Another designer celebrating an important milestone this year is Adrian Hailwood, who started his namesake label back in 2000 and is now amongst a select group of labels to have made it to 15 years in the fashion industry in New Zealand. It’s definitely not an achievement to be sniffed at and shows that his dedication to his craft, strong vision and huge amount of hard work over that time has seen him develop a loyal customer base that continue to support his work and allow him to keep going.
Even though fashion looks like a glamorous world to the outside observer it is still a business and only those who understand that while still giving it the best of their creativity survive. It’s no surprise then that Hailwood’s show is always amongst the highly anticipated ones, as he has nailed collection after collection that create a perfect range of outfits from streetwear to evening wear which convey confidence and beauty in stunning fabrics, while always featuring a signature motif.
A smoky start marked the beginning of Hailwood’s show with the first model beautifully back-lit and silhouetted against the backdrop before hitting the runway. Titled ‘Lion Heart’ the collection was a homage to Hailwood’s manufacturing base in Hong Kong, which was most notably seen in the Chinese dragon motif which featured on more casual pieces, the delicate blue and white porcelain print and of course the use of beautiful silk which was carefully draped from the hips of his classic cocktail dresses. A very wearable mix of soft knits paired with maxi skirts or skinny jeans made for chic day to night looks which were complemented by sweater s casually tied at the shoulders.
He also focused on texture with a gorgeous black velvet animal print a stand-out fabric that was subtle, sultry and the most attractive use of animal print to be seen on the runway in some time. Blue was a lead colour with sublime cobalt making for lovely long coats and appearing on the aforementioned tied sweaters. Caramel, mint , grey and black also featured with another pop of colour coming from a bright paisley print.
As we have come to expect, Hailwood left his show-stopping sequined evening pieces until last with models shimmying down the runway in fitted dresses that flattered the curves and twinkled in the light. Ashleigh Good closed the show in a divine floor-grazing sequined cape tied at the neck but left open over black silk trousers, it was a high-glamour ending to a collection which showed Hailwood’s mastery as a designer and left no doubt as to why he has remained an in-demand creative force for so long.