Model Ngahuia Williams leading the finale at Harman Grubisa’s NZFW 2016 show.
It has been a long time since a young New Zealand label has risen as quickly as Harman Grubisa in such a short amount of time. Designers Madeleine Harman and Jessica Grubisa launched their label in 2014 and made their confident New Zealand Fashion Week debut last year in what was one of the most buzzed about shows of the week. This year they had the prestigious honour of being presented by Mercedes-Benz, only the third New Zealand label to have that recognition which includes long-standing brands Trelise Cooper and Kate Sylvester. Kicking off NZFW for 2016 with a full house following the opening ceremony, Harman Grubisa delivered the kind of considered and sophisticated presentation that puts them head and shoulders above their fellow peers.
Stalwart model Ngahuia Williams was first up on the runway in a shimmering gold mini-dress with a v-neck that was a glamorous opener for Harman Grubisa’s Rococo collection, which was as opulent and romantic as the name suggests. Rococo was an 18th century French art and cultural movement noted for its ornate style, use of curves and gold detail all of which were encompassed on the runway. Luxurious silk featured heavily in the collection of divinely feminine silhouettes which were influenced by 80s and 90s power dressing, the resulting look was strong yet sensual and very much in control.
We couldn’t help but be enchanted by the gorgeous tiered pleated dresses tied at the waist, soft ladylike-length skirts and impeccably tailored jackets that flared from the hip. This collection shifted effortlessly from office life to cocktail hour without batting a perfectly curled eyelash, and you could imagine many of New Zealand’s most powerful women purposefully strutting through life in these covetable looks. Gold and silver metallics on sharply cut dresses, tops and skirts heightened the glamour factor while body-con ribbed dresses and slouchy knits made for easy to wear casual looks that were still refined and graceful. A suitably winsome colour palette of burgundy, rose, copper, beige, grey, ivory and black helped the range feel cohesive and modern. Stunning gold lacquered jewellery by Jasmin Sparrow perfectly complemented the collection, with Sparrow’s signature sun motif featuring on drop earrings and brooches.
Harman Grubisa have already built a notable reputation for their sophistcated collections and Rococo solidifies their place as rising stars whose sublime collection will no doubt be on many women’s wish-lists for Autumn/Winter 2017. We really can’t wait to see what Harman Grubisa have in store next.
Beauty Notes: Rich burgundy lips in Sin lipstick by MAC and Sour Cherry nail polish by MAC led by Senior MAC artist Kiekie Stanners.
Soundtrack: A fitting celebration of divas beginning with Crystal Waters “Gypsy Women” and closing with Chaka Khan’s classic “I’m Every Woman” covered by Whitney Houston.
Hot Item: Everything really but we can’t get enough of the tiered pleated dresses and beautifully tailored coats nipped in at the waist.
By Evelyn Ebrey
Images by James Yang Photography