All Blacks jockey for position

MICHELLE DUFF
Last updated 18:15 28/08/2014
LAWRENCE SMITH/Stuff.co.nz

All Blacks TJ Perenara, Tawera Kerr Barlow, Victor Vito, DJ Forbes and Gillies Kaka walk the runway during the Jockey underwear show at New Zealand Fashion Week at the Viaduct Events Centre.

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LAWRENCE SMITH / Fairfax NZ Zoom
TJ Perenara, Gillies Kaka walk in front of Victor Vito.

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It's not the size of the grundies that matters, but the All Black wearing them.

Actually, today's crowd at Auckland’s Viaduct Events Centre probably wouldn't have cared what the muscled men walking down the runway were dressed in.

All Blacks Victor Vito, TJ Perenara, Tawera Kerr-Barlow and NZ Sevens players DJ Forbes and Gillies Kaka strode out in front of a clapping, whooping afternoon crowd at Fashion Week. Led by Vito, the players strutted in front of a couple of hundred women - and a few men - before being joined by model Nikki Phillips.

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The models, who were reputedly suffering from a few jitters backstage, managed to keep it together for a smooth show for Jockey - though afterwards, Vito reckoned he had screwed up the V formation.

He was meant to turn earlier but had been too busy looking at Phillips, he joked.

All Blacks forward Steven Luatua had enjoyed the show from the audience, giggling as his mates walked past. 

Only a "select few" All Blacks had been chosen, he said. 

"Would I have said yes to it? Probably not. I'd need another two years in the gym."

For the last couple of days the guys would have been eating next to nothing and doing multiple crunches and push-ups, he said.

"It was one of my first fashion shows, so to have the boys in it was pretty special."

Backstage, Vito and Forbes said they were unlikely to give up their day jobs. 

"It was pretty surreal. I think I was pretty nervous and didn't want to go out there just before,"Vito said. "I think at the last [part] I was meant to go behind Nikki but I was so keen on being next to her I just forgot about it."

"Just forgot about the team for a second," Forbes joked.

Forbes had remembered to chuck out a "Blue Steel" - a modelling look from the movie Zoolander - to please the punters. His wife hadn't been able to make the show, but would watch her husband’s modelling debut on TV. Forbes thought it might be his last.

"I think we'll leave it to Dan Carter."

Beforehand, in the queue for the show, Leigh Higgins and her friends had high expectations for the show. "We only heard that it's the All Blacks today, so we're quite delighted." 

Which players was she hoping to see? "All of them, all at once. Don't they all wear undies?"

As the show continued to be delayed, others got antsy. "Maybe they're the wrong size?" someone asked.

Style Insider writer Leonie Barlow said the All Blacks had been a "showstopper."

"It was fantastic, seeing all those muscles. I've never seen muscles that big in my life. Who was that guy, Victor Vito? He was amazing. I felt like I was at a girls’ night at a strip club for a while there, it was a moment where a fashion show became something else but it was great, I'm down with it."

The lack of Dan Carter had been noted, however. "I'm a little disappointed, I didn't recognise some of the others."

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Jockey was the last label to present their wares at the Designer Selection show today, with other designers including Zambesi, Nom*d,

Huffer, Stolen Girlfriends Club and Hailwood showing slices of their summer ranges.

Fashion Week officially ends this evening, with Kate Sylvester.

Fashion Weekend, where designers show their in-season looks to the public, begins tomorrow.


- Stuff

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