nzfw 2014 – zambesi
Five years ago we sat at NZFW and celebrated Zambesi’s 30 years in New Zealand fashion – and it was an incredible show.Full of Zambesi’s extensive back catalogue, in all its glory, I found it amazing to look at both the reoccurring themes and the clarity of design that Zambesi embodies.
So this year we celebrated 35 years of Zambesi with their collection XXXV – and this show felt ONLY forward looking. With hardly a scrap of silk georgette to be seen and the tiniest of sequin detailing – seen only if you were really looking for it (which of course I was). But there was (I discovered later) a velvet sequin. I’m not sure that I had ever seen such a thing, but I can tell you now I definitely NEED to have velvet sequins as soon as possible! The only detailing appeared to be the use of fringing, other than that, simplicity was the key. With ZAMBESI lettered down the runway – and dark lighting – XXXV heralded the new collection. The soundtrack was taken entirely from the classic camp 1980’s science fiction film Flash Gordon… which was full of dialogue, sound effects and orchestral pieces. Not your usual Zambesi runway show then… but what ever is?
The first model down the runway was dressed entirely in black but with beautiful cobalt L D Tuttle boots. This should have been an indicator that things were going to be different, as the models continued down the runway, in Zambesi black, paired with the cobalt boots. Then the first cobalt suiting piece came down. And the colour continued from there. Iridescent green followed with lilac, grey, khaki and browns. It all worked seamlessly together.
The styling, was also seamless with hair done by Jason Chong Li for Stephen Marr – long fringes for the boys, with tailored, slick hair for the girls. This is a long standing collaboration that works perfectly. The makeup was simple and understated in coffee and soft brown- by KieKie Stanners for M.A.C.
In talking with Zambesi designer Dayne Johnston, the inspiration for the collection came from the blue suiting fabric. Once they found that, the rest of the collection followed from there. Zambesi have a great working relationship with L D Tuttle shoemakers, and they were next on board with the boot collaboration. The boots were widely admired with murmurs from the audience, and I had an email the next day from someone asking if I knew where they could get the boots from NOW, they were so taken with them.
It seems to me to be the perfect way to celebrate 35 years in New Zealand fashion. And to continue doing things the way only Zambesi does.
*NB Standout pieces were the wool blankets, the oversized belted wool coat and anything in the cobolt… especially the boots
Photographs by Michelle Weir