It was size 18, not size zero, on the catwalk at The Carpenter's Daughter show at Air New Zealand Fashion Week.
The Kiwi label, designed for curvy women, made Fashion Week history by featuring larger-sized models. The label's summer collection, entitled "Let them eat cake", was modelled by women sized 18 to 24, and aged 14 to 66.
The label's founder, Caroline Mar, said the average model in the show was size 18 representative of a big number of New Zealand women. Sixty-five per cent of Kiwi women are believed to be size 16 or bigger.
Mar is all for women celebrating their curves and said she wanted to "show normal everyday women that they are also part of fashion because they get left out a little bit".
"There are a lot of big girls out there and usually at Fashion Week you don't see them. Our customers are so hard on themselves and are their own worst critics. My idea is to make them into cheerleaders when they look in the mirror every day."
The atmosphere in the packed-out show, held in the biggest Fashion Week venue, was also different. The usual impassive front-row expressions were replaced with smiles.
Wellington actress Geraldine Brophy, a front-row guest and the label's official ambassador, clapped and cheered enthusiastically throughout. "I thought it was splendid and a celebration of beauty and I think that is what fashion is all about," she said.
Auckland great-grandmother Rae Trewartha, 66, was the show's oldest model, and said she was passionate about fashion.
Size zero is a United States measurement, equivalent to a size 6 in New Zealand.
When goody bags go bad:
They might be using plus-size models on the runway but the Fashion Week goody bags have gone size zero.
Instead of the usual hair products, makeup, scarves, T-shirts, costume jewellery, chocolate, water and skincare, the freebies this year have included chewing gum, a bite-size piece of chocolate, belgium biscuits, teabags, second-hand books, a tea towel, a packet of 14 hair pins and an apple. In place of full-size designer cosmetics, guests have received 10ml pots of Nivea cream and mini pots of lip gloss.
Many designers including Zambesi, Nom*D and Alexandra Owen have dispensed with goody bags entirely.
"New sponsors have been very hard to come by this year. We had a lot of noes before we got some yes," said Francesca Bowden, the Auckland PR assistant of fashion agent Process. "Sponsors now want more for their money. In the past they've been happy to give us the money and have their logo on the invitation and press release. Now they want to spend less for more benefits."
Good Morning's Sally-ann Moffat said: "The plus side is that we don't have to lug around heavy bags."
Carolyn Enting's Diary: Be-twext and Be-tweet:
WHAT'S HOT: The collaboration between Wellington labels Andrea Moore and Silverdale. "It was like Vivienne Westwood but not as crazy," Alexey Oleshov, creative director of Moscow boutique Cara & Co, said after the show.
WHAT'S NOT: Tweeting and texting in the front row during a show. "I want someone to get a bucket, go along the front row and collect up all the BlackBerrys," Auckland Canvas fashion editor Alice Rycroft said. "It's just rude."
QUOTES OF THE DAY
Linlee Allen, V Magazine and writer for Style.Com, commenting on VIP Air New Zealand lounge manager Vicki Bretherton: "I love that woman, she is so nice. She is just so helpful and wants nothing in return. Africa needs her. I walked in and she said, `Linlee, would you like a glass of Champagne?"'
Petra Bagust, who has attended nine shows this week, wearing clothes from designers Alexandra Owen, Trelise Cooper, Kate Sylvester and Helen Cherry: "I'm a friend of New Zealand designers or a designer whore, depending on how you look at it, but I like to think of myself a friend."
WHISPER: Former Baywatch star Pamela Anderson is tipped to be the front-row guest at Adrian Hailwood's show. Not only that, but she will be wearing his clothes, and it's believed the Lower Hutt-born designer's show is the only one she has agreed to attend.
CELEBRITY FRONT ROW: Keisha Castle-Hughes (Sera Lily, Trelise Cooper); Petra Bagust (Nom*D and Sera Lily); Josh Kronfeld (Nom*D); Jaquie Brown (Nom*D and Kate Sylvester); Geraldine Brophy (The Carpenter's Daughter); Outrageous Fortune's Antonia Prebble and Robyn Malcolm, Marcus Lush and Honor Dillon (Kate Sylvester); Habitat for Humanity "Nail It With Love" Fashion Week house build Kate Hawkesby, Greer Robson, Liz Mitchell and Kerre Woodham; Bagust, Dillon, Castle-Hughes, Hawkesby, Woodham, Denise Keller and Miriama Smith (Trelise Cooper).
BEST GOODY BAG: Trelise Cooper show Black cameo necklace, sample of her new perfume called Trelise, jandals from Telecom XT, Whittaker's Peanut Slab, can of Stella Artois beer, sample size of L'Oreal Tec hair product for curly hair, bottle of water, little pot of La Mer moisturising cream and Karajoz coffee.
ON THE CATWALK TODAY: MiroModa Awards showcase, including Wiremu Barriball of Porirua and Tutina Pasene of Otaki, Starfish, Barbara Lee, Mild Red, United Constructions, New Generation Group show, Adrian Hailwood and Stolen Girlfriends Club.
WHO'S SHOWING TOMORROW: Stitch Ministry, Michelle Yvette, Trelise Cooper Kids, Federation, A*Muse by Richie Rich featuring Pamela Anderson, Karen Walker and Huffer.
- The Dominion Post
Who was your best dressed of the week?