Freedom and flares

The New Zealand Fashion Museum exhibition Age of Aquarius showcases more than 60 pieces including menswear from established designer labels including Hullabaloo and Miss Deb, as well as small independent labels of the era including Black Sheep by Mary-Jane and Phil O’Reilly who are pictured here modelling their own creations.

The couple began making denim in London as a way to earn money while Mary-Jane, formerly of Limbs, completed a dance scholarship with the Royal Ballet in the early 70s. On their return to New Zealand in 1974 they began selling their wares at the Cook Street Markets, Auckland.

Phil, a graphic designer did the design work and made and applied all the hardware to the denim and Mary-Jane did the sewing. The garments were distinguished with quirky branding including a leather label stamped by Phil himself. The denim jeans, skirts, dungarees, vests and bags all came with an authentication certificate and they also screen printed T-shirts with the certificate.

Age of Aquarius is being held on the ground floor of the Geyser Building, 100 Parnell Road, Auckland where it will be showcased alongside 1970s era furniture.

NZ Fashion Week to showcase Aussie and Kiwi designs

Australian designers Mia Brennan and Grace Lee will show alongside seven Maori designers – Adrienne Whitewood, Mitchell Vincent, Kylie Mangan, Hori Thompson, Leilani Rickard, Dmonic Intent and Pia Boutique – as part of the Miromoda Showcase.

Lee’s richly embellished fabrics echo the influences of her culture where she translates traditional techniques into contemporary womenswear (pictured). A former accessory designer, Lee worked at Mimco as an assistant designer before starting her own label. She was awarded Young Emerging Designer at the Melange Fashion Show in San Francisco in 2011 and will be showcasing her work at the inaugural Australian Indigenous Fashion Week in 2014.

Brennan will be presenting designs her emerging label Mimi Designs. Based in Byron Bay, Brennan draws on her surroundings as well as her Aboriginal ancestry for inspiration using earthy fibres and textiles to create garments with a contemporary edge.

Other Australian labels showing on the schedule this week include Charlie Brown and swimwear label Tigerlily.

Fashion Week, which kicks off tonight, runs until September 8. Established labels on the schedule include Zambesi, Trelise Cooper, Andrea Moore, Jimmy D, Hailwood, Stolen Girlfriends Club, Twenty-Seven Names and Salasai.