The ‘New Generation’ of designers sharing a runway during New Zealand Fashion Week are bringing a fresh take on New Zealand fashion design.
Since the age of 14, Danielle Power-Silk has been set on a career in fashion design. Her ‘Number One Collection’ showing at NZFW’s second New Generation show, has ten handmade looks inspired by old Hollywood glamour and black and white cinematography – think screen sirens like Elizabeth Taylor and the more modern Monica Bellucci. The designer from Whangaparaoa showed at Melbourne Spring Fashion Week in 2014 and first had a taste of New Zealand Fashion Week (NZFW) when she sent her collection down the YMCA’s Walk The Line show at the event in 2011. With a love of high-end fashion from a young age, Power-Silk’s goal is to create a luxury fashion house.
Designer Mitchell Vincent is back at NZFW after first showing four years ago at the Miromoda show, as the recipient of an Emerging Designer award. His Mitchell Vincent Collection takes international inspiration and weaves it into the relaxed lifestyle of New Zealanders. Proudly manufactured in New Zealand, the contemporary ready-to-wear label has a touch of sophistication with a side of rebellion. His street style work has been worn by the likes of Stan Walker.
Young love, grunge and insubordination is the inspiration behind Erik Yvon’s ‘GANG GANG’ collection showing at NZFW. The result is a modern take on streetwear, accentuated with refined fabrics and bold graphics. Interning with contemporary Australian fashion house Romance Was Born strengthened Yvon’s desire to start his own label after graduating and the emerging designer shows at fashion weeks are Yvon’s favourite because the designers don’t tend to follow the trends. Although hailing from Melbourne, the designer has a strong affinity with our country, stating: “New Zealand fashion is definitely a force to be reckoned with, you guys have some really cool stuff happening.” Erik-Yvon is ethical at its core and Yvon works closely with his ‘Melburnian’ community to support local craftsmen and businesses. Yvon’s latest efforts are a continuation of the label’s effortless street gender-neutral aesthetic.
Looking good with little fuss is Kendall Watt’s motto for her debut NZFW collection. Titled ‘All Tied Up’ the collection was designed around the concept of creating luxurious interpretations of everyday staples with comfortable, quality fabric. She’s steered clear of excessive embellishments, instead relying on the garments’ construction to add details with ties and bows, hence the collection’s name. Watt says the weeks leading up to NZFW have called for long hours as she plans every minute detail of the largest industry audience her label has ever seen. But the moment she is most looking forward to is after the show, when she can relax and meet audience members. Watt has already met thousands of customers to gain a deeper understanding of what they are looking for in a New Zealand designer collection.
Bobby Luke and Jason Park
Campbell Luke’s Fall ’17 collections was the result of a designer collaboration with AUT alumni Bobby Luke and Jason Park. The pair is inspired by their bi-cultural histories with Luke being Maori and Park being Japanese. Part of the collection is inspired by post-colonial Maori workwear from the Taranaki region, and the other is influenced by traditional Korean garments particular to the Joseon Dynasty – but a whiri kawe – or common thread – of contemporary fashion binds these identities together. Luke is looking forward to watching the Miromoda show while at NZFW, as that was where he debuted last year. Beyond Fashion Week, he is looking to boost his presence in the industry and have his label in new stores.
Former equestrian show jumper Antoin’e Ogilvie creates handmade garments with conservative luxury in mind. The stylishly simple silhouettes of his label, AO, are built to empower both the women and men he designs for. At the moment Ogilvie’s goal is to create a more globally recognized profile for his one-year-old brand based on Auckland’s North Shore and he is also keeping an eye out for international collaborations via social media.