Designers to challenge the norm at Fashion Week.
Words Carolyn Enting
The 17th annual New Zealand Fashion Week officially kicks off next week and Good will be on the ground to check out what our home-grown designers have in store for winter 2018.
It seems odd to be thinking that far ahead but that’s been the reality of the fashion industry for decades. Designers present their winter collections in summer, and summer in winter. This is when buyers traditionally order the collections for their stores, and magazines like Good shoot models wearing the clothing. Spare a thought for the model shivering in silk on a beach in winter or sweltering in wool in the heat of summer.
However, the traditional Fashion Week model has been challenged in recent years for many reasons including the internet and fast fashion ripping off designs moments after them appearing on the runway. I remember attending Milan Fashion Week in 2002 and there being an outrage because a videographer live-streamed one of the shows onto the Internet. It opened up that designer to immediate plagiarism. The video was torn down but everyone knew this was only a temporary reprieve of what was to come. The fabric of Fashion Week’s system suddenly had a gaping hole that would have difficulty mending.
Today it is commonplace for a designer to stream their live show on the web and invite its clients to tune in (and place orders too). Burberry was a leader for catwalk pre-orders. Because who wants to wait six months to buy something you see on the runway when you want it now? It’s a fast game, and now a smart game if you want to keep up.
New Zealand designers are also adapting and next week the shows presented at the Viaduct Events Centre, Auckland will be a merry mix of the seasons.
Zambesi will officially open the week as Mercedes-Presents designer with a winter collection while Stolen Girlfriends Club will show its spring and high summer collections.
Wynn Crawshaw is showing a mix of both for his label Wynn Hamlyn (lead image and pictured right). His collection entitled ‘Seasons’ melds spring/summer 2017/18 and autumn/winter 2018 inspired by the “dysfunction of seasons in fashion”. It also tackles the topic of climate change. This will be demonstrated not only in his collection but also through the bespoke carpet runway design of wilting and flourishing blooms created for the Wynn Hamlyn show by The Flooring Foundation in collaboration with artist Kelly Thompson.
Auckland designer Jason Lingard will show his collection is also changing things up with his collection CHAOS カオス (below right). Instead of being a traditional runway show it will be presented as a conceptual presentation of interpretive movement and performed by a cast of local contemporary dancers to an experimental soundscape by Wellington sound artist Emi Pogoni.
Lingard’s collection itself was also formed in non-traditional ways. We are all used to seeing designers sketch, make patterns and sew garments, all thematically lined to a key inspiration of the season. CHAOS カオス was instead created via a set of self-imposed process-driven directives.
“I focused on a way of working that best suits me and makes me feel creatively free” says Lingard. “I began by writing down how I wanted to work; things such as: No drawing. Draw with fabric. Drape every piece. Create pieces that move and transfigure, that work for multiple genders, ages and body shapes. I really wanted to give myself fully to the process of working organically.”
Tune in next week with Good on Instagram and online for updates.
New Zealand Fashion Week runs from 28 August to 3 September 2017.