Kate Sylvester kicked off New Zealand Fashion Week 2019 on Monday with a romantic collection that mixed both new and vintage Kate Sylvester pieces. With such a jam-packed schedule this year, we’ve rounded up the six things you need to know about New Zealand’s most anticipated event on the fashion calendar.
Zambesi Celebrates 40 Years
On the runway at Auckland Town Hall on 30 August, four decades of Zambesi will storm the runway as the iconic homegrown fashion brand celebrates turning 40. “Clothes from 40 years ago can still be worn now – the Zambesi wardrobe is timeless and still relevant,” says Zambesi Co-founder Elisabeth Findlay. “Like old friends, people hold on to their Zambesi pieces.” While the retrospective show takes a look back at the brand’s journey from a handful of designs to the thousands now in its archive, the Winter 2020 collection show at Central City Library on August 29 provides a glimpse into the brand’s future. “It’s a challenging and rewarding industry, you never feel like you’ve nailed it,” says Elisabeth. “That’s what attracts us to it, it’s an ongoing journey. It’s a beautiful thing in a way.”
Salasai to Use AI Models
Innovation is always a central theme at New Zealand Fashion Week and this year is no exception with SALASAI turning to the ever-evolving world of artificial intelligence to showcase their autumn/winter 2020 collection. Through a collaboration with various content creators and local AI company, UneeQ Digital Humans, SALASAI will release a series of photographs on various platforms each night at 7.30pm. The still images will showcase the various interpretations and varied effect that different creatives have on the single collection. UneeQ, is just one of the collaborators and will feature New Zealand’s very first AI-powered digital human fashion model. “This year it is about changing delivery, and operating in the digital space that we rely on year-round,” says SALASAI founder and designer Kirsha Whitcher. Content will be shared viaSALASAI’s Instagram, Facebook and EDM channels.
Maggie Marilyn Makes Runway Debut
Local designer Maggie Hewitt may have quickly emerged as a global leader in the realm of sustainable fashion, but the designer will make her debut show globally for her fashion brand Maggie Marilyn at New Zealand Fashion Week on Tuesday. “It felt really important for us to do it here in New Zealand as this is home and we wouldn’t be where we are without the constant
support of our incredible local makers and supporters,” Hewitt says. “We believe in a fashion industry that is regenerative and inclusive. This has inspired our collection and will be clearly visible in our NZFW 2019 show. Expect to see beautiful clothing and walk away with new insight into how the clothing was made and the sustainable fabrications we’ve used.”
Designer Maggie Hewitt will make her runway debut with Maggie Marilyn this fashion week.
Sustainability in the Spotlight
The fashion world has increasingly come under scrutiny for the impact the industry has on the planet, and with this in mind, New Zealand Fashion Week is adopting a more environmentally minded approach to the week’s events. Conscious runway shows, seminars, workshops and iniatives will highlight the changes the fashion industry needs to make to help conserve the planet for generations to come. On Friday morning the sustainable seminar Doing Well By Doing Good will invite a panel of designers including Maggie Hewitt, Kate Sylvester and Kathryn Wilson to discuss the current challenges the industry faces. Fashion Weekend will see another panel discussion Can Fashion Save the World? hosted by the head designer of Kowtow, designer Kiri Nathan and Peri Drysdale MBE, the founder and CEO of Untouched World. Tickets to both events are available at iticket.co.nz. Onsite, NZFW has set the goal of keeping a minimum of 70 per cent of waste created out of the landfill.
A More Diverse Event
Sustainability isn’t the only buzzword being embraced by the fashion world at the moment. “Fashion can – and should be – for everyone. That’s why we’re so excited and proud to have such a strong focus on diversity and inclusivity at this year’s New Zealand Fashion Week,” says Dame Pieter Stewart, NZFW founder and managing director. To reflect this NZFW has worked with the Ministry of Social Development to place 100 New Zealanders with disabilities in backstage volunteer positions. On the runway, expect to see a more diverse bunch of models as the casting calls looked to represent transgender, racially diverse, plus size models and those with disabilities. There will also be a diversity seminar held which will feature a panel of guests leading the way in championing diversity and will offer thought-provoking insights on the importance of inclusivity.
Fashion Weekend Turns 10
While most shows are restricted to fashion buyers, media and international guests, NZ Fashion Weekend opens the Fashion Week experience up to the public each year. It’s become a must for fashion lovers across the country, and this year the event turns 10. Running from Friday 30 August to Sunday 1 September, Fashion Weekend will be hosted at the new Aotea Square and Auckland Town Hall and its the perfect opportunity for all fashion enthusiasts to get a glimpse into the world of New Zealand fashion. “NZ Fashion Weekend is such a fantastic fashion-and-fun-packed few days, and this year is possibly the most exciting and diverse,” says NZFW founder and managing director Dame Pieter Stewart. “It’s also NZ Fashion Weekend’s 10th anniversary, which makes it particularly special – so there’s even more to celebrate.” As well as fashion shows and seminars, the anticipated Designer Pop-Up Sale returns for one day only on Sunday with New Zealand’s favourite designer fashion, footwear and accessory labels including Hailwood, Flo & Frankie and exciting newcomers like Jet Set Bohemian.