New Zealanders have long produced world class fashion but it’s only been in more recent years that we have had growing international recognition, especially for our newer labels. Kiwi designer Sean Kelly had many local fashion fans glued to their television screens week after week as he competed on and ultimately won the thirteenth season of hit television show Project Runway late last year. As part of the finale he got to debut his collection in a high profile show at New York Fashion Week’s prestigious Lincoln Centre.
Making a return to his home soil after an incredible year, he presented his spring/summer 2016 collection on the New Zealand Fashion Week runway in a show that had been buzzed about in fashion circles since it was first announced in June. Upon entering the show space the audience were greeted with a series of mirrored pillars scattered along the runway with more than one person taking the opportunity for a quick outfit check as they passed by to take a seat.
A thrumming bass soundtrack signalled the start of the show as the first model weaved her way through the mirrors wearing a long sleeveless white shirt dress buttoned-up to the collar with a trailing asymmetrical hem. More chic looks followed as the colour palette shifted from white into sky blue then black and lastly scarlet, which demonstrated that Sean Kelly has mastered the art of creating and editing his work into a tight and cohesive collection.
Sculptural tops, wide-legged pants and carefully draped dresses graced the runway next, as well as marabou feathers and beaded embellishments on gorgeous dresses as the outfits subtly shifted from day to evening looks. Sharply tailored satin pieces upped the glamour factor of the collection, while lingerie as outerwear added a sexy edge to a range which ultimately felt very international and accomplished. Having paused at the end of their walk in front of a mirror each, the finale saw the models all weave their way around the space so the crowd could admire the beauty of it all. Hopefully Sean Kelly’s stunning collection is available to shop in New Zealand as there will be many locals in attendance who are now big fans of his.
Images: Yvonne Shearer Photography Yvonneshearer.com