Finale at Zambesi’s New Zealand Fashion Week 2017 show. Image by Katherine Tuenter.
New Zealand Fashion Week 2017 opened with a bang tonight thanks to a truly spectacular show by fashion industry veterans Zambesi. The brand celebrates their 38th birthday this year and fittingly hold the honour of being the Mercedes-Benz Presents Designer for this year’s New Zealand Fashion Week.
A full house hotly anticipated their Autumn/Winter 2018 collection that hit the runway with an intense burst of flashbulbs. A tableau of models posed before a backdrop of silver photography umbrellas that combined with the reflective runway for a futuristic feel. One by one the models peeled off from the back of the runway to display their sci-fi inspired outfits.
The first look was an eye-catching silver foil suit that was perfectly tailored and had a crisp high collar. A bustier was layered over the top featuring two trailing lengths of silver fabric that grazed the floor as the model stomped the runway in her silver Doc Martens. The effect was striking and totally mesmerising.
Each look that followed had us transfixed by Zambesi’s incredible creativity and we fell into a modernistic world that had a superb blend of the brand’s vintage references with seventies and nineties influences. That silver foil was cleverly utilised as jumpsuits, blazers, coats and more suiting which was oh so covetable. Shiny black PVC gave an edgier feel to the sports luxe looks while impeccably tailored suiting for women was tied back into the slick feel of the range with silver belts emphasising the waist.
Beautiful quilting on oversized coats had us admiring the charming abstract prints while the black shearling pieces looked great as jackets but were perfectly playful as mittens and hats. While Zambesi is known for their love of dark clothing they do like to mix in some highlight colours and this season it was all about warm tones of marigold, caramel and brown. These buttery shades worked well on shimmery silk for dresses and jumpsuits for women and equally so on seventies-style suiting for men with the obligatory multi-pockets.
Designers Liz Findlay and Dayne Johnston drew some of their inspiration for the range from their prestigious partnership with Mercedes-Benz and the bespoke ensembles that they created to celebrate the partnership. The leather racing suits that drivers wear also influenced Johnston who referenced the knee pads and details that give the suits their sporty edge.
By the time the finale of models strutted down the runway in their earthy-hued jumpsuits, suiting, and gliding dresses we were completely drawn into Zambesi’s stylish version of sci-fi. They really are masters of their craft and we couldn’t think of a better way to start the week than with such an epic collection.
Beauty notes: Dusty lemon eyes and glossy lips by Kiekie Stanners for MAC Cosmetics.
Soundtrack: Booming sci-fi sounds and Prodigy’s 90s anthem Firestarter.
Hot item: Covetable coats and everything in silver.
Images by Katherine Tuenter.