Someone told me they thought that the 'New Zealand look' had come full circle this year. It used to be that labels such as Nom D and Zambesi epitomised our aesthetic - dark, draped, moody references, a nod to the Antwerp 6. Then, we sort of floundered around, with nothing to define our look, at least not glibly. Jimmy D, by designer James Dobson, leads the new guard of this pseudo Gothic look - albeit with a sense of humour. I really enjoyed his show, finding it to be one of the week's highlights. A collaboration with Auckland artist Andrew MacLeod resulted in intricate death metal illustrations that adorned tees, oversized silk teeshirt dresses and patches that hung from the back of waistbands. Infinitely varied black dresses and maxilength skirts came out in various combinations of strapping, sheer paneling, mesh inserts and drape. The collection didn't stray from a palette of black, grey and white; it was deep, dark gothic glamour while remaining entirely wearable, fresh and provocative too.
Mushroom suede Mary Jane's with gold heels, a forest green chiffon blouse with matching cropped wool pants, tan puffer fishing vests, sweet tea towel check shorts, a chartreuse swing jacket with gold buttons - Ruby's debut catwalk appearance was entirely in keeping with their tradition of sweet streetwear. Feminine and entirely 1960s in inspiration, it was a cohesive collection of demure and dashing pieces. We particularly liked the slightly cropped wool pants in odd shades of watermelon and forest green, the sheer chiffon pants, the button-up shirts and Ruby's first foray into footwear - the aforementioned heels, and the chocolate brown, low heeled desert boots too.
Stylist Karen Inderbitzen-Waller has worked with Nom D for years. The installation she produced was impeccable - a dark, sordid and destructive dream. A mutilated car, painted white, took centrestage. A debauched medieval dinner party (all in white) went on in the corner. A Victorian four-poster bed sat, draped in a coverlet made from Band-Aid hued vintage corsets, lit by a chandelier made of tan stockings. All the while, models lolled and laughed, their deconstructed Victoriana and lingerie contrasted with leather and sharp suiting. Singer Rebekah Davies took a star turn in a black leather ballgown and hat with a purpose-written lullaby that called to mind Nick Cave and Karen Elson in equal parts.