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Zambesi's bright sparks
Zambesi AW12 at New Zealand Fashion Week 2011
1 September 2011
The earth appears to have shifted on its axis. There was colour at Zambesi.
And I don't just mean a smattering of dark colours mixed in with their 'dark and intellectual black'. I mean colour.
We should have known something was up the minute the first model came down the catwalk. It was transparently Zambesi - a heavy fisherman's knit jersey - but teamed with neon yellow ski pants with a simple zip on the ankle.
This colour detail repeats itself on other knitwear with an elongated rectangle, a digital slip of colour. It also appears as the lining in jackets.
Then we see pale blue, and then neon blue. Sunny yellow styling appears with the tights. And all this while remaining truly, and tightly Zambesi.
There are sequins, as there should be with Zambesi, in the form of a stunning oversized lace skirt bedazzled with sequins - this teamed with a neon blue wool jacket.
There is a divine navy blue velvet draped dress which is quickly followed by oversized crocheted collars in neon yellow and blue.
We loved the slick cream motorcycle jacket in cream which looked so tailored. This has always been something I have loved about Zambesi, the slick with the deconstructed, the ugly and the pretty, the old with the new. And that they can keep on reinventing themselves time after time while staying true to what they do. The straight, simple silk georgette skirts that usually would have been draped and twisted, worked perfectly with the chunky oversized tops.
Everything has that feeling of simplicity about it - more pared back. This was easily the least 'black' collection I have seen from them. I would have imagined their summer collection this year should have warned us somewhat that something was afoot - with the arrival of an exceptionally wearable collection - and one that was punctuated by fuchsia pink, and 70s pop orange - not colour that are usually associated with Zambesi. But colours that worked beautifully none the less.
We loved the bags - with their vintage camera bag clasps, especially the shoulder bag. Grey velvet and marle were again in play, and we especially loved the blue tiger print men's shirt. The styling was perfect with slicked back hair by Jason Ching Li from Stephen Marr and the black converse and perfect cherry DMs. There were also new styles of boot from Zambesi shoe designer Julia Thompson.
What amazed me was how cohesive it all felt, even though that amount of colour is a bit shocking for Zambesi - it (the colour) looks like it has always be a synonymous part of Zambesi. We just never saw it before.
Below: The M.A.C Face Chart for the runway makeup for Zambesi with key make-up artist Amber Dreadon for M.A.C Cosmetics with the inspiration “A Zambesi Girl With A Sporty Edge.”
By Anya Brighouse
Photography by Kevin Robinson
1 September 2011
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