Jenna Sauers at Fashion Week
Several New Zealand labels chose to showcase their new collections via film this week, which prompted me to think back to some of my favorite fashion line movies. The format has become increasingly popular over recent seasons, as digital video technology has improved, and the expense of showing on the runway has increased. Labels like Gareth Pugh and Halston have also recently been tempted by the idea of investing in one easily reproducible and infinitely replayable testament to a collection, as opposed to an ephemeral catwalk show. Lonely Hearts and Nom*D took up the trend here in Auckland.
Nom*D's offering, <i>Turncoats</i>, was directed by Kirsty Cameron, and stars a <i>Tribe</i>-like assortment of young models, wanderin through a strange, adult-free world.
[VIMEO Embed URL = http://vimeo.com/6709416]
Lonely Hearts had Tim Van Dammen direct a spooky, elliptical short movie called <i>What's Your Damage?</i> At the installation on Monday night, the film was shown on different movie screens, and the models appeared to wander freely from screen to screen. To get something like the full effect, you should watch this in Vimeo's full-page view.
The only thing that could conceivably have gone wrong with Pamela Anderson and Richie Rich's A*Muse show would have been if the duo had failed to be far enough above over the top. What if, even with all their promises of rhinestones, kaleidoscope colors, and a better cut of swimsuit, Anderson and Rich had ended up being not quite fabulously, awesomely, splendiferously ridiculous?
As soon as the glitter cannons fired, all doubt was settled.
The famous party boy and his self-described muse sent out a fun collection of appropriately skimpy basics, printed with slogans and icons, like cassette tapes. The men's swimwear was as tight and low-cut as the women's. Surfers and television presenters mingled with the professional models, and Nikki Watson — "sort of the Pamela Anderson of New Zealand?" whispered my neighbour — made several turns on the catwalk. All the models smiled and mugged for the camera pit.
The audience smiled and shuffled in their seats to the beat. Keisha Castle-Hughes, in the front row, clapped along enthusiastically. I couldn't stop from smiling. It was all just too cute.
When it was over, Rich — an expert in making an entrance since his days at the Limelight — sailed out onto the catwalk in rollerskates. Pamela, though shrouded in a thin white circular scarf (worn as a dress, over a bright pink thong bikini bottom), still managed to nearly flash the audience at several points during her trip down the runway. They twisted and posed together, smiling and gliding along, Rich in his skates, Pamela in her black heels. Although I scrambled to get backstage as the lights were going down on the catwalk, they had already packed into their dressing room caravan. I'll have to find another opportunity to tell Pam how much I kind of really love her.
Pamela Anderson might have disappointed some with her failure to attend, as rumoured, the Hailwood and Stolen Girlfriends Club shows last night. But her performance at yesterday's afternoon press conference was entirely as endearing as the old Jane magazine profile that originally changed my mind about the pneumatic Canadian.
She's a Borat star, author, and activist for PETA, the American Liver Foundation, and the legalisation of marijuana. And when a television presenter buttonholes her with, "Now, I'll be honest, I don't know a huge amount about fashion," she interjects, with just the hint of a wink: "Neither do I. I don't wear a lot of clothes."
Self-awareness: so hot for spring. Read on for further bons mots from the artificially coloured and flavoured Canadian.
On her eco-friendly line with ex-Ice Capades member, ex-Club Kid, ex-Heatherette co-founder Richie Rich:
"We’re going to get plastic from the garbage island in the Pacific and make clothes out of it, and stuff like that."
What a designer opts to put in his or her gift bags says a lot about a brand. The tea leaves of Stuff We All Get* can reveal important winter trends, impactful designer-sponsor relationships, and provide fascinating insights into ridiculous exercise equipment and cars of the future. Now that we're past the fashion week half-way mark, why not do a swag census?
My front-row sources have been passing me swag all week. Let's categorise the payload!
- Many cans of Stella. (Undrunk.)
- Aloe water. (Undrinkable.)
- Various Precious New Zealand Spring Waters and Sparkling Artesian Waters. (Refreshing and yet, like all designer waters, also depressing.)
- At Salasai, Sebastian Professional Double Body Thick-In Conditioner: Punny! (Undrinkable.)
- Yellowed paperback books at Twentysevennames and Juliette Hogan. Much swapping of admired old covers ensued; I was jealous my fancy magazine editor pal scooped a Joan Didion novel. Dead-tree media, indeed!
- Jandals at Trelise Cooper. Perhaps these would have been better given to the models, several of whom stumbled in the 6" heels worn for the show.
- Annah Stretton thoughtfully donated issues of the July issue of her <i>Her</i> magazine. It includes a 2009 Who's Who, as well as helpful synopses of the upcoming August, September, and October issues. Also, did you realise Stretton was in a Telecom ad? She provides photographic proof. Bonus: advertisement for Stretton Publishing: "Stretton Publishing offers the full publishing service, to guide you through the publishing minefield." Also, on page 12, there is a short article entitled Where's The JUSTICE? National Destroys Hopes For Women's Pay Equity. "The recent decision by the National Party Government to abolish the Department of Labour's Pay and Employment Equity Unit shows an absolute disregard for the thousands of women workers in this country," writes the un-bylined author. On page 32, there is a brief op-ed from Pansy Wong, the Minister of Women's Affairs, praising John Key for launching "the business case, Women on Boards: why women on company boards are good for business." But then again, F. Scott Fitzgerald did say that the true test of a first-rate mind is the ability to hold in it two contradictory ideas at the same time
Is this news to anyone else? Has the legendary New York club kid/ex-Heatherette designer been sneaking into shows all week without my notice? Perhaps admiring the sleeve caps at Alexandra Owen, or bumming cigarettes from Margi Robertson?
I spotted Mr. Rich taking a quick jaunt backstage at NOM*D this morning. Pamela Anderson, his "muse" for the eco-friendly swimwear line he's here to launch, A*Muse, wasn't in attendance. But perhaps she was saving her grand entrance for Trelise Cooper.
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