iD 2017 sara aspinall

I talked to Sara Aspinall of Company of Strangers about her involvement in ID Dunedin Fashion Week 2017, the brilliant new collection she is showing and the best places to visit while in her hometown…

What is the name of the collection you are showing at iD 2017?

‘This Shimmering Space’

What were your influences for the collection?

2001 space odyssey the Stanley Kubrick film from 1968, which has a very relevant theme for the world we live in right now, artificial intelligence you can compare HAL to Siri, video calling booths to our FaceTime. The colours interior architecture of the film are really cool, and very very forward for 1968. It actually feels like you are watching a 1980’s movie, with the colours and uniforms, I wonder if it inspired a lot of 80’s clothing.
Another big inspiration was John Lautner’s brutalist architecture which were very much stark, alien like structures with inside being a colourful utopia and life. The contrasts were really inspiring to us. Architecture plays a large part in all my inspirations.

CoS has always had a “colourful” element (yellow backpack that I still covert) with a mainly black palette. This year seems to be an exception. What inspired this fabulous use of colour?

Mainly from the film, the time warping colours in space, the military aspect of future green and safety orange which represents danger in our collection.
We always have a very ‘Black rich’ collection so we do love to use very bright colours to remove the severity of so much darkness, as we really aren’t that serious, colour provides lightness and humour to us. Clothing should make you feel empowered, safe another layer of yourself.

iD always seems like such a communal effort, what is your part in iD this year?

This year I am showing on the iD Railway Friday and Saturday night shows, and also we are doing a little matinée lunches at the beautiful new Emersons restaurant, showing 6 looks as a preview for the Railway shows. It means the viewer will be up, close and personal to our garments which will be cool.
Also this year we are so lucky to have 3 of the designers we represent in Company Store also showing at iD, Lela Jacobs, New Lands and Ovna Ovich, so I’m going to drag them into the store to have a play with me and our customers on the Saturday afternoon.

I was formerly on the committee but unfortunately my existing commitments with business and a young large family meant I needed to step down for the moment, I thought it would mean more time during the week but now we have packed in a whole lot of other stuff too!!!

What is your favourite part of iD?

Having all the designers and customers coming together under on long roof is pretty cool, the atmosphere out back is so fun. It’s really cool for us to meet designers from so many generations from Emerging graduate Designers to Veterans of the industry. Showing what we do to our customers who travel from all around NZ is pretty amazing and being able to meet them in the store during the week.

Where should we go, what should we do when visiting your great city?

Company Store of course, our team are amazing and so friendly, we have an interesting collection of designers and things you need.
Preservation Society for the best collection of vintage clothing around, DPAG for some art and culture plus their gift store is great. Toitu Museum which has a great collection of general ‘stuff’ since settlers came to Dunedin, it’s really worth the trip. I want to steal the 1930’s? Caravan and take it on an adventure!! Jon Thom painted one of our campaign images taken by Adam Bryce on the wall there too in the Dunedin music area where you can watch old music vid’s from iconic bands like The Chills etc

My recommendations for breakfast would be The Standard Kitchen on Princess Street, their Avo on homemade seedy toast will keep you rolling all day! Kiki Beware for the perfect late brunch if you are out late at night or fries and a beer in the afternoon! No.7 Balmac for breakfast lunch or dinner. You shouldn’t miss going to Starfish or Esplanade to watch the waves at St Clair, those are my weekend haunts.

Photographs of CoS workspace taken by Michelle Weir of Studio Weir the last time we were in Dunedin for Homestyle



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