NZFW 2018 Diary

Although I was planning on taking it easy this year at New Zealand Fashion Week, that’s not exactly how things played out…

I’ve attended the past three NZFWs, as well as a few overseas in Sydney and Toronto. But this was the first year I’ve been self-employed and haven’t had to take time off work! Despite my best intentions to only take in a few shows (to save myself from burning out), I managed to pack in four pretty full days and a lot of my other work fell by the wayside. Since I saw most of the shows, I thought I’d share a round-up of the week and my favourite moments with photos by my friend, Robyn at Anywhere I Roam.

Most impressive show…
Trelise Cooper‘s fashion week shows are always incredible, but this year really blew me out of the water. Full of colour and sass, the collection featured 70s and 80s style dresses, brocade and lots of sequin party-wear and even an electric blue pantsuit. Set to the tunes of flamboyant musical entertainers, I couldn’t resist dancing along in my seat. My favourite look was the mermaid pleated skirt that shimmered as the model walked down the catwalk. I attended this show with my bestie, Annie and we seriously had the best night out!

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Coolest atmosphere…
Stolen Girlfriends Club always put on amazing shows. This year’s was held at the Red Bull HQ in Ponsonby and the atmosphere was just as cool as you’d imagine. With an open bar and cocktails flowing, attendees socialised and sipped on Stolen-themed drinks and Asahi beer before the 9PM show kicked off. The collection itself was a bit badass with plenty of leather, my personal favourite was the lilac leather coat. The finale featured models dragging glow-in-the-dark rubbish bins, commentary on the wastefulness of fast fashion, perhaps?

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Most inventive showcase…
I knew I’d love Hej Hej‘s show even before the invites rolled in. New on the scene, Hej Hej is quickly becoming known for light-weight linens and comfy knits that pair so perfectly together for New Zealand’s haphazard weather. Their show was on a yacht, gin cocktails were flowing and the sun was out just in time for the 4PM start. Their latest collection, Cruise Control is full of pared back, loose fitting linen staples that you’ll reach for all summer long.

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Overall favourite show…
The Twenty Seven Names show kicked off with the Auckland Girls Grammar choir singing Rihanna’s Diamonds, setting the tone for an amazing show. This Wellington brand can do no wrong in my eyes, their clothes use wearable (often recycled) materials in the most fun prints and cuts. This collection was particularly colourful, with canary yellow coats, pink shift dresses and emerald green blazers. Taking place at Showroom 22’s light-filled studio, the show was intimate and the music was incredible — favourite 90s tunes in all their glory.

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What I wore…
I decided to opt for comfort this year because I knew I’d be running around like crazy, catching Ubers, meeting with clients, and tapping away on my laptop between shows. I borrowed quite a few outfits from my favourite brands Leo + Be and RUBY to name a few and packed my favourite pieces from Kiwi designers like Twenty Seven Names and Hej Hej. I handpicked a Witchery blazer from my friends at Undertow Media and next thing I know, I’m seeing the same shade at the three next shows… I’m pretty thrilled to see colour come back in.

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Where I stayed…
The Grand Mercure in Auckland is perfectly situated for a week of fashion-filled festivities. I checked in on Monday and never wanted to leave. The amenities include a virtual fitness room, a pillow menu, delicious room service, and TV by the bath — if only I’d had time to fully enjoy it all. The level of service is incredible and I’ll definitely be booking another night’s stay here very soon!

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Check out my vlog to see a hotel room tour. 

Final words…
For me, NZFW is about so much more than just clothing. It’s a chance to catch up with friends (I’m looking at you, Robyn), meet new faces and get inspired. The creativity of New Zealand designers never ceases to amaze me and I love seeing how they embrace the ever-changing industry. Fashion needs to be more sustainable and considered and many Kiwi designers are taking a step back, creating smaller capsule collections that will stand the test of time. I always leave feeling excited (and exhausted) and ready to create new content.

All photography by Robyn Joan Wilson of Anywhere I Roam 

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