Salasai’s New Zealand Fashion Week show this year was particularly significant for two reasons: not only was it a first look at the label’s debut collection at New York Fashion Week, it was also a retrospective in referencing the label’s androgynous roots.
The collection, aptly named Self Portrait, began with a hand-painted print inspired by graffiti artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, and from there expanded into a line that was as much about street influences as it was clean tailoring.
Button-down shirts and dresses in the boxy cuts Salasai does so well were featured, as were slouchy overalls, cropped pea coats and a particularly striking red and pink sleeveless dress. And then there were the oversized jumpers, which were a reworking of the Beloved Jumper from Salasai’s autumn/winter collection Sacrificial Grace.
Before the show, designer Kirsha Whitcher said when the oversized sweater was first released, people “weren’t ready for it”. As well as existing in it’s previous form, the style influenced a few more wearable pieces, like the mid-thigh length bomber and a black neoprene pull over.
The more masculine look was also present in the hemlines, which the designer said were kept mid-calf to steer away from anything too girly.
Self Portrait was certainly a crowd-pleaser here; let’s hope it’s as much of a hit on the international runways.