FREE|STYLE: Best of 2012

Did your favourite fashion brand rate a mention?  Before we start creating 2013, let's take a moment to look back at standouts of 2012…


Zambesi at Marr FactoryOliver Rose


Best accolade:  Dame Pieter Stewart for her Queen’s Birthday honour for services to fashion and the community.  Runner up:  Margarita Robertson (NomD) – honorary Bachelor of Design (Fashion) from Otago Polytechnic.

Best activation: Remix Magazine covers at New Zealand Fashion Week. Runner Up: New Gen BMW skins and said Beemers to bloggers, c/- Starseed PR at New Zealand Fashion Week.

Best Aus import:  Gorman.  For once, a new Australian store that really brings something to the local retail mix.

Best charity initiative:  Movember.  In all its mostly-revolting hairiness.

Best communique:  Aych McArdle’s emailout politely requesting that hereafter they be described in gender neutral terms.

 Jimmy D – Julie Roulston/Sony NEX

Best event: Colin Mathura-Jeffree’s birthday party.  The suspense of wondering who was going; the tantalising theming; the fun of dressing up; the lavish hospitality; the original venue; the great dance music, the fun Facebook photo album.

Runners up:  Kathryn Wilson’s ‘The Art of Footwear’ at The Northern Club – “Pretty boys,  and women with money” – and Zambesi’s Eyewear launch.  How many half naked models can you fit in a bed? Trelise Cooper's Boardroom in the high rollers' room at Sky City. Fashion, money, Champagne, garters. Heady.

Best hair:  The Michael Beel showcase, a.k.a Wellington Fashion Week.  Lauren Gunn for Stephen Marr at New Zealand Fashion Week (and colleague Jason Chong Li for Zambesi).  Watch out for Stephen Marr rising star Matt Benns (Marr Factory, DHL Express Fashion Export Scholarship).

Best hospitality:  Sunglass Hut at Everybody’s.  Champagne, lunch and gold RayBan aviators for each guest.  Showroom 22 Blogger’s dinner at District Dining, a lovely warm fuzzy pre-New Zealand Fashion Week.


Best installation:  Jimmy D.

Best internationals:  Lutz Huelle and Hilary Alexander for iD Dunedin

Best makeup: a tie:  Jimmy D by Amber D for M.A.C / James Liew for Shiseido for WORLD S|S 12/13 at the Langham

Francis Hooper backstage at WORLD – Sam Lee


Best media gift: ghd Air plus brushes and heat styling/finishing products, for ghd’s National Good Hair Day.  Life changing.

Best new concept:  a tie between Blue Sky (particularly the breakfast installment featuring Ingrid Starnes and twenty-seven names at New Zealand Fashion Week), and Marr Factory at Golden Dawn. Runner Up – everything the New Zealand Fashion Museum is doing.

Best multi-tasking:  Ingrid Starnes and Sara Aspinall for having sensational labels and very small children.  Vicki Taylor for debuting at New Zealand Fashion Week and opening her third store  – amid industry heavyweights at Britomart – with her perpetual charm and poise.

Best runway show:  WORLD S|S 12/13 at The Great Room at The Langham / Akira Isogawa for Designer Rugs at 1885.  Juliette Hogan A/W 2013 at NZFW – girl has come of AGE.


Best print:  Stolen Girlfriend’s Club poppy print, S/S 2012/13.


Left, Megan Robinson wearing Stolen Girlfriends Club, poppy print Kevin Robinson


Best Social Media:  Flitter for New Zealand Fashion Festival (imagery by Glenn Hunt).

Best soundtrack:  twenty-seven names @Bluesky / NZFW

Best workshop:  Online Fashion Success presented by DHL and FINZ.  Special mention to Jenene Freer’s seminar “How to Become a Fashion Blogger” at New Zealand Fashion Festival.

The Little Label that Could Award for punching above their weight:
a tie between I Love Ugly who virtually stole the DHL Express Fashion Export Scholarship, and everyone’s sweethearts MisteR.


Designers backstage at The ARRANGE show at FLAGSHIP Sam Lee


Also:  Maaike, who opened their first retail store in St Kevin’s Arcade in Karangahape Road, and have picked up six new stockists in Japan, to boot.  Honourable mention to Kat Gee and her Kagi jewellery label for knocking it out of the park with a burlesque show at New Zealand Fashion Week.  The ARRANGE show at FLAGSHIP (small but exquisitely formed), and Cuda Sisters for their explosive S|S 12/13 show at The Basement Theatre.


Emma Gleason's design backstage at ARRANGE


Cloudy Bay’s events are not, of course, fashion events, but they are very chic and even more decadent!  They always have a great buzz about them, too.

Ellie Runs with Nike and Ellie Goulding – a really beautiful, low key event with a rather big star.

Ruby/Liam – never was a label more warmly welcomed as the NZFW opener.

– Julie Roulston


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