FREE|STYLE: Starfish rebrands, Vreeland, DHL Winner Announcement


Starfish 'Queen of Extreme' Winter 2013


Starfish New Materialism
Laurie Foon took over the Ciel PR showroom last week to showcase her Winter 2013 ‘Queen of Extreme’ collection and soft launch her rebrand to ‘Starfish New Materialism.’  Some clever multi-tasking was going on with Oliver Rose in attendance to photograph the trio of models for the press.  (Taking that idea even further, I saw several brands shooting their Lookbooks backstage at their Mercedes-Benz Australian Fashion Week shows earlier in the year – WORK that budget!).

Laurie’s warm hospitality is standout and, what’s more, Ciel PR had gone to great care to source all organic makeup, hair styling product, refreshment and goodie bag loot from the likes of The Body Shop (a long-time Starfish collaborator), new-to-New Zealand Original & Mineral (O&M) styling product, Butter London nail colour and new Karma Cola from the All Good bananas team.



Highlights of the collection in a nutshell:  beautiful detailing (blanket stitch on a cape); innovative colour combinations (grey and mint, or ‘nutty gold, canary yellow and intense fuschia’), flattering shapes, lavish texture, the latter including possum fur for the first time, and cunning scarves made from upcycled op shop sweaters interspersed with offcuts from elsewhere in the collection.  Laurie cited a girl from a Tim Burton film as her muse – love that mental picture.

As for New Materialism – it’s the Starfish way of expressing that ‘Material Matters’, ‘Design Matters’ and ‘Friends Matter’ – or that they believe in ‘designer style with an ethical heart’ – and will take this lovable, credible brand into their next 20 years.

Diana Vreeland



The Eye has to Travel launches in cinemas this week, and it’s a wonderful watch for anyone interested in fashion and style.  Vreeland (1903-1989) was Fashion Editor of Harpers Bazaar for 25 years, and resigned to take over as Editor-in-chief of Vogue.  Shortly after the death of her husband, she was abruptly fired in 1971, but in ’72 at age 70 she began working at the Met’s Costume Institute where she set new standards for exhibiting fashion worldwide.

I hung on every word and image.  Vreeland’s life began in the Belle Epoque in Paris and her adult life scanned the emancipated ‘20s which she adored, the ‘60s (“I was waiting for the ‘60s”), and beyond.  The still and video imagery in the film is riveting – especially the edits from ‘Funny Face’ and “Who are you, Polly Magoo’ and the parade of stars captured in their youth on her covers and within her editorials (which are themselves big in every sense you can imagine):  Ali McGraw, Lauren Bacall, Angelica Huston, Verushka, Jacqueline Onassis, and many more.



Vreeland combined creativity (and a great love of romance) with smarts (“give people what they don’t know what they want yet), pragmatism when it suited her (I’m as practical as Bloomingdales) and a fabulous wit.  The movie is peppered with one-liners like “The best thing about London is Paris” and “I don’t believe in anything before penicillin.”

Diana Vreeland:  The Eye has to Travel launches at cinemas on 15 November and has a running time of 86 minutes.

DHL Express Fashion Export Scholarship Winner Announcement



I Love Ugly, Ingrid Starnes and Kowtow have been announced as the finalists for the DHL Express Fashion Export Scholarship 2012, and will create installations at Victoria Park bar and restaurant Libertine for a glamorous Winner Announcement this evening.

Whoever wins the $10,000 freight, export mentoring and FINZ membership will follow in the illustrious footsteps of Stolen Girlfriends Club, Lonely Hearts, twenty seven names and NYNE.

This year’s judges are Kate Sylvester, Erica Crawford (Kim Crawford wines), and Carolyn Enting, as well as Megan Wildermoth from DHL and FINZ Chairman Paul Blomfield.

The competition is particularly interesting in that the three labels are very diverse.  The designer installations’ models will have hair by w√ľnderkind Matt Benns of Stephen Marr and makeup by M.A.C, and at the time of writing are secret to all but the designers themselves.

– Julie Roulston


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