British model Mercy Brewer, 54, exited an 18-year retirement from the runway to walk for Zambesi at last night’s Marr Factory show at Golden Dawn, Auckland.
Pictured here backstage with fellow model Mary Maguet, Brewer said it was her first show in New Zealand. No doubt there will be many more, especially with New Zealand Fashion Week just around the corner.
Brewer, who modelled on the runways of London, Paris and Milan during the 1980s and 90s alongside Naomi Campbell and Helena Christensen, has been living in New Zealand for the past decade. She was recently spotted on the street by stylist Karen Inderblitzen-Waller who immediately introduced her to Unique Model Management which signed her up on the spot.
Brewer said she was “shocked” when Unique sent her to the Zambesi casting two weeks ago but “took the opportunity and went”.
“I used to work with Naomi Campbell, Karen Mulder, Helena Christensen and Kate Moss. They were the super models and then there were the jobbing models like myself that filled out the runways,” she said.
Brewer is Zambesi’s newest “Zambassador”. Casting for this show was all about the Zambesi team, family and “models the fashion brand likes working with”.
On the night well-known models including Ngahuia Williams walked alongside Zambesi staff members who had styled themselves. Zambesi photographer Marissa Findlay’s son Bruno, 5, also walked in the show with Findlay’s partner Ben, wearing a matching Liberty zodiac print.
The Liberty print was a focal point of the collection, executed in bomber jackets, shirts, skirts and caps. Zambesi collaborated with Liberty choosing the zodiac and a floral daisy print for its spring/summer 14 collection which are exclusive to the label in Australia and New Zealand. Liberty also printed the zodiac print on to a sweat shirting base especially for Zambesi.
The collection had a sporty vibe with mesh-like knits, and sporty stripes created by bands of black and white elastic. There were also beautiful beaded tabard dresses which added shine.
The beauty look for the show was based on Zambesi’s latest campaign make-up for spring/summer 14 – a strong punchy red lip and graphic smokey eye.
However, rather than providing a uniform look, national artist for M.A.C Cosmetics New Zealand Kiekie Stanners made sure each model had their own personal style.
“In keeping with the Zambesi family vibe to the show we wanted everyone to look like individual characters,” Stanners said. “The outfits they’ve chosen and styled themselves and we wanted them to keep their own personality when they’re walking too, so they’ve either got the lip or the eye but everything is really tailored so that they can be personalities.”
Key products used on the lips were M.A.C High Energy Pro Longwear Lip Pencil and Relentlessly Red Lipstick with Red Electric pigment pressed over the top of it. For the eyes Stanners used M.A.C Blacktrack Fluidline Carbon Eye Shadow and Smoulder Pencil “to create a really black smokey eye”.
Pictures by Olivia Hemus and Sam Lee