Finale at Adrienne Whitewood’s New Zealand Fashion Week 2017 show.
Having shown in previous years as part of the Miromoda Show, designer Adrienne Whitewood struck out on her own this year with a solo showing. Her cultural identity largely informs her design identity on a regular basis and her latest collection titled ‘Ta’ meaning ‘to print’, was no different. The show opened with a slideshow of imagery of Maori motifs, a Marae, and land before a model came down the runway, placing a large stone at the end of the catwalk and another followed blessing the performance that was about to take place.
The word ‘Niho’ which translates to teeth or tusk, appeared on screen before the first outfit was shown – a long red and black dress with a daring cut out back and featuring an all over geometric motif, this print would feature on dresses, blouses and men’s shirts. We were next introduced to ‘Aonui’ and it became apparent each word shown would proceed the print we would see next. ‘Aonui’ I’m told, symbolises triangular patterns representing the pursuit about the natural world and this translated onto triangular patterns on a series of dresses. ‘Whakarare’ then flashed before us, meaning to distort, and this was a beautiful line pattern with a hook-like shape and seen on the men’s shirts, dresses, a light jacket and off the shoulder top. Lastly, we were introduced to ‘Torakaka’ which appeared as a sharper, bolder pattern shown on a bright yellow fabric.
Adrienne’s pieces are wearable and tinged with a practical sensibility. The colour story comprised of red, purple, moss green and yellow against basics of black and grey. Silhouettes were relaxed, blouses and dresses skimmed the body – some cinched at the waist, some left loose. There was one dress in particular with beautiful drape work, with block panels worked in with printed panels that accentuated the waist. The men’s shirts were well tailored and paired with slim fit, cuffed jeans. We then saw sweatshirts that were emblazoned with ‘Aroha’ (love) and ‘Ahu’- the name of Adrienne’s high-end Maori fashion boutique based in her hometown Rotorua.
In the way of accessories, we saw pretty drop earrings (which will likely be stocked in Ahu) and tan block heels. The show ended with rapturous applause, as all shows do, but this was a little different to most, Adrienne had a legion of ardent supporters, many stood, while all looked on very, very proudly.
Beauty notes: Makeup was natural with bronzed cheeks. Hair was slicked back in ponytails or buns, with some models featuring a hint of a braid down the centre back of their hair.
Soundtrack: Tunes with a heavy bass.
Hot item: The oversized ‘Ahu’ sweatshirt was which worn with bare legs on the runway, but likely skinny jeans #irl.
Images by James Yang Photography.