New Spring in the Showrooms – Part 2

Succulence from Company of Strangers at Ciel PR


The fashion showroom Open Day fun has continued this past fortnight, with Chris Lorimer’s Ciel PR hosting one-on-ones, Moët et Chandon at Kermadec from Paul Blomfield PR, and Jacqui Ansin’s Lily & Louis the first to flash the ‘celebrity on the runway’ card.

Ciel PR boasts some 25 brands this season.  Most share an edginess that stylists love – be it from fledglings like fourth-season Maaike or established brands like Cybèle, who is approaching season number 20 – and they sit markedly well together in the Grafton showroom.

The showing was bookended by really strong accessories – fantastic bags from Kate of Arcadia at the beginning, and jewellery from Meadowlark at the end that spanned the cutest feline themes to gorgeous peonie styling.


Kate of Arcadia


Speaking of accessories:  Chaos & Harmony’s footwear ranges are always interesting and (excuse the pun) walk the tricky line between adornment and direction with gusto.  We noted designer Rebecca Anderson’s great ‘new’ pointed oval toe, and the use of plastic.


Chaos & Harmony


Pardon My French, from former Karen Walker design room assistant Lucy Kemp,  showed it’s no one-trick wonder.  The label’s second collection, while small, showed commercial savvy in repeating the polo shirt collar motif from its debut collection – we all love just a little of the familiar – while offering plenty of interesting newness.


Pardon My French


Other Ciel microtrends:
* leather inserts – Maaike, Company of Strangers
* a little bit rockabilly at Silence Was and Nyne (plaid)
* ‘mullet’/shorter in front, longer in back hemlines (still) – a clever pleated version from Deborah Sweeney, in a pretty bow print at Blak Luxe
* we love animals:  horses from Julian Danger, parrots from Blak Luxe, cats at Meadowlark.


Left: Silence Was

Right: Blak Luxe


Ciel PR’s Director Chris Lorimer says he hasn’t gone down the one-slot media open day path for now, as with this many labels he feels it’s important to personally impart as much information behind the ranges as possible.  “It’s the best way for us to gain direct feedback…to take back to our clients, as well.”


Ciel PR’s Director Chris Lorimer


Back across town, Paul Blomfield PR and Lily & Louis both chose the media show route.


Left: Sheryl May’s new season

Centre and right: Sheryl May’s trompe l’oeil prints


Paul Blomfield has recently re-signed Simunovich as a client and that handily involves PRing the company’s two restaurants, Bracu in Bombay, and Kermadec in the Viaduct.  The latter’s newly re-christened top end restaurant ‘Kermadec Fine’ was the knockout venue for PBPR’s Monday-afternoon-champers show.  Media and a tasteful sprinkling of celebrities (including New Zealand’s Hottest Home Baker’s Colin Mathura-Jeffree and The Almighty Johnsons’ Ben Barrington) saw Loobie’s Story, MisteR, Egoist, Mena and Sheryl May’s new seasons.  Runway outfits were Impeccably styled by PBPR showroom manager and in-house stylist Christina Roys, with London/Gisborne based Sheryl May’s trompe l’oeil prints proving to be really effective on the body – a standout.


Left: Jaime Ridge at Lily & Louis

Right: Briarwood and OPI nail colours


Standing out at Lily & Louis was Jaime Ridge – she of the proposed mother-and-daughter reality TV show currently being filmed by TV3. The Lily & Louis appearance was prior to the recent announcement of her boxing event against the GC’s Rosana Arkle – but Jaime’s physique was already visibly muscular.  Her Mum Sally was in attendance and alongside an intimate group of fashion editors, enjoyed a sit-down light lunch with her Bendon, Pleasure State, Who’s Henri?, Louche & Aleida, Ketz-ke and Stewart Dawsons.  Briarwood shoes weren’t used on the runway but more than quietly impressed from their displays, alongside wittily merchandised, always-knockout OPI nail colours.

– Julie Roulston


Imagery courtesy of Julie Roulston/SONY NEX

Jaime Ridge image courtesy of The A-List

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