What is New Zealand fashion? It is a unique coming together of fantasy and fabric, where passion meets practicality and style. It is a force forever growing, changing, evolving and extending its reach far beyond the remote location of our shores.
It is also an impetus for a coming together of people with a common desire of designer fashion.
Rosanna Price will be covering Wellington Fashion Week 2013 on 3-7 April and in the meantime will be bringing you an up-close glimpse of the designers involved.
Left: MARDLE | Right: HIGHNOONTEA
New Zealand fashion labels, Mardle and highnoontea, have just launched their Autumn/Winter collections after throwing a collaborative fashion show in the capital with a few other up and coming designers.
Shiana Weir is behind Mardle, which she describes as “casual elegance”. Her focus of design is for women who like to have a bit of fun with their wardrobe, to look good but to also be functional and versatile. “I like clothes I can just chuck on whenever and wear to work or out at home, something that multi-tasks… but something that is well-presented, has beautiful fabrics and has an ease to it.”
A market-focus is also essential for the industry. Shiana says she is inspired by what’s going on around her and overseas which is important as well as having her own style.
“I think it’s important to be original but also to tick the boxes: for what people are actually after, what people are going to buy and what make sense for you as well. What will work for a New Zealand client? New Zealanders are getting better and more adventurous and I think that things like street-style blogs really help push people along.”
Mardle is to make its second appearance at Wellington Fashion Week. Shiana says it is a great opportunity for designers to get their label out there:
“They’ve invited buyers and media from all over the place. So people will see the show and write about it, and they may approach you to get involved in their store. To really take advantage of the opportunity I’ll probably be doing a pre-show preview for buyers because it’s silly not to really. You get all these people in town for one week.
“Last year was really good for Mardle. The media really got on board and I got some very good reviews so it was helpful. Boutiques had heard of me through media, so when I approached them they had already been reading about me. That was really cool.”
highnoontea’s creator, Sheryl White, has been in the industry for 13 years. While she indeed has talent for fashion, she doesn’t think fashion is as important as style; “I admire people with style, whether it be in their dress or the way they carry out their lives. Style is something inherent and draws others in.”
The highnoontea customer is “a free thinker, who can pick out our classic shaped pieces and mix them with hard-edged elements such as a cool leather jacket or some oversized vintage jewelry.”
Sheryl’s favourite international designers are Marni and the Proenza Schouler boys, but she loves New Zealand designers for their passion and style. “I am excited by the new direction NZ fashion is heading and feel like labels such as Pardon My French and Company of Strangers are leading the way.”
Left: HIGHNOONTEA | Right: HIGHNOONTEA
She will be kept busy the next couple of weeks finalizing styling and preparations for Wellington Fashion Week. It will be the first time highnoontea is showing.
“We have just shot our SS 13/14 look book and campaign and are super-excited to share with the buyers, media and public.”
Mardle and highnoontea will be in the same show on 5 April.
For more information:
All Mardle photos courtesy of Nikita Brown Photography
Highnoontea lookbook shots by Jenn Hadley Photography and Winter showcase courtesy of lifestyle Tea
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