With Fashion Week behind us, we now have time to slow down, regroup and reflect on New Zealand’s biggest fashion event of the year.
As fashion media engage on the Fashion Week frenzy, it’s easy to forget about those clever designers who work tirelessly behind the scenes to make the country’s hottest ticket a success.
Over the next three weeks, we share Lulu’s backstage chats with three of FashioNZ’s favourite designers.
BACKSTAGE @ TAYLOR: VICKI TAYLOR
Established by designer Vicki Taylor in 1999, this year will be Taylor’s first solo show at NZ Fashion Week. Vicki frequently travels to and from Europe and Japan, gaining access to high-quality fabrics from some of the best workshops the globe has to offer.
With all designs fully fabricated in New Zealand, Taylor is a strong supporter of the local manufacturing industry and each season uses 100% New Zealand merino wool in her long-awaited merino capsule collection.
Where did you get the inspiration?
This season the inspiration came from a photograph merged with a clever drawing from Richard Serra so I am merging straight lines with a curved, rounded freeform and curving our lines and shapes as we wrap and fold them around the body.
Your highly coveted merino capsule collection is eagerly anticipated each year. Can you tell me a bit about what goes into designing and producing merino garments?
Merino is a unique fibre and comes in many forms from high quality suiting wool – some of the finest in the world – through to knitted fabrics. Merino is known for its fineness and also durability. As fine wool it always drapes so easily, yet has enough body to avoid clinging, so it manages to work in many garment forms from tailored to casual-wear.
What is your favourite Taylor look styled this season and why?
I am loving our verify top with skinny, checkerboard pants. The top can be very dramatic when worn loose or can be tied around the body to give a more controlled and elegant look. In a soft silk/ Lycra blend, it is stylish and individual.
Step-by-step method on how you achieve the overall look we see on the catwalk:
OOH it takes weeks of sampling, patterning, dreaming, then more patterning and I don’t think this can be simplified to a step by step process. As we proceed, the look emerges into a clear direction.
What goes into the procedure for choosing a hair/ make-up look?
I worked this season with amazingly talented people from Smashbox and Dharma… we had a feeling, and a few ideas. Generally, we work and develop these ideas and each takes their specialty to create an overall look.
In terms of preparation, how do you get ready for a fashion show?
I am organized and planned, and hope to enjoy the fashion week experience before I get to our show on Thursday.
What does fashion mean to you?
Fashion to me is a way of life. I have grown up with it, and it doesn’t only involve clothes it involves everything in my life from my house to the way I feel each season.
What is the biggest accomplishment in your career to date?
Running my own business for 13 years, employing many fabulous people over this time and building my business to what it is today. I am also flattered that I still can say the person who bought a garment on my opening day… is still a valued customer in my business today.
Describe some of the highlights of your job?
So many…. and participating in fashion week is one of them. Also having my garments worn by one of the 10th most influential women in world of sport is another highlight; meeting with this woman in person and having her tell me how many years she had worn my clothes and followed my label was definitely a humbling experience.
How do you select your models?
On their look. They must fit a strong aesthetic, with a great walk and good figure. When I try the girls in my clothes I can tell which of them get our aesthetic and will understand the label.
Sum up your personal style in 4 words
Clean, Creative and a twist on simplicity.
– Lulu Wilcox
Images: Giana Patel