Fashion Trends

The 6 biggest trends of New Zealand Fashion Week, and how to wear them

From powerful pink to rock-on leather and swish velvet, here are the new trends to take note of from New Zealand Fashion Week.

By Jessica-Belle Greer
Bigest of trends of New Zealand Fashion Week

With over 30 runway shows unfolding at New Zealand Fashion Week (NZFW) there was no shortage of inspiring and creative looks sweeping the catwalk.

But don't be overwhelmed by this influx of fashion. Simply You has decodes the most notable trends from the week to simplify the new style rules, which you can start wearing now.

1. Velvet

Left: Kate Sylvester. Right: Tanya Carlson.
Left: Kate Sylvester. Right: Tanya Carlson.

Whichever way you looked at NZFW, texture was one of the main elements on show - both on the runway and around the ANZ Viaduct Event Centre on fashionable attendees.

Following on from this current season, velvet was one of the most beloved fabrics. Comfortable yet trendy styles were seen in the form of slouchy trousers and work pants seen at Kate Sylvester and Pania Greenaway, while more traditional, ladylike silhouettes were seen at Tanya Carlson's vintage-inspired show.

New-comer Katherine Victoria even designed high-neck, full-length cocktail dresses in velvet for an opulent take on the trend in pink, orange or red.

There are two options for this revisited trend, bold block colours, typically in rich jewel tones, or sophisticated black. And although velvet is a tricky trend to try when coming into spring, a velvet jumper or bomber jacket is perfect for when the temperature drops at night and there are a number of velvet accessories, including open toe heels, on the market now.

Option 1: Bomber, $349, by Country Road. Option 2: Nakedvice bag, AU$180, from The Iconic. Mules, $200, by Merchant 1948.

2. Transseasonal fashion

Left: Wynn Hamlyn. Right: Ovna Ovich.
Left: Wynn Hamlyn. Right: Ovna Ovich.

With a new ethical fashion movement under way, designers are increasingly noticing the discrepancies of the weather patterns and an increasing number of labels are looking at how to design for any weather.

They may have been presenting autumn/winter 2018 collections as per the traditional NZFW calendars but a number of the pieces showcased will be worn just as much in the height of summer as the middle of winter.

As designer Wynn Crawshaw of Wynn Hamlyn told Simply You in a pre-show interview, this is his way of highlighting the bizarreness of current seasons and to question the importance, and flexibility, of the traditional fashion model.

Environmentally conscious brands including Wynn Hamlyn and Ovna Ovich showed pieces that could easily be worn in either season, making an investment in one of these pieces much more sensible, seeing as you can enjoy them all year round.

With a buy once, buy well motto in mind, pieces from both brands' current collections seem just as relevant as the forward collections they just showed at NZFW.

Option 1: Sweater, $320, and skirt, $275, by Wynn Hamlyn. Option 2: Dress. $240, by Ovna Ovich.

3. Red and pink

Left: Kate Sylvester. Right: Company of Strangers.
Left: Kate Sylvester. Right: Company of Strangers.

The new must-try colour combination, pink and red, is both an international and national trend of note.

From Oscar de la Renta's show at Milan Fashion Week to Kate Sylvester at NZFW, there's no denying the power of this fashion duo.

Although pink was once seen as an outdated, highly-gendered colour it has spiked in popularity recently thanks to an obsession with millennial pink and the re-writing of fashion rules to reclaim the shade as a symbol of power.

Colour-blocking (wearing bold blocks of colour, which often clash with one another, in one outfit) has also made this trend a powerful look on the runway.

If you are not ready for a combo of a pink dress and red leggings just yet, we suggest you try this trend by wearing a dress that combines both colours in one, which will do all the work for you, or by dabbling in muted accessories, such as a pale pink handbag paired with matt red shoes to dip your toes in.

Option 1: Dress, $370, by Company of Strangers. Option 2: Bag, $585, by Karen Walker. Shoes, $260, by Mi Piaci.

4. Sheer layers

Left: Jimmy D. Right: Hailwood.
Left: Jimmy D. Right: Hailwood.

Fine sheer layers, like the looks seen in the 'Sheer Genius' editorial in the current spring/summer issue of Simply You took over the runway at NZFW, namely in thin black fabrics with seams, pleats and other graphic touches.

Dressing see-through layers over pants and other shirts is a sophisticated play on this trend, while opting for a garment that has sheer detailing in specific areas, such as the arms, is a great way to show a little skin without overdoing it.

Delicate and refined, we suggest trialling this trend in the warmer months, before these wintry pieces hit stores. Once you've mastered the art of layering sheer pieces over your swimsuit in summer, you'll be ready to master layered sheer garments all winter.

Option 1: Kay Goss top, $450, from Hudson Boutique. Option 2: Dress, $350, by Paris Georgia Basics. Both as seen in Simply You magazine.

5. Leather/hard-wearing fabrics

Left: Stolen Girlfriends Club. Right: Zambesi.
Left: Stolen Girlfriends Club. Right: Zambesi.

With most collections shown being autumn/winter 2018, leather was seen on many of the runways.

Setting the tone at the opening night of NZFW Zambesi sent patent leather looks down the runway. Inspired by biker-chic, but softened with blouses, the look was a nod to the brand's partnership with luxury car brand Mercedes-Benz.

And with motocross and safety-wear the main inspiration behind playful label Stolen Girlfriends Club's tongue-in-cheek 'Safer than Heaven' collection, there was leather everywhere at their fast paced show. While the thigh-high boots may be a stretch for most of us, the sumptuous over-sized biker jacket and loose-fitting leather pants are pieces that can easily slot into any wardrobe.

After all, channelling all your confidence and investing in a leather piece signals strong street cred.

We'll leave the last word on this to Stolen Girlfriends Club's designer and creative director Marc Moore, who told Fashion Quarterly in a pre-show interview: "It's that ultimate symbol of rebellion and rock 'n' roll."

Option 1: Jacket, $1,699, by Stolen Girlfriends Club. Option 2: Pants, $305, by Zambesi

6. Suiting

Left: Misty Ratima at the Miromoda showcase. Right: Zambesi.
Left: Misty Ratima at the Miromoda showcase. Right: Zambesi.

Perhaps inspired by Hillary Clinton or a new form of girl-power, the pantsuit made a strong comeback at NZFW.

Whether it was made in classic black, seen in Misty Ratima's collection for the Miromoda showcase, or vibrant marigold, as at Zambesi, the new suit rules are relaxed.

Loose-fitting suits were laid-back takes on the trend, also seen on languid models at Rachel Mills and Wynn Hamlyn during the week. They signal a softer, more assured, take on power dressing, where the wearer has nothing to prove, but is dressing for comfort - shoulder pads are only optional.

With the current political climate we see this trend as only just taking off.

Happily, there are some smart suits already out there - invest now and wear for many seasons to come.

Option 1: Jacket, $720, and pants, $395, by Zambesi. Option 2: Jacket $895, and pants, $595, by Karen Walker.

Photos: Michael Ng and Getty Images.

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