Finale on the runway at Kate Sylvester opening show of NZFW 2019. Image by Lyle Adams.
Kate Sylvester opened New Zealand Fashion Week 2019 with an impossibly dreamy show that drew on romantic nostalgia from yesteryear.
Inspired by the love letters sent between her parents during their courtship in the 1950’s, the collection delicately infused feminine and romantic emblems with the label’s signature classically modern aesthetic.
Setting the tone of the show was angelic duo Purple Pilgrims, whose dreamy synth pop echoed throughout the show’s entirety and mirrored the dainty aesthetic set by the loose, cursively-penned love letters that lined (and later swirled around) the catwalk.
The opening look was a nude, maxi belted wool trench and matching pants and beret, with a cream lace top peeking above the coat’s collar. This set the scene for the neutral colour palette that followed, where nude, cream, white and black tones took centre stage both as solid colours as well as in a splash of patterns. Khaki, pinks and lilac tones on floral prints and motifs also added a touch of romanticism midway through the collection.
A number of silhouettes straight out of the 50’s made appearances in the collection, from a one-piece swimsuit right through to a khaki military ¾ sleeve jacket and midi skirt ensemble. The dainty waists of a number of these vintage-inspired forms were also accentuated by waist belts, each adorned with small leather pouches.
The collection also featured renditions of iconic pieces that have previously graced Kate Sylvester’s runway and pret-a-porter collections, like the leather trench, bomber, v-neck knit, flowing maxi skirts and ruched-neck long sleeve top. It was a nod to the new online marketplace Kate Sylvester Reloved which launched last week and offers pre-loved Kate Sylvester pieces.
The labels’ covetable knitwear came through in the form of turtle-necks layered under overcoats and dresses, a monochrome varsity v-neck, a glittery pink turtleneck, and an oh-so-cosy Icelandic-patterned woolen pullover.
A unique touch that gave the collection an extra feminine touch, was the inclusion of single, white embroidered handkerchiefs gently wrapped around models’ hands or handing from belt pouches. Another notable touch on the accessories front were black, white, khaki and nude berets sat above the model’s half-tied buns.
Gracefully rounding off the collection were two models clad in a black, equestrienne lady suit and an impossibly elegant white, bateau-neck lace white gown. The juxtaposition of reimagined masculine and feminine elements was not only a perfect celebration of the collection itself, but also of the creative inspiration behind it.
Soundtrack: Live performance of dream-pop from Purple Pilgrims.
Beauty notes: Half-tied low buns, feathered eyebrows and understated red and rosy lips by MAC Cosmetics inspired by Kate Sylvester’s mothers’ wedding look.
Must have item: Leather waist belts with built-in dainty pockets and anything with pretty floral motifs.
Images by Lyle Adams.