Paris Georgia, NZ Fashion Week 2019. Photo / Getty Images

Runway Report: Paris Georgia, Maggie Marilyn & Yu Mei at NZ Fashion Week 2019

Fashion Week is in full swing, with several hot ticket labels presenting on day two. The Viva team share their highlights

Yu Mei at The Store
Fun fact:
 Wellington-based Yu Mei designer Jessie Wong started the brand by sewing all of her own handbags. She recently opened a store in Wellington, with an additional retail store on the cards for Auckland’s Commercial Bay. Each bag in the new collection is named after someone special, such as a friend or family member.

Snack report: Likely to be the best breakfast dished out during Fashion Week: green juice, Brussels sprouts, folded egg with feta, potato hash and mushroom fusilli fuelled the fashionistas for the day of shows ahead. Shout out to the chefs at Amano!

(From left) Green crocodile bag from Yu Mei; Breakast provided by Amano. Photos / Supplied

Ambience: A happy room full of colourful outfits, sunshine and luxury leather.

One word summary: Wholesome.

Standout piece: I must secure this green crocodile cutie. Also, neon bags are hot.
— Sarah Downs, writer

Jojo Ross at Town Hall Concert Chamber
Sarah: The Town Hall’s concert chamber made for an intimate runway for fans in the audience to cheer on one of their favourite local designers. A neon pink lighting effect set the tone for the show. Jojo’s quick appearance during the finale resulted in cheers.

Music: Annabel: Models walked to an airy rock playlist that reflected the 80s female power play, taking cues from David Lynch’s masterpiece Mulholland Drive. The music was loud and kept the audience alert.

Casting note: A lot of unique first-timers. Notably fresh-faced redhead Jordan Vartan of N Management, and crowd favorite Gracie Lambert of N Management.

Accessory note: Briefcases are making a comeback! Models were striding down the runway carrying vintage cases, sporting iridescent sunglasses that kept us in the modern day.

Models walk the runway at Jojo Ross' show. Photos / Supplied

Favourite outfit: I couldn’t look past the beautiful tailoring Jojo does so well. My favourite fashion trends are puff sleeves and suits, so the mosaic print denim look with a puffed shoulder and cropped jacket, and slim fitted cigarette trouser with a front slit, is on my radar.

Beauty note: Ash: Kristen Stewart of the Kristen Stewart School Of Makeup used a combination of M.A.C products to create a dynamic, 1980s-inspired eye look. Kristen worked a shade of bright purple all over the eyelid with an emollient brush, before reaching for a cerulean blue shade to apply to the lower waterline. To complete the look, a burst of neon yellow shadow was draped from the temple down the cheekbone. Va-va-voom! 

One word review: Sarah: Bitchin’.
— Sarah Downs, writer, Ash Cometti, beauty writer, and Annabel Dickson, fashion assistant

Maggie Marilyn's first-ever runway presentation. Photo / Jason Tran

Maggie Marilyn at The Glasshouse 
Ambience: Dan: Thankfully the weather gods were smiling on Maggie as the sun came out in an otherwise dismal start to the week. Located at The Glasshouse in Morningside, the venue for Maggie Hewitt’s first runway show was a stone’s throw away from her workroom around the corner, and the perfect spot for natural light to filter through.

SEE: Runway Highlights: Must-See Looks From Maggie Marilyn's NZFW 2019 Show

The venue was covered in grass, and her right-hand man George Carey had gotten up early to carefully place daisies among the blades — now that’s attention to detail. Fresh fruit and flowers dotted the venue, with guests able to take some home with them.

A feeling of inclusion was notable. From Maggie’s opening speech and words of thanks, her commitment to her sustainable design practice, as well as getting up at the end of the show side by side with her team and makers. Backstage, her acknowledgement of her tutors from Whitecliffe College was also touching, stopping to take photos with head of fashion Belinda Watt and senior lecturer Liz Farr.

Jewellery note: Gold hoops and a 90s inspired armband were stand out accessories from jewellery designer Priya Patel of 08. Jewellery.

Dewy, luminous skin reigned supreme at Maggie Marilyn. Photo / Pikdat

Beauty note: Ashleigh: Pared back, fresh and effortless. Makeup was minimal with a focus on glass skin and softly flushed cheeks - complete with a natural satin finish on both eyes and lips. Creamy textures were applied with emollient brushes by Abby Black for Mecca Beauty and the team, giving a soft, diffused finish. Conscious of aligning with Maggie's own sustainability ethos, the team opted for a mix of clean, organic and recyclable makeup brands including the likes of Ilia, RMS Beauty, Hourglass and Elis Faas. Hair in flowing waves was directed by L’Oreal Professionnel artist Zoe Clark.  — Ash Cometti, beauty writer 

Music: A carefree, summer of love vibe. Final track You’ve Got the Love by Florence & The Machine added to the joyful sense optimism.

One word review: Joyous.

(From left) Models pose at Maggie Marilyn's show; The runway set-up at Morningside's Glasshouse. Photos / Supplied

Casting: Rosie: The casting was cool and diverse, but not in a box-checking way — it felt genuine and inclusive, just like the rest of the show, from the makers and tutors in the audience to Maggie’s welcome speech thanking her family, team and friends. A large proportion of Maggie’s clientele are surely older, due to the price point, so it was nice to see some mature faces on the “runway”.

Among the models were Gayleen or “Gee” (Silver Fox Mgmt), Abby Meeker (Clyne), Medhika Priya Singhal (Unique), Manahou Mackay (62 Models), Izzy Zigan (Clyne), Daria Bing (Unique) and Janina Asides, who used to be signed with Milkshake Models but I don't believe is signed to an agency currently - someone sign her!

Favourite look: Surprisingly (or maybe not, given the legacy of New Zealand brands like Zambesi and Nom*D), some of the most impactful looks were black, which Maggie hasn’t really delved into before. She finished the show with several silhouette variations in the shade.

Her signature short frilled ‘Jones’ dress, originally made in hot pink, was given the noir treatment, as was the languid ‘Hey Sugar’ dress, and a show-stopping voluminous gown.

There were also excellent trouser-and-top sets, which Maggie does well, in a variety of shades, and an ankle-length forest green coat.

Notable attendees: Aside from the usual international delegates and local industry folk, Maggie invited many of the brand’s makers, suppliers and customers.

One word review: Eden.
— Dan Ahwa, fashion & creative director, Ashleigh Cometti, beauty writer and Rosie Herdman, assistant fashion editor

Notable sporting personalities took to the runway at Jockey's show. Photo / Supplied

Jockey at Q Theatre 
Front Row observations:
There’s no denying it — eyes were kept peeled for rugby players in their jocks.

Music: The soundtrack started with soothing instrumental music before livening up the audience with upbeat club bangers. The highlight of the show was a live Japanese drumming performance.

Beauty note: The Jockey show always celebrates natural beauty. Skin was bronzed and glowy and hair kept simple in soft waves. As for the lads — they were well-groomed and mud-free.

Standout piece: The new collection was inspired by the All Blacks being Japan-bound at the end of the month. The theme translated pleasantly to a memorable set of cherry blossom printed silk pyjamas. If we can’t get to Tokyo, we’ll have these please.

One word review: Cheery.
— Sarah Downs, writer

Paris Georgia, NZ Fashion Week 2019. Photo / Getty Images

Paris Georgia at the Runway at Aotea Square
Music: Dan: Upbeat and powerful, there was a strong and energetic reference to club music, mixed by Graz with notable tracks including one of the most emotive songs of the week  an enigmatic version of Blondie’s Heart of Glass mixed with theme music to the 1988 American documentary film by Errol Morris The Thin Blue Line. Breathtaking.

Ambience: A striking gold art sculpture hanging over the runway was created by Paris’ brother Dane, who represented New Zealand at the Venice Biennale in 2018. Entitled ‘Tuning’, the piece is made with brass, plated aluminium, perspex, a radio transmitter and coaxial cable generating an electromagnetic field across an FM bandwidth.

Casting: Muses that inspire the brand's artful and sophisticated sensibility, the show put the spotlight on a great cast. It was excellent to see local model Isabella Moore from Unique Models on the runway  more designers need to book her; along with Viva favourites Mercy Brewer (Unique Models), Rob Tennent (62 Models), Ch’lita Collins (Clyne), Ngahuia Williams (N Models), Ayan Makoii (Unique Model’s), Tia Woods (Clyne), Veronica Crockford-Pound (Unique Models), DJ Soraya LaPread and Daria Bing (Unique Models). But it was Viva’s Rosie Herdman who stole the show, of course, and it was such a joy to see her on the runway!

Accessories: In a unique partnership that put Paris Georgia on another level, Tiffany & Co. provided jewellery that was the perfect union. Focusing on its more sculptural pieces, the jewellery worked particularly well when matched with its relaxed tailoring  a sage green outfit worn by muse and modelling icon Ngahuia Williams was offset perfectly by Tiffany’s gold jewels. Matt Nash oversized tote bags were a clever update on classic laundry bags and will no doubt prove popular when they arrive in store.

(From left) Viva's Rosie Herdman; Model Mercy Brewer wears fringed suit. Photos / Getty Images

Styling: The collection was styled ‘up’ and proved that when it comes to putting on a fashion show, it pays to include show pieces that may not necessarily sell, but really nail the brand’s messaging home.

Favourite outfits: Drawn to several cool looks  but in particular to the black fringed suit worn by Mercy, the black coat and glossy trousers combo worn by Ayan, and Rosie’s second look  a beautiful glossy sage coat with a pleated skirt.

One word review: Slick

Favourite look: Johanna: A mid-calf-length oversize black coat with contrasting white stitching, balloon sleeves and giant pockets, cinched in with a large D-ring belt, mirrored by a D-ring strap at the neck. Coincidentally, it was worn by Fabienne Distelzwey, this week’s Viva cover star.

Shoe report: The shoes were a collaboration between Paris Georgia and Australian label By Far, with lots of barely-there muted strappy heels, plexiglass panels and clear architectural heels. Pastel-toned leather boots also featured, as well as white pillowy slides. Models did a great job navigating the low-hanging sculpture on the runway, weaving their way around it in perilous footwear.

Worth noting: Berets are back.

One word review: Sass.

Front row observation: Ash: The usual suspects — international and local delegates, New Zealand fashion media, stylists and the like. But a well-dressed Antonia Prebble was a cheery highlight. The glowing new mum was overheard in the queue crowing about how six-week-old Freddie has been a “dream baby” thus far.

Beauty note: Two words — fluffy brows. Hardly surprising given designer Paris Mitchell Temple’s delightfully fuzzy face framers. With Bobbi Brown makeup manager Blair Gamblin at the helm, the team highlighted each model’s own natural beauty by applying light layers of foundation with a fluffy brush for a soft, radiant finish. Cream blush was applied where model’s cheek would naturally flush to give an authentic glow with glossed brown tones on the eyes.
— Dan Ahwa, fashion & creative director, Johanna Thornton, deputy editor and Ashleigh Cometti, beauty writer & commercial editor

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