Thursday, September 6, 2012

Backstage at Zambesi - NZFW AW13

As anyone who is following my Twitter, Posterous and Facebook feeds already knows, I am currently in Auckland covering New Zealand Fashion Week – along with numerous other Australian and international media reps, as a guest of the organisers. I am attempting to see every show and file in real-time as I go. I am also shooting backstage with a DSLR, but this obviously requires a/backstage access and b/time to produce galleries. As I have pointed out on numerous previous occasions during fashion weeks, when you are a one-man band it's impossible to do everything. Just on real-time access to the event, it's worth noting that some NZ designers seem to be a little twitchy regarding pre-show Twitter coverage this year. Hard to say why as it's most certainly not the first time Twitter has been at the event. Perhaps there's just a greater volume of it. If they want to limit backstage access pre-show then that is entirely their choice. Brands such as Burberry, which now Tweets its entire collection from backstage before the models hit the runway, take a very different approach. Here is the first gallery: taken at Monday night's Zambesi show. 

Great to see one of the top new models to emerge from New Zealand this season, Holly Rose Emery, in addition to better-known names such as Michael Whittaker, who recently returned from a successful international menswear show season walking for, among others, Balenciaga.

Given the economic climate, not surprising to hear from Zambesi's menswear designer Dayne Johnston that he and Zambesi womenswear designer and founder  Liz Findlay focussed this season on what consumers really want in their wardrobes. Was there a slightly more commercial focus than we have come to expect from Zambesi? In the mens' suits, absolutely, but then which man doesn't look smart in a killer black suit? 

There was a lot of formal suiting; workwear-inspired knitwear; and as per usual, a plethora of pretty, unstructured dresses, many of them layered over trousers and leggings. 

More subversive pieces included a men's trench in a bonded wool fabric with raw edges and vinyl sleeves and some intriguing paint-splattered vinyl mini capelets that looked like the repurposed remnants of a dry cleaner's plastic suit covers.   

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