nzfw 2017 – jimmy d

I got to ask Jimmy D’s James Dobson some questions about his NZFW show held at the Unity Hall off Queen Street this year…

What seasons are you showing?

I’m showing a mix of our Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter 2018 collections alongside some show pieces…

What is the collection called?

The collection is entitled “The Volcano Lovers”

The story that you work into each collection is always an intrinsic part of your process, tell us about the two volcanologists that inspired this collection…

Katia and Maurice Krafft were a French husband and wife that bonded over their mutual love of volcanos. In the 70’s and 80’s they travelled the world visiting active volcano’s, becoming more and more fool-hardy as they did so – living in the mouth of an active volcano for 15 days, paddling out into acid lakes in a rubber dinghy, and even proposing kayaking down a lava flow in a titanium canoe. To say they were obsessed with volcanos is an understatement. Maurice famously said “I am never afraid because I have seen so many eruptions in 23 years that even if I die tomorrow, I don’t care” which was unfortunately uttered the day before the couple died, together, in a pyroclastic flow on Mount Unzen in Japan. The idea of this couple that lived such an extreme life, bound by their love of something so destructive, and dying together is so darkly romantic that I felt compelled to make a collection about them.

What made you decide to use the venue you did?

We really wanted to find a space that was a bit of a blank canvas so that we could focus on telling a story with the clothes, styling, music etc. The space we found allowed us to do that, but also had some quite raw spaces that we decided to utilise as well…

Who did you use for your soundtrack?

The soundtrack was the hardest part! I love darkness, but I also like to throw a bit of humour into the mix, but it was more important to me to tell the story this time round than get a laugh, so Sophie B. Hawkins “Damn I Wish I was Your Lover” (which we kept singing in the studio as Damn! I wish I was your lava!) didn’t make the cut. We opted for a soundtrack with references to love but they’re all quite dark or aggressive in their sound such as ‘The Idea of Love’ by Cold Cave and ‘The Woman You Are’ by Haus Arafna. ‘Pepper’ by Butthole Surfers serves a bit of 90’s nostalgia and has the line: “They were all in love with dying they were drinkin’ from a fountain that is pouring like an avalanche coming down the mountain” Which felt very apt. All interspersed with snippets of interviews with Katia and Maurice and mixed by my good friend Tony T Bones.

Who did you work with on the show?

A pretty epic team of incredible people! Lauren Gunn and Maggie Pang from Colleen directed the hair using Kevin Murphy products. Kiekie Stanners from MAC directed our makeup look. Kingkang Chen styled the collection and Imogen Wilson cast the show. Not to mention collaborations with Meadowlark on jewellery, Andrew McLeod and Ruiz Stephinson on prints for the collection and Dr. Martens for some of the shoes. Annnnnnd an incredible team of people like Sarah Hough, Pennie Black, Ash Mosen and more that helped make everything come together!! It really took a village!


Editors Notes

I make no bones about how much I love James’ clothes. They are pretty much the mainstay of my wardrobe. I love how he can dress older bodies like mine, and younger ones like my Daughter’s. His pieces can be subversively worn to work or in full Goth regalia on K Road. You can be any gender (or gender-less). His piece can speak as loudly as you want, or as quietly…

I loved this show because for me it felt very much like a coming of age. It felt very elegant and grown up. Even though I don’t think of it as James “arriving” as he already has for many years, but very much cementing what we all already know – that he knows how to do this, and he does it very well. My favourite show of the week. Proud Old Lady Moment. I could own all of it. He even makes me want to wear navy pinstripe…


Photographs by Michelle Weir Studio Weir


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