The showing of Stolen Girlfriends Club’s in-season Spring 2015 collection last night marked ten years in the business for the brand, which is fitting because that’s about how many years it’s been since the last time I attended a high school assembly, and this is exactly what the presentation of ‘Township Rebellion’ felt like.
Seated onstage at the recently reopened and (sort of) refurbished St. James Theatre, we watched as models skulked past in grey plaid skirts and grungy hoodies —almost as if they were being publicly paraded as punishment for flouting school uniform codes.
Certainly the non-regulation black jeans stirred up memories of certain bad-asses I went to school with and the sartorial crimes they tried to get away with. But whereas, in 2005, there was only ever one socially acceptable cut worth getting a detention over (and woe betide you if, when skinnies replaced flares out of nowhere, you hadn’t made the switch by the weekend), the jeans at Stolen were of every variety—skinny, relaxed, flared, and super-flared—proving just how far we’ve come on the arbitrary trend front. (As a side note, I’ve been resisting flares all winter, but Stolen’s black moleskins might just be the ones that lure me back in).
A beauty look which consisted of sparkly tangerine eye-shadow and sheer shimmery nail polish was spot on—any power-tripping faculty member would have been gleefully preparing a list of girls to march to the bathrooms post-assembly with a bottle of nail polish remover (makeup would of course be unceremoniously scrubbed off with hand soap and a paper towel). The overly glossy lips also had me reliving my Year 10 obsession with watermelon Bonne Bell Lip Rush, which was surely the stickiest, sugariest, and unfortunately leakiest lip gloss ever made.
Because ‘Township Rebellion’ is, above all else, a shout-out to provincial New Zealand, there were flannel, swanndri, and sheepskin pieces aplenty. The sheepskin bombers for both men and women, part of the collection’s imminent second drop, will surely be instant sell outs. And in the meantime, we got an animated reminder of everything from the first drop that’s available to buy in stores and online now. It’s this kind of business savvy that exemplifies why Stolen has lasted the distance.
All in all a killer show. Happy birthday Stolen, here’s to many more.
Words: Phoebe Watt
Photos: Michael Ng/New Zealand Fashion Week