The Most Memorable Looks from NZ Fashion Week

Viva editors share their stand-out runway moments from fashion week, from Kate Sylvester to Lonely Hearts

Kate Sylvester at NZFW 2006. Picture / Supplied

“I worked on the guest list and seating plan for Kate Sylvester's 2005 Stop Your Sobbing show. Unfortunately the fashion week door staff were woefully ill-prepared for the barrage of people blagging their way in and amidst a sea of people who weren't on my list they deemed us a fire hazard and closed the doors with people still waiting to get in. While the front row sobbed into their gifted monogrammed hankies over the emotional beauty of the show, which opened to tear jerker Into My Arms by Nick Cave, I was choking back tears for a different reason.”
— Rebecca Wadey, wellbeing editor

Zambesi at NZFW 2005. Picture / NZPA/Ross Setford

Zambesi at the St James in 2005 was a stand-out show in a stand-out year with a stand-out dress. The liquid drape of pink charmeuse twinned with rock’n’roll eyes and hair (by Amber Dreadon and Greg Murrell) summed up the rock vibe of the mostly black winter 2006 collection. The dark stage was electrified with raspberry velvet accent pieces, which to this day I regret not buying.”
— Janetta Mackay, beauty editor

Cybele at NZFW 2005. Picture / Supplied

“When Avril Planqueel came stomping out to Happy House by Siouxsie and the Banshees at Cybele’s Something Wicked this way Comes show in 2005, everything about it just felt right. There was something menacing about the pace of that show. Compared to some of the shows I’ve seen overseas, this one seems to stay with me after all these years. It captured Cybele’s aesthetic really well with its unusual layering and off colours. I think part of the reason why I remember it so well is because Avril looked a little badass with her haircut and had this attitude that said, ‘Get the f**k out of my way’.’’

— Dan Ahwa, fashion editor

Lonely Hearts at NZFW 2007. Picture / Martin Sykes

“Penny Pickard in Lonely Hearts’ Madonna dress, in 2007, is still a highlight for me. The entire show and collection, called IOU Nothing, would still stack up today in all its 80s throwback glory: I’d still wear the oversized polka-dot shirt, dip-dyed dresses and leather ra-ra skirt. Loved the styling by Karen Inderbitzen-Waller, with models stomping the runway in creepers and some in vintage lingerie bustiers — a nice precursor to their successful Lonely lingerie line. Also, the soundtrack was genius, with 80s and 90s tunes playing beforehand and When Will I Be Famous by Bros closing the show. There are many brands I miss seeing on the NZFW runway, and Lonely Hearts is probably number one on the list.”
— Zoe Walker, associate editor

Kate Sylvester at NZFW 2014. Picture / Supplied

“Maybe my memory is short, but Kate Sylvester’s show last year was pure magic and reflected what 21 years in the business brings - a show of international standards. Reflecting Sylvester’s love of literature the collection was based around the works of American novelist Donna Tartt. A clever mix of prim and sexy, muted and bold, it cleverly combined suiting with silk, leather with lace. From the deep voice reading lines from The Secret History, to the Jesus and Mary Chain soundtrack, to the closing confetti shower made of chopped up old books — this show’s beauty brought a tear to my eye and set a standard that all should aspire to — creating a show that transports its audience whilst never distracting from the clothes that we are all there to see."
— Amanda Linnell, managing editor

View more of our insider New Zealand Fashion Week coverage in association with Mercedes-Benz.

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