Day three at New Zealand Fashion Week 2011

By Milly Nolan

Milly Nolan hit the runway for day three of New Zealand Fashion Week 2011. Here she brings you the latest trends in fashion, hair and makeup emerging on the catwalk.


It was a good thing that the Ruby show was held in a large Grey Lynn warehouse, as the turn-out was impressive – with young hipsters, media, friends and family all there to show their support to the young designers behind Ruby and their new diversion label, Liam. The energy was electric even before the show began.

First up was Liam’s debut show, which is designed by Emily Miller-Sharma – a replacement to their Madame Hawk label and a good one at that. While it still possesses the girly-fun spirit of Ruby, it definitely showed more sophistication with floor-length dresses with low backs, slim-line cigarette trousers, blouses and mid-calf woollen coats.

While the opening garment was a white floral matching pantsuit worn by model veteran Penny Pickard, the rest of the show was full of bright colours, with teal, acid blue and turquoise green a stand out. There was also a bright orange lace print, a jacquard floral and a gold lace that was specifically created for the collection. Miller-Sharma’s appreciation for basic, clean tailoring but playful and modern designs was obvious and by doing so she has provided the perfect type of workwear that could also see you through to the evening.

Next came Ruby – the seemingly effortless, quietly confidant and quirky label designed by Deanna Didovich. While all those qualities still remain, this show reflected a more grown-up Ruby with more elegant, sophisticated pieces. Inspired by the future, the collection (and styling) was slick and super modern with touches of sci-fi and neo-tribal with metallic vinyl, geometric patterns and art nouveau prints. Beautiful high-necked blouses in soft silk were prominent, as were belted jackets, chunky oversized knits, romper suits, shorts and, as always, a variety of coats, tunics, dresses and minis that Ruby does so well. Colours were a vivid palette of boysenberry, burnt orange, ochre and petrol blue interspersed with smoky greys, dark charcoals and crisp white. On show was also Ruby’s new jewellery line: a small range in brass and sterling silver and footwear.

Hair and Make-up

Keyed by Nicole Thompson, the make-up at Ruby was fresh and glowing with caramel, bronzed skin, top-heavy eyes with a strong triangular winged eyeshadow shape in kohl pencil and lustrous false lashes. The lips were bold in a bright pastel pink. For Liam, Thomson also kept the complexion minimal yet glowing and radiant with a neutral peach colour on the lips.

Ruby’s futuristic women wore their hair parted in the middle, rounded around their face and loosely tied at the nape of the neck in a series of knots before being left to hang free in a ponytail. The result was feminine but sexy. For Liam, the hair was worn down and was big, bouncy and full of volume with a strong side parting.


After a four-year hiatus, it was exciting to see Lonely Hearts back at NZFW this year. In that time they have evolved from a grunge-folk look to one that is more modern but is, as always, uber cool. The opening sound of Prodigy pounding from the stereo set the scene for what was a walk down memory lane, casting the audience back to the 90s with baseball hats, shades of burgundy and sheer stockings. Cut out racer-back details and leather jackets, shorts and trousers gave a tough appeal to the more feminine dresses that were either figure hugging, sheer and floating or short in miniature floral print or bold stripes. Merino wool played a huge part in this collection, as did georgette, silk and chiffon. Their signature cream shearling jackets, which sold so well last season, were wisely repeated in crimson and black. Cobalt blue and a fiery orange/red brightened up what was mainly a dark palette of browns, navy, black and greys. Under each garment were flashes of their lacy (and racy) lingerie line, Lonely by Lonely Hearts.

Hair and Make-Up

Keyed by Nicole Thompson for M.A.C Cosmetics the inspiration for the show was ‘fresh and youthful with a hard, tough edge.’ To create this, the models eyelids were painted in crimson red eye pigment in a rectangular shape. The complexion was kept fresh and glowing while the lips were plump and nude in colour.

“The inspiration for the hair came straight out of a couple of old Harpers Bazaar magazine from the 90s,” says Stephen Marr’s Lauren Gunn. “Basically we just wrapped the hair onto the head using minimal clips. It’s that kind of 90s wet look – as if you have just got out of the swimming pool.  It’s sculpted but also disobedient which matches the clothes perfectly.”


In typical Trelise Cooper manner her show was a spectacle. While her patterns, silhouettes, palette and fabrics are always so vast and varied, it is hard to cohesively describe her collection, but one thing is clear – even after all these years, Cooper is still brimming with new ideas that convey themselves effortlessly in her beautiful creations.

Country music and a backdrop of an American flag set the scene for Trelise’s diffusion line, Cooper, which was inspired by ‘sassy saloon girls’. Looking as if they had stepped straight out of the Prairie, the models wore pale denim with white pinstripes, brown ribbed corduroy, high neck lace, pretty ruffled dresses, high-waist and wide-legged trousers, printed silks, crochet vests, hot pants, plaid shirts and denim cut-offs and miniskirts. Felt hats, brown knee-high socks, white lace tights and laced-up ankle boots completed the look which was fun and quirky – definitely something for everyone.

Next came the Trelise Cooper line which was inspired partly by “whacky birds” (as Trelise put it) – which explained the mystical garden scene full of birds, butterflies, flowers and the like, which provided the exquisite backdrop to the show –  and also the reason for the many bird prints that sashayed down the runway. Reflecting Trelise’s love for colour, the show opened with the palest green gingham, followed by beautiful soft pastels in purples, pinks and shades of green – much like the colours of Laduree macaroons. Although prettier and softer than the Cooper line, the collection had an air of Desperate Housewives to it – the models looking prim and proper in their smart outfits, yet something indescribable hinted at the more risque. And of course, there was Trelise’s usual intricate embellishing, sequins and beading on a variety of tops and dresses fit for those special occasions. Or for the working woman, there were also Chanel-esque tweed and wool two-piece suits.

Her silk prints were at times breathtaking – scenes from a garden, a jungle of birds or a lone swan all begging to be worn. The biggest surprise at all was a halt in the show which saw a group of models storm down the runway in suit jackets, sans bras, sheer stockings to the knee and black underwear that read “boardroom women” on the backside. While the interruption was a welcomed one, gaining laughter from the crowd, it left everyone wondering what on earth had gone on, until Trelise explained later that it was a teaser for her capsule corporate-wear collection which she is designing for department store giant, David Jones. That’s one thing you have to love about Trelise, besides her obvious talent as a designer, she knows how to put on a good show.  


As usual the Stolen Girlfriend’s Club show was full of surprises, mastered by the three boys behind the brand, Marc Moore, Luke Harwood and Dan Gosling. While notorious for running late, this year, the boys provided entertainment bang on time with a surprise menswear show held outside the inner-city warehouse venue. Red plaid check shirts, oversized sweaters and white shirts were amongst some of the looks. Once the show was over, the next task was to get everyone inside and seated or standing in an orderly fashion – not an easy feat with an excitable crowd that are there as much for the party as for the clothes. 

When the chaos had subsided, the lights lit up to reveal the silouhette of what were some of New Zealand’s top (and older than the normal NZFW casting) models (Penny Pickard, Grace Owen and Ngahuia Williams) who walked down the scaffolding strewn runway to Madonna’s Like a Prayer in meringue-like prom dresses. While my first thought was ‘please don’t bring back the eighties’, luckily the boys were, true to form, having a laugh and the dresses were ripped off in the middle of the runway to reveal sexier, tighter, more risqué dresses underneath – the real SGC collection.

The inspiration for the show was based around a globe-trotting wanderer who travels the world, pulling the best pieces from wherever she goes, throwing them together in a way that only she can. This notion of confidence and natural sexiness was portrayed in the model’s hasty, long-stride walk and in the clothes themselves  – a mixture of feminine chiffon, body-con panelling, silk blouses, lace tops and dresses and short shorts with tougher pieces such a chunky knits, printed denim, leather trousers with criss-crossed ties and oversized and hooded fur jackets, all of which were worn with platform-heeled boots. The jewellery looked straight out of a costume box – reinforcing the idea of the magpie traveller collecting as she goes – just as this range will be by SGC’s many cult followers.

Hair and Make-Up

Keyed by Fatima Thomas for M.A.C Cosmetics, the inspiration for this look was from Patrick Nagel’s illustrations from the 80s. To express this, the complexion was completely flawless with a matte finish, free of any shine. Dark charcoal eyeshadow was smudged around the eye for messy definition and a ‘slept-in’ look. An intense black lash was created with a smothering of mascara, and sculpting powder was used to softly contour the cheeks.

As a perfect complement to the show’s rock and roll look, KMS California Hair Director Greg Murrell created an edgy yet feminine style.  The hair was pulled back off the face, then fastened at the back of the head with a series of three knots sewn to the head, with the rest of the hair hanging loosely down the back of the neck.


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