There are few fashion labels in New Zealand that have had the privilege of a prestigious partnership with Mercedes-Benz, and this year they presented Kate Sylvester’s NZFW winter 2016 show. The significance of this is that it recognises the international standard and appeal of Kate Sylvester’s label, which is something New Zealanders have long understood and has garnered her label a loyal and ever-growing fan base.
Following on from her successful shows at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia in April and NZFW 2014, it was a delight to see Kate Sylvester return to the NZFW runway with her new collection ‘A Muse’. This time she drew inspiration from the art world, in particular female artists and muses, such as Sunday Reed, Camille Claudel, Jacqueline Roque and Ada Del Moro whom Sylvester name-checked in her show notes amongst several others.
Opened by local model turned international runway walker, Ashleigh Good, it was clear from the first leather-clad look that this was going to be a celebration of strong women. Sylvester took her signature intellectual take on the idea of the muse, mixing the painterly side of artistry with surrealist thinking which added a decidedly Cubist look to some of her pieces. Bold colours of raspberry, cobalt and bright peach contrasted with black and more muted tones which were enhanced by eye-catching over-sized gold jewellery.
Modern femininity was celebrated in flowing midi-length dresses, coats cinched in at the waist and delicate lace pieces that also had a 1940s feel. Although Sylvester again flirted with masculine tailoring to add an androgynous edge to some looks and satisfy those followers who religiously wear her suiting. Overall the collection was a glorious triumph and a beautiful way to honour the influence of art, muses and powerful women.