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Joining the Stolen Girlfriends Fan Club
A French voiceover fills the tent at Air New Zealand Fashion Week 2007 as a model's sexy silhouette stands provocatively, smoking a cigarette on stage. "Put it out" yells someone from the cheap seats.
"Stolen Girlfriends Club says Relax" instructs the giant sign on the catwalk slideshow in WHAM! lettering, as the celebrity model coup of the week- Brigette Berger- strides out in a PVC mini over black tights. She puts to shame models half her age, like a Charlotte Rampling of the catwalk.
The front row has lots of young hipsters in hats and white trainers and supporters of the models -members of Auckland rock bands- cheer them on. In the first case of fashion week DIY air conditioning, we are told to take the Japanese paper fans out of our goody bags and use them- to discover "I'm a fan" is written on them. "Now" said the MC, "You're all members of the Stolen Girlfriends Fan Club!"
Models walked in skinny denims and metallic accents with domes and zipped open waistcoats. The men's wear was as decorative as the women's wear, with eyelet details on the shoulders of men's black tee-shirts and the lapels of jackets. I liked black fringes on the sleeves of a pale blue tee-shirt dress with clear plastic hooded raincoat; slightly naughty and a bit dirty. "He's got a baby in his bag!" shrieked a woman behind me, as a topless and tattooed male model skulked past with a doll in a carry bag.
"Mate of the boys" photographer Chris Sisarich tells me he directed a short film which plays as guests are finding their seats. "It's all about romance and unrequited love" he laughs. "To celebrate our partnership with Mini we got together and made a mini film" says Marc Moore, Creative Director of Stolen Girlfriends Club, about the film live on youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ScbzI-1JEfs
It's what a show should be; lots of impact, a buzzing atmosphere, and necks craning to see what's next. Stolen Girlfriends, with borrowed friends and bought models, has brought back what fashion week was lacking; high energy and a sense of fun back into fashion.
By Megan Robinson
Photo by Kevin Robinson