Royal New Zealand Ballet dancers take to the catwalk in Tamsin Cooper jackets. Photo by Linda Robertson.
In the wake of another resoundingly successful iD Dunedin
Fashion Show, Jude Hathaway reviews the collections.
The same design nous that initially shone a light on the
collective fashion creativity of Dunedin when established and
ingenue designers gathered for the first show in 2000
Back then, the standout aspect was their very different
design aesthetics. Nothing has changed - except an ongoing
freshness and unpredictability.
Ah, they're good!
Now, too, is the unrestrained support and enthusiasm from
such fashion design notables as Australian-born, Paris-based
Martin Grant and New Zealand's own internationally acclaimed
Francis Hooper and Denise L'Estrange, of Auckland-based
World, who dazzled this year's station crowds.
Bringing with him a palpable sense of the splendour of Paris,
international guest Martin Grant presented his summer range,
recently launched in the French capital for the forthcoming
northern hemisphere season.
The maestro's clothes provided surprising diversions. A body
suit has never looked better as worn under a flowing draped
overdress with which he opened the show.
He teamed simple black tops and bustieres with sumptuous
black tulle Dior-esque skirts and exaggerated tulip
He effortlessly toyed with shapes and lines using bold,
monotone geometric prints for stunning effect. A standout was
an intricately cut black evening gown with an enchantingly
full skirt. And the footwear?
By Charles Louboutin - of course!
A coup for the show was that World's visual gems from its
couture collection was seen in its entirety for the first
time, setting the catwalk ablaze with spectacular futuristic
and fantastical garments - kind of 1930s Hollywood glam meets
It tied up adept tailoring and design ingenuity in extended
silhouettes including high, peaked shoulders and long trains
using a sumptuous mix of silk velvet, swiss lace, cashmere
wool, and leather.
The breathtaking gold lame gown, accessorised with a crash
helmet, held alien-like appeal.
World - back for a second time - won hearts. Other brands in
order of appearance.
At a recent photo shoot as Margarita Robertson gave
last-minute guidance to the young Ali McD model on the
general demeanour she wanted, the model suggested ''Sort of
''Exactly,'' replied the creative director of Nom*D, eyes
And here's the appeal of Dunedin's best-known brand. It is
attitude-drenched but with an underlying vulnerability, which
showed clearly in its ''I Will Be Good'' collection.
This time, the school uniform has been referenced in demure
dresses, blazer jackets and detachable backpacks - all
strongly utilitarian. But there's sophistication too.
Take the belted overcoats and the beautiful winter jackets. A
stylish plaid theme was back, running alongside rich brass,
plum and espresso colours for another marvellous Nom*D show
Otago Polytechnic School of Design
The brilliance of young design graduates was seen in outfits
from Lauren Arthur, Hannah Louise Heslop, Georgia Ferguson
and Justine Tindley, the latter three all finalists in the iD
International Designer Awards.
Charmaine Reveley has lavished her accomplished winter range
with feminine intensity whether in the wide-leg pants,
polka-dot tops or the lace and silk dresses in black, royal
blue and burgundy, some heavily sequinned, others less
embellished but equally attention-grabbing.
There is an effortless quality about this range. Surprising,
too, is a touch of resort wear in a delightful full-length
deep-blue and cream silk twill dress tricked with cream
beaded motifs finished with a sash.
But she's also a practical Southern girl, heading off winter
with such treats as a pink and grey duffel coat and the short
wool jackets with leather lapels.
Donna Tulloch' s ''Shadow Maker'' range frolics with light
and texture, mixing high and low sheens, sequins and wool,
deer nappa leather and heavy lace.
It made for a dramatic and energetic catwalk show of what is
surely her most sensual Mild-Red collection yet. Colours
seldom move from black, khaki and Bordeaux.
She teases with one-off outfits such as a limited edition
button-through Italian coat lace dress worn with satin shorts
or the Bordeaux merino lace dress with a fringed deer skin
The collars make regular appearances. And there is also
asymmetry, layering and the architectural elements for that
exceptional Mild-Red touch.
Models moved quickly into Tanya Carlson's crisply styled
''Bright Lights, Big City'' mood - the theme for her lyrical
collection inspired by New York and taking on the energy of
that power-packed city.
Swinging from ladylike to girly and with an underlying
Carlson sexiness, '40s influences were called up in beautiful
silk and lace dresses, while the '50s and '60s were
powerfully represented in the Chanel-styled basket weave box
jacket and shift dress.
Flirty fun was evoked in a sensuous long print dress, a
sequinned black sweater and the yellow PVC raincoat. And it
would not have been Carlson without winter shorts, a
beautiful wrap-up-warmly coat or the back-beaded, long black
crepe Audrey'' dress.
The calibre of his winter collection, ''Pop Hearts'', cleared
the path for Vaughan Geeson to bring a full collection from
Auckland for this year's show in Dunedin, where he first
launched his fashion career in the late '90s.
The brand is now firmly established throughout New Zealand,
the 2014 collection showing off a distinctive - and confident
- design style.
This runs from a preppy pertness in the knit printed sweaters
and fine merino polka-dot cardigans and jumpers through to
lady-be-good nuances of the sunray pleated skirts, the
colour-blocked ''Factory'' dresses and the brocade pants,
skirts and dresses.
Marie Strauss and her DADA Vintage label brought
tongue-in-cheek fun to the catwalk, this taking nothing away
from the calibre of her covetable winter range of wearable
separates, dresses and overcoats .
European influences were noticeable in her overall approach
and plaids and checks were to the fore. She addressed winter
head on with big-hearted overcoats in a variety of styles and
She chose cosy hand-knitted beanies as accessories, while
artists Madeleine Child and Phillips Jarvis came along for
the ride with crazy, sculptural jewellery that fitted
comfortably into Strauss' design aesthetic.
Tamsin Cooper took a trio of RNZB male dancers, a quad of
rising Otago rugby stars, clothes racks and gritty music for
the high-voltage launch of her men's dressy tailored jackets
that target men of all ages seeking a sartorial edge.
The jackets came in vibrant turquoise with silk taffeta
lining in yellow, purple and turquoise checks, red with black
and red checked lining and in black cotton velvet, also with
superb checked lining. Smart pocket squares and rolled
'80s-style sleeves gave an overall urbane look.
And there were also her gorgeous women's velvet coats,
jackets and gowns, some beaded, others tricked with
flirtatious flounces to complete the spectacular
Company of Strangers
Sara Munro cleverly balanced signature hard-edge with sexy
femininity in her winter ''Libertine'' collection, where she
matched her romantic georgette garments with cropped leather
bomber jackets, zipped coats and capes, skinny and
Rich burgundy, rose and mustard tones gave sparks of colour,
while the striking wide-brim, black leather hats - a
collaboration with Dunedin milliner Dr Margo Barton -
provided a strong, dark note. The Schiele wedge ankle boots -
a collaboration with footwear company, Chaos and Harmony -
helped set the tone for her high-flying show.
The five small capsule collections all left a feeling of
Dunedin's Fiona Clements and her Senorita AweSUMO
label brought along her wonderful world of environmentally
responsible clothes through men's and women's outfits created
from commercial offcuts, fabric from transfer stations, an
upcycled dress and a fabulous creation - with accessories -
all from found pieces.
From Wellington, Annabelle Wilson's gracious and classically
based Wilson Trollope womenswear included daywear of a
delightful polka-dot navy and white dress with pink inserts
and a navy coat with contrasting stone details along with
knitwear and dressy brocades.
Also from Wellington, Sheryl White's Highnoontea
winter range was spiked with glimpses of her eclectic and
confident design style. Standouts were a gold capelet, a
preppy blouse, a gleaming paisley dress and her adaptation of
a double-breasted pea jacket.
Dunedin Richie Boyens' zany originality was highlighted with
his Clothes I've Made menswear pieces. Some showing a
rugged edge, they included a quilted jacket, plaid shirts,
two-toned skinny jeans and his individual take on ubiquitous
men's overalls. Chunky knits caught the eye.
Now re-established in Christchurch, Debbie Lawson brought her
stylish DEVal label and the lux vibe it evokes back
for iD. Her clothes were predominantly in signature natural
tones. Slim leather pants, zipped and buckled jackets -
including an intricately detailed wool-lined flying jacket -
Storm: Deborah Caldwell has given her Auckland label
Storm a shot of extra vitality with the launch of her new
limited edition ''Event'' line to celebrate the iD show's big
anniversary. Targeting those who want to look good at a
dressy lunch, dinner or theatre outing, it features signature
Storm fabrics, fur and leather that bring metallic gleam,
glitz, sheen and sparkle to a range of separates, dresses and
pants. Predominantly in silver, gold and black, the range has
a distinctive glam-rock base.
Also giving the crowd a taste of their phenomenal talent were
the winners of the various iD International Emerging Designer
This 15th iD show reaffirmed the exhilarating appeal of a
concept steeped in fashion design excellence.