Finale by Trelise Cooper on the New Zealand Fashion Week 2018 runway. Image by Katherine Tuenter.
Dame Trelise Cooper made a very welcome return to the New Zealand Fashion Week runway with one of the most highly anticipated shows of the week last night. The veteran designer has been doing her Theatre of Fashion shows for the past few years in lieu of fashion week and we recently interviewed Trelise about the many reasons behind her return to NZFW.
But let’s talk about the show itself, which was by all accounts a showstopper. Trelise has set the bar high over the years with her theatrical presentations and this show was no exception. Hanging iridescent panels made a curtain down the middle of the runway creating a dreamy backdrop for the extravaganza of colours, prints and sequins that were to come. Oh yes, there were a lot of sequins.
Instead of showing Winter 2019, Trelise opted to show selections from her newly arrived Spring 2018/19 collection as well as her upcoming Summer 2018/19 collection and a few pieces from Pre-Fall 2019. The designer had beautifully curated looks from all three of her ranges – Trelise Cooper, Cooper by Trelise Cooper and COOP by Trelise Cooper.
Space is always at a premium at Trelise Cooper shows but this year the designer brilliantly utilised both the main runway and the studio simultaneously with the runway looping through both spaces. That clever move meant DJ duo Sweet Mix Kids had a booth that spanned across the spaces and they certainly brought the party to the runway with a killer mix of tracks that made everyone want to chair dance.
The opening looks in vibrant brocade, silk and lace set the tone for the incredible rainbow of looks to come. Trelise’s collections are always colourful but these ones were next level colourful with actual rainbow stripes that were joyful and impossible to look away from. Each sublime look was immaculately styled in Trelise’s maximalist way with equally colourful accessories and glittery retro-inspired hair and crisp white winged eye makeup.
But back to the clothing, which was a visual feast and comprised of no less than 129 stunning looks, that were paraded down the runway by 33 models. Trelise’s beautifully cut suiting made a welcome appearance with tailored jackets paired with cigarette pants or cinched over full tulle skirts. Dresses are always a TC staple and they came in many forms, from divine ladylike silhouettes to mini sequined party dresses, not to mention semi-sheer variations covered in intricate beading. The elegant black velvet vintage dress that we featured in our recent 20th anniversary editorial also appeared on the runway which was a delightful surprise.
The Cooper by Trelise Cooper looks brought a true resort feeling to the runway with sweet sundresses and casual tops and pants in tropical fruit and palm prints. The summery vibe went up a notch with flowing caftans and pretty florals that were beach party ready. COOP’s youthful take saw sequined unicorn motifs, blush velvet and an intriguing eye print take to the runway.
The show closed with a cascade of eye-catching sequined party dresses and playsuits that will no doubt be high on many Trelise Cooper fans wish lists. The designer herself was also in the party mood and danced her way off the runway for the finale. No one does a fashion week show quite like Trelise Cooper and we couldn’t be happier she’s back.
Soundtrack: A killer live mix of party tunes from the Sweet Mix Kids.
Beauty Notes: Trelise Cooper had L’Oreal Professional for her hair team, led by creative director Sasha Lenski. The hair consisted of two looks, the first— a backcombed, high pouffe ponytail that sat low at the nape of the neck and the second look was very high volume with lots of backcombing to create a modern-retro mod feel. The makeup team was led by Liz Hyun from M.A.C Cosmetics and featured a matching modern-retro look with white painted asymmetrical lines above the eyes, filled into square blocks, silver glitter lining the top lid and big, thick lashes on both the top and the bottom, finished with a nude lip and flushed pink cheek. (Beauty Notes by Nina Franklin).
Hot Item: The many truly gorgeous variations on sequined dresses of course!
Images by Katherine Tuenter.