Fashion week cancelled a week out from opening

Model Vitalia Dolenko gets made up for the World Couture show at Wellington Fashion Week last year.
Ross Giblin/Fairfax NZ

Model Vitalia Dolenko gets made up for the World Couture show at Wellington Fashion Week last year.

Hold the glitz and glamour, Wellington Fashion Week has been cancelled this year.

The confirmation comes just a week out from the four-day event's scheduled opening in Shed 6 next Wednesday. Organisers still plan to hold the event next year.

Executive director Cameron Sneddon said the news was given to most participants five to six weeks ago.

Eugenie Armstrong tweaks the hair of model Samantha James backstage at the Kirkcaldie & Stains fashion show at ...
Ross Giblin/Fairfax NZ

Eugenie Armstrong tweaks the hair of model Samantha James backstage at the Kirkcaldie & Stains fashion show at Wellington Fashion Week in 2014.

"We made the decision to postpone the event because we just couldn't get the financial commitment from the designers this year," he said in answers given to The Dominion Post by email.

"For whatever reason, the designers just didn't sign on the dotted line this year.

"I can't speak on the part of the greater industry, and I certainly can't comment on their financial situations, but I didn't get the signatures I need and for that reason we decided to postpone."

Janna Saouda, left, Blaire Rooney and Madeline Austin from Rooney Clothing were some of the designers at Wellington ...
Ross Giblin

Janna Saouda, left, Blaire Rooney and Madeline Austin from Rooney Clothing were some of the designers at Wellington Fashion Week last year.

Sneddon believed an event next year, held over a weekend when the public could attend more freely, would be more of a success.

Tickets for next week, which were scheduled to be issued for purchase from February, did not go on sale, Sneddon said.

"[There was] no effect to members of the public."

Two previous Wellington Fashion Weeks have been plagued by complaints from models and contractors claiming they were not paid, but Sneddon said these issues were not related to the cancellation of this year's event.

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Wellington City Council was a partner of Fashion Week, and had provided funding for this year's show. It was understood this money would be transferred to the 2016 event, spokesman Richard MacLean said.

Fashion PR consultant Paul Blomfield said news of the show being cancelled was recent, but there had been a few troubling signs for some time.

"There have been people starting to ask questions in the last week. [Designers] attending Fashion Week would have been expecting to have done castings by now, so I imagine it's not that much of a surprise."

Some designers, including Wellingtonian Chris Hales, had simply decided to run a fashion show independently.

Hale's Winter 2015 collection, originally destined for Fashion Week, would now be shown at night next week at Caffe L'affare, Blomfield said.

 - The Dominion Post

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