Fashion Week

Blast from the past: FQ’s favourite NZFW moments

L-R: Zambesi 2006; WORLD 2009; Karen Walker 2003 at NZFW

L-R: Zambesi 2006; WORLD 2009; Karen Walker 2003 at NZFW

Team Fashion Quarterly recounts their favourite moments from New Zealand Fashion Week:

Sally-Ann Mullin, editor

“At NZFW in 2002, WORLD showed their “Empire Strikes Back” collection, which was a colourful array of avant garde looks in black satin, canary yellow velvet, and pops of red. There was full glitter makeup, body painting and huge black sculptural wig pieces. I was at makeup school at the time and was lucky enough to have the opportunity to assist key makeup artist, Brent Lawler (who is now based in NYC and regularly contributes to Vogue Italia amongst others).  I found myself, along with several other wide eyed make-up assistants, painting a wigless Anna Fitzpatrick (now Anna Reeve) from head to toe. She was 14 or 15 at the time and had caught the bus to the venue still in her school uniform. I didn’t actually see the show from the front, but the atmosphere, energy, colour and theatrics backstage were electric. It was my first experience with NZFW, and I was absolutely hooked. I knew from that moment that I wanted to work in the fashion industry.”

Marcel Gull, creative director

“NZFW 2010 was the year I discovered mesh. The country-style hats and incredibly cool mesh shirts that featured in Zambesi’s Spring/Summer 2010-11 collection were two things I would never have put together, but the moment I saw them I was sold. I found both the black, cut out shirt and the black mesh shirt with opaque pocket to be absolutely inspired. I have worn mesh every season since.”

Kelly McAuliffe, digital editor

“Being seated behind Diane Pernet (she of black mantilla fame) in 2005 has to be one of my funniest NZFW moments. Needless to say, I didn’t see much of that show – I can’t even remember what it was! But what I will always remember is the rock ‘n roll glamour of Zambesi in 2006. Hosted waterside in a boat shed at Westhaven Marina, the soundtrack started ominously with the Jaws theme tune before kicking into full gear with plenty of The Mars Volta. The models wore choppy black or blonde wigs and the most amazing coral orange lipstick that is still vividly etched into my memory, while they zig-zagged their way down the brightly-lit runway in luxe textured fabrics. There was a last minute kerfuffle and seat shift as an international (and admittedly, er, older) rock band turned up. [FQ deputy editor] Megan and I were obviously in the right place at the right time though, as we managed to blag an invite to their show.”

Lucy Slight, features editor

“While every WORLD show is a spectacle in itself, my very first one in 2011 still takes the cake. Being a relative newbie to Fashion Week, I wasn’t quite prepared for the glamour a WORLD show held. This particular show was packed out with TV3 cameras to capture the big reveal of the winner of New Zealand’s Next Top Model (Brigette, FYI), so being part of a reality show was exciting in itself. The three stories that made up the ‘Good vs Evil’ runway show showcased everything from out-of-this-world science fiction-inspired outfits to tailored floral pieces with a retro spin and glamorously bejeweled winter princesses, all wrapped up in that uniquely WORLD way. The futuristic headpieces, sumptuous textured fur coats and eyebrow-raising makeup had me on the edge of my seat, even with my restricted view in the nose bleed seats.”

Skye Ross, Miss FQ digital editor

“Last year was it. 2015: the year of Stolen Girlfriends Club at the St. James. It wasn’t my first time at one of their infamously rowdy shows but it was my first time at the coveted location; the two together were a fashion and interior lover’s dream. The clothes were not only beautifully edgy but shoppable straight away. Uh, hello, I’m a millennial so impatience definitely applies to my personality – not that it was an issue with this collection mind you. I literally went out the next day, between shows, and bought a lavender-coloured dress in the iconic Karl Maughan collaboration hydrangea print. People still ask me where I got it from, which will forever be my favourite type of compliment.”

Phoebe Watt, writer

“I was in my first year of high school and my fashion obsession was in its fledgling stage when Karen Walker showed her “Queenie was a Dog” collection at NZFW 2003. Even if there’d been a KW stockist in New Plymouth back then (there wasn’t), I couldn’t have fit—let alone financed—any of it. But all of the carousel print pieces from this collection are like grail items for me now. I periodically check Trade Me hoping something will crop up, and I haven’t had any luck yet but when it’s meant to be it will be. I love that this print is whimsical without being fussy and girly, I’m sure that’s why it resonated with me at 12-and-a-half and still resonates with me today.”

Jess Thomson, fashion and editorial assistant

“My memories of NZFW are three years of dressing backstage at shows. Although it was an extremely amazing experience and I loved the fast paced energy of working as a dresser, I am particularly excited for this year where I will be enjoying the shows and excitement from the other side of the catwalk! I am particularly excited to see Harman Grubisa – I’ll get back to you in a weeks’ time for an update!”