Stretton's country checks and old-fashioned lace

BY BRONWYN WILLIAMS
Last updated 19:00 23/09/2010
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Annah Stretton's show at fashion week could easily be described as her strongest collection yet.

Like a cross between Chanel summer 2010 and Anna Sui spring 2011, it was all out country bumpkin. 

The contents of the farmhouse fought for attention in a medley of different fabrics – picnic blankets and kitchen towels, mama's sweeping skirts and wide sunhats, cow hide and rope from papa’s barn, velvet from the gypsies camping by the creek, and upholstery from the sofas in the parlour.

Country checks and old-fashioned lace, double denim and tiers of ruffles brought out the fete goer in all of us.

Models strolled down the runway to a country western soundtrack, in a colour palate of navy, browns, cream, and grey.

The flirty froufrou a-line skirts and dramatic ruffles left us all keen for a roll in the hay.

TASTE OF NEW YORK

In a grandiose marketing move, New York designer Nicole Miller presented a show at New Zealand Fashion Week today.

Like many of the shows this week, the collection featured silk chiffon, leather inserts, and black webby knitwear, proof that the Kiwis are as on top of international trends as the internationals.

Black ruled the roost, and sequins stitched onto garments in vein patterns and skull motifs felt glamorous and very Carrie Bradshaw.

Sportswear played a key influence with racer backs, laser slashes, plastic click buckles and criss-cross strapping on backs.

Knitwear appeared torn and holey, but closer inspection revealed that the tears were in fact cleverly woven lines of web pattern.

Silhouettes were strong and sexy with figure hugging body con pieces as well as sheer and flowing items.

Nicole Miller’s winter collection gave us a taste of the lifestyle of a sassy young New Yorker, a confident woman who works hard and parties harder.

CURVY CARPENTERS DAUGHTERS

The Carpenters Daughter show was a proud moment for women with curves.

In a celebration of form and femininity, plus size designers Caroline Marr and Sarah-Jane Duff gave us a collection inspired by the early 1900’s when King Edward reigned.

Marr and Duff really hit the right note here; the show’s powerful message was a hit with the audience, and the collection was well put together and very fashion forward. All of winter’s key trends were there – lace, tapestry fabrics, silk chiffon, crushed velvet, and fur.

It was both gothic and feminine; black on black looks were kept interesting with changes in texture and shine. Sequins, velvet, fur and tiger prints gave the collection an air of ultimate glamour, and the colour palette stayed in the diva zone with black, red, white and dusky lavender.

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Belts cinched in at the waist emphasised the models’ gorgeous hourglass figures, which were further enhanced by full length dresses that flared out at the bottom of the skirt to balance out the top half.

Loose and oversized, white shirts and tunics were juxtaposed with structured blazers and waistcoats.

Claps and cheers from the audience could be heard as each model descended on the runway, and a standing ovation ended the show.

The Carpenters Daughter is here to celebrate curves, and now that Marc Jacobs is cottoning on with his soon to be revealed plus-size collection, it looks like the rest of the fashion world might get on the band wagon too.

SCHOOL'S OUT FOR SUMMER

It was back to school at Twenty-seven Names, with a teen-in-the-nineties theme.

In what felt like a continuation from their previous collection, Rachel Easting and Anjali Stewart gave us silk chiffon smocks with frilly blouse details, and cutesy shorts.

Prefect blazers and graduation capes took us into the school yard, and dorky florals and art splodge prints led us behind the bike sheds and into the shopping mall.

Easting and Stewart surprised us with smatterings of colour, a change from their usual colour palate that’s predominantly cream, white and black.

Shades of blue and deep wine red were featured in the prints, and regal green popped up in the private school stripes of blazers.

Boyfriend’s baseball blazers draped loosely over models shoulders, sheltering them from the cold. With all that chiffon and so few coats to share around we’ll be hoping for a mild winter.

- Stuff

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