Celebrity News

Kiwi stars shine at the AFTAS

The AFTAS – the Aotearoa Film and Television Awards – are the Kiwi version of the Emmys. As our favourite stars put their best feet forward at the weekend, New Zealanders show that when it comes to rocking the red carpet, we’re up with the best of them.

“These awards are your chance to go the whole hog and commit to looking fabulous for the night,” says fashion queen Petra Bagust, who donned a stunning Kate Sylvester silk chiffon halterneck dress with leather and chain back detail. “It’s a little bit dominatrix, but it’s fun!”

“It’s great to get dressed up and feel glamorous. This year I’ve gone a bit edgier than usual. I’m enjoying the shift,” agrees Wendy Petrie. A version of her Grecian-inspired gown was recently modelled by Miranda Kerr. “I think we’re a bit fashion-forward this year!”

But while everyone went for glamour, many still show an eye for a bargain. “oy dress was a present off Ebay from my sister who thought I wouldn’t like it!” laughs Shortland Street favourite Sally Martin. “I love the colour, and all I have to do is play around with belts to give it shape. It makes me feel like me, which, as an actor, is important. I didn’t want to be a character on the night. In this, I’m Sally.”

And Amanda Billing felt the same – so she designed her own gown. “I worked with Rowena Smith, who makes a lot of the dresses on Shortland Street, and this is what we came up with,” says Amanda, who drew the designs after using key words as inspiration.

“I wanted structured, strong, clever and feminine. It’s a bit of a ‘look at me’ dress, but I love it.”

But it’s not just the girls who stand out this year. “I didn’t want to wear what everyone else does – I wanted something cool,” says Shorty star Pua oagasiva, whose outfit was designed by Jacquie Hudson – a good friend of his co-star, Jacquie Nairn.

“And you did – that’s amazing!” laughs Teuila Blakely, who donned her favourite Mena gown, created by three Samoan sisters, for the evening.

“It’s a contemporary take on traditional wear, and they print their own fabrics. They make dresses for real bodies – women with hips, breasts and bottoms – that are timeless and classic.”

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