A picture is worth a thousands words seems may be functionally illiterate's favorite aphorism but we too prefer showing over telling. Last week while much of the fashion world tuned in to London we spent a great deal of time pouring of Air New Zealand Fashion Week photography. The collections that were officially showing were for Winter 2009. Pesky Southern Hemisphere buy cycles aside, Air New Zealand Fashion Week is in its 8th year.
New Zealand's apparel business is relatively small, worth about $227 USD a year (compare that to Ralph Lauren's 4th quarter 1.24 billion in net revenue), but it certainly did its best to pull off a very full fashion week. Only exporting roughly 9% of its apparel business to the United States, we like to think that this homegrown fashion stays local even if it inspires globally.
We begin by suggesting Coutorture favorite Karen Walker. Though while Karen Walker may be a big name to us in the states, it is Kirrily Johnston that can really claim the hometown fame. If you go in for the moody fashion we suggest the Edgar Allen Po trifecta of dark and brooding scenesters Huffer, sleek and bleak Nyne, Kurt Cobain's not dead Stolen Girlfriends Club. The much hyped local favorites Jaeha did do much for us though we did enjoy the the comfortable hip Salasai. Another unexpected charmer was New Zealand's answer to Anna Sui Trelise Cooper
But if you really want wild and wooly New Zealand authenticity we suggest Nom D, a line so appreciatively hip and woolen they make us wish we were a Kiwi. Even if their dark humour about their wool industry as demonstrated in Black Sheep still confuses us.