While the spotlight has been on Mercedes-Benz Australian Fashion Week and its new Carriageworks venue, across the ditch another Fashion Week has been making waves, albeit small ones.
New Zealand’s capital city Wellington, which grasped onto the title ‘the Coolest Little Capital” after been dubbed thus by The Lonely Planet, has just produced the Coolest Little Fashion Week.
Event organiser Cameron Sneddon mixed trade and retail in his event, now it its second year, though this year it stepped up a notch.
Held in a solo marquee that held a maximum of 400 (including standing) on the waterfront, the feeling was intimate and boutique.
It attracted headline designer label WORLD who opened the event with an extravagant showing of the label’s winter 2013 collection ‘Boring Gets You Nowhere’. Eco label Starfish showed both winter 2013 and summer 13/14 collections. While Auckland designers Vaughan Geeson and State of Grace travelled south to show. Footwear designer Kathryn Wilson held a spectacular off-site show at the local BMW showroom that was all legs and shoes. Former Wellington now Auckland-based label Jimmy D by James Dobson also held an offsite show.
Wellington Fashion Week wasn’t just about the established designers; it proved to the launching pad for a number of new labels too. Millicent designed by Paula Shepherd stormed the stage as a popular favourite with a sophisticated office wear collection titled ‘Reflections’ for summer 13/14 executed in pretty peach, pale yellow, florals and denim. The flattering and feminine collection was filled with silhouettes in structured fabrics like brocade which were fitted but also skimmed in all the right places. Shepherd, a former social science researcher, and mum, said she wanted women to feel good in her clothes. “It’s not sexy secretary, it’s CEO,” she said.
It impressed the judges too, with Shepherd walking away with The Museum Hotel ‘Excellence in Design’ Award, which equated to a cash prize of $1,000. The award was judged on creativity in design, use of fabric choices, construction of the garment and quality of its manufacturing.