Graduate Show NZFW 2019

Designers from the Graduate Show NZFW 2019. Image by Getty Images.

Opening the Graduate Show was Georgia Ferguson’s label Furg — and boy oh boy did it set the bar high. Dreamy wardrobe staples like trench coats, long trousers, and classic chemises were represented with an understated and feminine modern twist. Sleeves were subtly deconstructed (some even continued into chic gloves) and billowing silhouettes were contrasted with splashes of stiff tailoring and paneling. Paired with a gentle nude, white and pale blue colour palette (and an occasional dash of lace and snakeskin), this collection was nothing short of whimsical, modern, and completely covetable.

Colour reigned supreme as the focal point of Douglas’ exclusively yellow, green and magenta-coloured collection, which was second out on the runway. Thrown into this tutti frutti cocktail was a playful use of ruching, knitting and silver metallic fabric. Proportions were played with to the extreme: we saw ruches of organza, taffeta and silver be worked into a maxi skirt, pants, a one-shoulder top and a neon yellow dress with train as the eye-catching last look. When it came to accessories, a flurry of acrylic costume jewellery added an extra pop of energy to the bright ensembles.

Bringing a punchy punk flair to the show was Busy Going Crazy: whos collection was rife with nods to 80’s the London pop scene. Exposed seams, hardware, studs and buckles galore edged up a series of different tartans and dark fabrics alongside a range of leather trinkets, belts and even a cross-body harness. The pieces took a slightly preppy turn, with a cropped peplum overcoat and a range of symmetrical studded and buckled jackets added into the mix.

Next up were Johani Louw’s candy-coloured creations. Tulle, organza, velvet, satin and fringing took many forms in this frivolously cute collection. There were babydoll dresses galore, featuring layer upon layer of sheer ruffles around hems, sleeves and necklines too. An interesting detail that added to the girly allure the collections was the inclusion of long, pink pantaloons peeking out from beneath the dresses.

A mixture of colonial-esque elements met modern detailing and military emblems in I am Human’s collection, which was next on the runway. High collars, pinafore tops and layer upon layers of ruched, straight falling and gathered long skirting grounded the outfits in their pre-colonial style. It was the layering of small garments clad with the kind of pockets one would find on military uniforms and dashes of camo that added an extra utilitarian edge to the collection — as did the pleasantly surprising addition of sturdy yet understatedly embroided monochromes backpacks.

Kyra Thomson’s collection of unisex garments shook up the Grad Show with a collection showing excellent crafstmanship, versatility and an exemplory way embracing unisex dressing. Two models — one female, one male — wearing identical garments walked down the runway together showcasing the versatility of each look. Suiting was at the core of this collection, which featured grey and black blazer and dress pants adorned with long, sculptural mustard shoulder frills. A stand out piece in this sharp line-up was none other than a pair of loose, boxy midi culott that when zipped up the front, transformed to look like a shift shirt.

Careful craftsmanship and perfect balance of proportions took centre stage in E33’s beautiful collection. The inclusion of simple, yet sculptural elements made this collection both fresh and impossibly chic. We saw sleeves take centre stage, as they gently puffed out from simple, well tailored shirts, dresses and outerwear. Faux fur was also included in the collection: as a head-to-toe jacket and skirt ensemble, as well green and teal fur trimmed separates. Covetable additions to the line were the beautiful beaded necklaces that subtly echoed aztec and tribal patterns in a simple yet stylized way.

As the label’s name suggests, funk was at the core of all of Funky Town’s designs. There was colour blocking galore; with warm tones of oranges, yellows and fuschias being mixed together in both two-tone pant and jacket ensemble, as well as a geometrically-patterned pants and jumpsuit. The geometric shapes also took a pastel turn, and incorporated into an eye-catching paneled shift dress — think a Mondrian composition, made from baby blue, light pink and sheer panelling.

Bo’nc rounded off the vibrant and eclectic Graduate Show with a punchy leather-based line. Usual leathergood suspects like the classic jacket were given a playful update through the inclusion of statement collars, coloured cuffs and panels. Zips were also worked in to each piece in ways that showcased both their functional and decorative abilities and also united the collection with a dash of silver glimmers. One eye-catching design that caught our attention was a pop-art-inspired rendition of the label’s name, that was splashed across the back of jackets in a bright cyan, yellow and magenta illustration.

Must have: Furg’s square snakeskin handbag, Kyra Thomson’s zip-front culottes and E33’s beaded statement necklaces.

Soundtrack: A range of music from hip hop through to dreamy pop — as well as a throwback with Lipps Inc.’s ‘Funkytown’ making an appearance.

Beauty Notes: The Graduate show hair was lead by Mana Dave and the team at Redken. The models wore a low knotted bun at the nape of the neck which is a very universally suited placement for most face shapes. Mana explains that by creating a hair look that suits all of the models it gives an “all-inclusive feel.” The look is very sculptured but has a lived-in feel.

The makeup for the graduate show was lead by Kristen Stewart and her team at Kristen Stewart School of Makeup. The look is a very peachy, glowy and natural-looking base with a pop of silver pigment on the lids and a very matte peachy lip. Beauty Notes by Nina Franklin.

Images by Getty Images.

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