Finale at Contemporary Collection: Havilah, Starving Artists Fund NZFW 2019. Image by Getty Images.
After a thought provoking panel conversation on the topic of diversity and inclusion in the fashion industry, how fitting it was to see presentations by two young designers whose labels celebrate this very topic. A question raised in the audience following the discussion was ‘how can we work to be more diverse?’ and Starving Artists Fund and Havilah led by example showing us just how. Devoid of tokenism, the designers showcased their designs on an all inclusive array of models in a very genuine way – telling us this is simply their norm. We saw Maori models, Pasifika models, Asian models, African models, Pakeha models, we saw female models, male models, trans models, a model in a wheelchair, a model with down syndrome, models of all ages, heights, shapes and sizes. And it was remarkable.
And what of the clothing? Starving Artists Fund presented first and designer Natasha Ovely explored themes of great movement and clashing references, in a mainly sombre colour palette of black, grey and burgundy with accents of metallics. The first model wore an outfit of a sculptured neoprene top with rounded shoulders paired with light wash jeans patched with a silver foil panel, modelled by a male; it was a gender neutral look as all of Ovely’s designs are. Next was a black asymmetric pleated mini dress nipped at the waist with a large silver foil, we then see an oversized organza sheath, pleated and draped just so. Outfits that followed had notions of deconstruction, dresses and tops with cut outs, ruched and pleated panels that wrapped around one’s body in unexpected turns. One particular stand out was a white tee with black bodice detailing worn with black jeans and a striking gold bustle like train.
Havilah’s collection was titled ‘Learn my Name’ and it was inspired by interviews she conducted focusing on individuals identities and how they shape who they are today, her hopes are that her collection will make you want to learn the names of the many people that inspired her collection, as well as the Havilah name. Mercy Brewer who sat on the panel and offered her insightful thoughts on ageism, opened the show in a striking scarlet red ruffled knit dress. The vibrant colour palette was effective too, we saw citrus green, teal green, lilac, navy, baby blue and the aforementioned scarlet red. Havilah’s designs were fresh and fun, silhouettes were relaxed with great usage of construction techniques such as ruffling and pleating.
Soundtrack: We heard songs no doubt chosen for their poignant lyrics such as ‘Human’ by Sevdaliza and ‘Almeda’ by Solange.
Hot item: A silver foil print tee by Starving Artists Fund and an amaazzing pair of pants by Havilah – that were pink, white and green and knife pleated before flowing into amazing wide volume.
Beauty Notes: The hair team for Havilah was lead by Mana Dave and the team at Redken. The themes for this show were “learn my name,” “embrace all women,” and “sizes and ability.” Because of this Mana embellished the model’s natural hair texture but unified them as a “sisterhood” with a side part and flip of the hair.
The makeup for Havilah was lead by Kristen Stewart from Kristen Stewart School of Makeup. The look was a mesh of blue, green and yellow around the eyes and a very glossy, almost dripping, “wet look” with a neutral pink lip in the shade of “angel” by M.A.C.
The hair for Starving Artists Fund was lead by Mana Dave and the team at Redken. The look for this show was all about individuality for the models so every hair look was different and gave a feel for who the models are.
The makeup for Starving Artists Fund was lead by Kristen Stewart from Kristen Stewart School of Makeup and collaborated with Natasha from Starving Artists Fund. This look was a very pink eye, smudged all around the eye and around to the brow, with silver pigment under the eye and on the crease of the eye with an ombre red lip using “D for Dancer” shade by M.A.C. Beauty Notes by Nina Franklin.
For NZFW 2019 Backstage blog coverage click here.
Images by Getty Images.