, we quickly returned back to our second home this week – our Holden Cascada – and spent the morning touring the streets once again with the top down. We’re so lucky to be experiencing such a beautiful crisp morning with an amazing blue clear sky and clear streets. A few years ago there was a street art competition in downtown Dunedin and many of these incredible pieces of art exist today, so we zip past and soak up the creativity. What a great way to start the day!
9.30am Coffee stop/shopping prep.
We pull over on George St aka the place you go when you want to shop! Modaks Espresso (337-339 George St, Dunedin Central) is an institution in this town and we can see why. It’s like the café you go to where everyone knows your name… but is way, way cooler.
10am Time to hit the boutiques.
It’s not even lunchtime and our credit cards are burning as we do a major hit of shopping… Belle Bird Boutique, Slick Willy’s and Plume are at the top of our list (although we don’t stop there). These stores have such covetable edit of all the local brands we hold in such high esteem at Fashion Quarterly. If you’re looking for your slice of Zoe & Morgan, Meadowlark, Harman Grubisa, Deadly Ponies, Nom*d, Zambesi, Twenty-seven Names et al… George St holds them all. And luckily for us, the sizeable backseat of our Holden Cascada easily holds all the shopping bags we’ve managed to accumulate. Oops!
12pm Backseat chats with Rachelle Gourley.
After all that strenuous shopping, it’s nice to be able to take a break, recline back in the roomy Cascada leather seats and chat to iD Fashion Week’s Senior Hair and Makeup Artist Rachelle Gourley. We’ve worked with Rachelle before – on the dreamy ‘Area of Interest’ shoot in Dunedin for our Winter 2016 issue – and it’s always good to catch up with one of our FQ collaborators and see what they’ve been up to. Rachelle has been involved with iD Fashion Week for a few years now, and loves being part of it. Sally-Ann knows she’s in good hands as she has her hair and makeup touched up by Rachelle, ahead of a busy day.
12.30pm Exploring the downtown district.
After dropping Rachelle at the Railway Station (the venue for tonight’s shows) and using the opportunity to have another quick nosy at the catwalk, we decide to explore this part of town and the amazing cobbled streets with unbelievable industrial/Victorian buildings. We know we mentioned this yesterday, but seriously: Dunedin’s character real estate is insanely cool! We could almost be in Brooklyn… except it is so much cleaner here and everyone seems to know each other. Love.
1.30pm Media lunch at Madam Woo.
We heart Madam Woo (115 Stuart St, Dunedin city centre). Such fresh flavours and a very cool take on Malaysian street food. Fleur Caulton, the co-founder of Madam Woo, was in the house to meet and greet the fashion media and to show her support for iD Fashion Week. Everyone involved with this week-long event is doing such an amazing job of showing off their city! Later this evening, we’re going to see the amazing Tanya Carlson at Vault 21 for a Demi-couture show she is presenting with Adrian Hailwood. After that, it’s the big showstopper fashion moment of the week: the iD Fashion Week International Emerging Designer Awards! Stay posted as we reveal the winners.
4pm Costume change.
Time to dash back to the Scenic Southern Cross Hotel to freshen up. We give Stolen Girlfriends Club designer Marc Moore a ride back, who is here as a judge of tonight’s International Emerging Designer Awards. Everyone is staying at the Scenic, it’s totally a home away from home and we know everyone here. We are even on a first name basis with the breakfast team. Marc mentions he is also showing his AW17 Stolen Girlfriends Club collection at the fashion show tonight. We can’t wait!
5.15pm Back to the venue we go.
We jump in a cab with Rachael Russell, editor of NEXT magazine, and say hi to Richard, our taxi driver. Speaking of being on a first name basis, we know Richard pretty well by now after having him drive us to and from the venue several times. This is proving extremely beneficial because he’s got to know us and doesn’t mind waiting for us outside the hotel. We arrive at Vault 21 for Tanya Carlson and Adrian Hailwood’s Demi-couture presentation. We are greeted at the door by Jeevan Verma, the director of bee.yu, and handed a custom cocktail designed by his daughter. First up is Adrian Hailwood, who takes us through three of his key looks from his AW17 collection. The signature floral print is made from silk and metal to give it strength while still retaining a luxury softness. Meanwhile, Tanya Carlson looks amazing in one of her own designs, a custom deep green drilled dress. She deconstructs for us the making of the dress featured in the iD Fashion Week poster – she used yards and yards of fine pleats with a detachable top layer – then it’s a discussion around a leather dress design which is made from a single piece of black leather. Fascinating stuff. We dine on delicious canapés, swill champagne lightly and before we know it we have to head down to the train station for the iD International Emerging Designer Awards.
7.30pm The Emerging Designer Awards.
Thank goodness Sally-Ann is wearing an amazingly warm Camilla & Marc double breasted coat as the climate isn’t exactly Auckland temperatures. We do love to layer though, and Marcel takes full advantage by donning a floral mesh shirt, black bomber jacket (both by Zambesi) and topped off by an Acne Studios leather jacket with shearling trim. If only he had worn socks. The fashion show kicks off and we are utterly floored by the amazing talent of these 30 emerging young designers; the things they have done with innovative fabrication, new technology and bold silhouettes is just incredible. It is a journey of colour… some beautifully subdued and some bold and intense.
Some of our highlights included Phillip Von Fury (such a cool name) who reimagined hospital garments, using them as his starting point and then throwing in silhouettes of female eveningwear to challenge what makes a garment masculine or feminine. Laura Bennett’s pom poms (pictured above) were a delight. Zhuxuan He was responsible for the largest crowd reaction of the night: colour, more colour, fun and happiness. Origami folding techniques were used to create a honeycomb effect and it created amazing movement, just like a slinky or accordion. But the winner is… Nehma Vitols! She is definitely one of our favourites of the night and very deserving of the top prize. Her collection is made from remnants and pieces but, when put together, created something extremely beautiful. Nehma is a true artist and sculpturist and this was deconstructed tailoring at its best. We walk back to the Scenic Southern Cross Hotel absolutely elated after the show. It is time for bed though, as tomorrow will no doubt be another exciting day in Dunedin.
xx Sally-Ann and Marcel
*This article is brought to you by Holden Cascada.