New Zealand Fashion Week ’17 | Congratulations, You Survived.


Fashion Week is over.

Yes, congratulations, you did it. We did it.

Life has been restored to its natural order and my skin has been restored to its natural shade of pale, with the last scrap of fake tan bidding itself adieu in the shower this morning.

Half my lash extensions have fallen out, so now I only look half awake.

I have three new pimples to show for a week of wearing more primer, foundation and Glossier Cloud Paint than humanly possible.

And the rash on my neck has ironically disappeared, thus proving my original theory: that it would only make an appearance for the duration of fashion week and as the last model sauntered off the runway so would the rash off my décolletage.

Whether you attended one show, all 52 of them, or just felt like you attended because your Instagram feed was clogged with a plethora of photos, boomerangs and backstage videos, you will be glad to have survived another year. I know I am.

Because for everything I love about NZFW – and there are a lot of things, like clearly I have enjoyed myself if the 6,000 Instagram Stories are anything to go by – as an introvert I’m always happy to say goodbye.

It’s draining to spend 12 hours a day, for 7 consecutive days, conducting small talk with people you only vaguely know. Sure there are those who are your genuine friends and colleagues, but to be honest you see enough of them throughout the year anyway and it doesn’t require nearly half the hairspray or uncomfortable footwear.

By the last day of shows I found myself standing stagnant in the toilets waiting for the announcement over the loud speaker to take our seats because I had nothing left to say to anyone. Nothing.

There was so much to love about New Zealand Fashion Week this year. From the established and beloved designers returning to the runway, like Kate Sylvester and her homage to neo-noir film Blade Runner, to the young talent in our fashion industry which is nothing short of incredible. Designers like Wynn Hamlyn and Rachel Mills who conducted themselves with such class and presented timeless, considered collections and deserve to be on the world stage. Then there were those who chose to forego the traditional runway or presentation and do something more intimate. Maggie Marilyn hosted a lunch at Soul in the viaduct where I had the chance to chat with her in a quieter setting about her meteoric rise to fame and ambitions for the next year. Or Georgia Currie who invited friends and media to Hugo’s in the city for Bloody Mary’s and porridge, and view her Georgia Alice Spring/Summer ‘18 collection. Then there are the true heroes of fashion week who don’t get nearly enough press; people like Murray Bevan of Showroom 22 who take on the task of seating everyone at nearly every single show, putting up with ungrateful attendees who aren’t happy with their seat or can’t find their goodie bag (and FYI if you’re important enough to be in the front row then chances are you are the last person on Earth who needs another free moisturiser). The huge teams of hair and makeup artists, like MAC Cosmetics led by senior makeup artist Kiekie Stanners who bring fresh energy and creativity to every show they work on, no matter how sleep deprived or hungry they are.

And lastly, the models. This week I had the chance to spend a lot of time with these girls backstage and these are the things I now know to be true:

  1. No model is immune to bad skin.
  2. No model is immune to self-doubt.
  3. No model is immune to self-loathing.
  4. No model lives the life they live on Instagram.

That last point is the real pearl of wisdom if you ask me. I’m forever trying to remind you guys that no one is as blessed, beautiful or brilliant as they seem on social media. That for every perfect street style shot you see there are 26 other images that didn’t make the cut due to a visible pair of Spanx or a double chin. For every killer after-party there is a killer hangover. And for every over-sized smile there’s an introvert hiding in the toilet just waiting for it to be over.