Fashion News

New designers of note at New Zealand Fashion Week

The new breed of designers at New Zealand Fashion Week have their sights set on the future, with both forward thinking and environmentally conscious designs.

As much as New Zealand Fashion Week (NZFW) is renowned for big-label shows from industry heavy-weights including Zambesi and Kate Sylvester, it's also very well known for exciting shows from the future of the local fashion industry - new designers taking their first turn on the runway.
Here are some of the designers we expect big things from.

Rachel Mills

For her installation at NZFW, Rachel Mills transported a crowd of intrigued attendees to a nightclub in London's Covent Garden.
Models lounged around in the autumn/winter 2018, 'Neo Kind', collection, which included loose-fitting suits, and a striking red silk taffeta boiler suit that merged masculine and feminine details for a very elegant and wear-off-the-runway look.
Flounced silk crepe de chine blouses and a striped pyjama suit were a nod to Victorian-era influences worn by trendy club kids in the 1980s, as well as a reflection of the scene's languid looks.
The organic fabrics used were sourced in India while other textiles were found at local businesses importing unused and leftover materials from overseas fashion houses.
With a nostalgic nod to the Blitz Kids era but her own clear vision of how to be a sustainable fashion designer, Rachel Mills has set herself up as a must-watch designer this year.

Katherine Victoria

Ankle-length velvet gowns, sequin midi-skirts and glittery tulle underskirts swept the runway at Katherine Victoria.
From mismatch faux fur to long shearling vests, texture was the main memo.
Beautiful sheer side panelling and pussy-bow blouses played up the fun-factor of this colourful and indulgently detailed show.
We have our eye on this label for statement winter pieces.

Pania Greenaway

For Pania Greenaway's debut collection for NZFW, 'Rock Me Venus', she aimed to capture the energy of past visionaries.
With intricate layers of sheer black organza and relaxed velvet suits, the collection achieved a nod to creatives gone before, but with contemporary styling.
The collection was mostly black but pops of colour were provided in the form of a moody forest green velvet and a side stripe of hot pink on a velvet pant.
As part of the New Generation runway showcase, Pia Greenaway is a formidable emerging designer to keep an eye on.


The 17-year-old designer of Geoj, Georgia Hensley-Smith, was inspired by movement and texture for her debut at the New Generation showcase.
We were inspired in turn by her sheer layered ruffle dresses with flattering sleeves in on-trend patterns of spots and mesh. Just add a slip and you have your new go-to dress for summer or winter.
A cape top and calf-length black faux fur coat were also standouts from the collection, which had a slight nod to the 90s and a sexy sense of femininity.

Adrienne Whitewood

The Adrienne Whitewood label seeks to create an emotional connection to indigenous designs.
Her first solo show at NZFW was a poignant celebration of strong women, opening with an official welcoming and closing with a poi performance.
Models walked down the runway in colourful jumpsuits and geometric wrap dresses, with printed patterns that looked like wood carvings.
Inspired by Maori art and culture, Adrienne Whitewood is filling a niche for authentic and spirited designs that are at once wearable and inspirational.
Photos: Michael Ng.
For more, see this month's Simply You magazine, visit our Facebook page, and follow us on Instagram.