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The MBFWA Diaries Part 5
Julie Roulston brings Thread her diary from Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia.
The MBFWA Diaries
Part 5: Day 4 concludes.
One of the kiwi tribe at MBFWA is lovely model-slash-blogger-slash-fashion entrepreneur Natalie Cantell. Natalie has lived in Sydney and worked in the fashion industry here and knows lots of people; she’s a great source of helpful information.
I don’t have a great seat to just one year old label Watson X Watson and I’m going cold on going to the show in favour of catching up on other work - but Natalie has been in contact with the designers via email and urges me to attend, and I listen. She’s excited enough that she goes and changes into a gorgeous ivory Watson X Watson dress prior to their show - a favour to the label as she may be shot by street style photographers.
I’m really glad I take the time. You can tell that the label isn’t as established as some of the others we’ve seen, but there’s heaps to like in the collection, and every time I think the Watson sisters may have included too much in their runway selection, a motif reoccurs that makes it all cohesive.
When this white dress with black piping comes out, Natalie sighs audibly with pleasure!
Next on my agenda and last show for me for the evening, is Kooey. I’m not particularly interested in swimwear but New Zealander Richard Kavanagh is keying the hair for Redken and that’s incentive enough. The swimwear is good, commercial stuff (oddly paired with purple stiletto pumps), and the hair is EXACTLY how you always wanted to look poolside.
But what’s fascinating are the bodies. For the first time this week we see glamour curves and booties. It’s like a runway twilight zone, the curvy girls look a little odd on the runway, and the skinny runway models look a bit sad - their saggy bikini bottoms having nothing to cling to.
The boys are so buff it’s mildly (ahem) unsettling.
Below: Beefcake Kooey
Baby's got back Kooey.
The final third of the show has the Kooey models sporting Le Specs sunglasses and...smiling! First runway smiles I’ve seen all week, other than on the designers when they take a bow at the end of their respective shows.
A seemingly endless cab ride and I’m at Bentley in Crown Street for dinner hosted by Tatum and Jodie from M.A.C. Among the guests are Liz, Neville and Dayne from Zambesi (they are in Sydney doing sales and press showings); Pieter, Myken and Damon from New Zealand Fashion Week; and Dan and Jae from Stolen Girlfriends Club - not to mention the hugely charming James Molloy, Hong Kong-based M.A.C. Director of Makeup Artistry. The dinner is a total treat within a week of hard work and few real meals, with the food reminiscent of what Sid Sarawat creates at Sidart in Ponsonby at home.
Thursday morning, and my final day. I’m really excited about going backstage at Jenny Kee, because Luke and Anna from Romance was Born are styling the show, and Richard Kavanagh is again keying the Redken hair.
Jenny Kee makeup was by Natasha Severino for M.A.C.
Two red beauties - with Anna Plunkett from Romance was Born styling.
Jenny Kee presenting Tim Blanks with a Waratah from her own garden.
Nails at Jenny Kee.
Jenny Kee make-up and plaits.
It’s the first time I’ve been backstage at The Box. The space is small and everyone is working like a demon and there are lots of photographers. At one stage R-Kav says calmly “I’m feeling a little bit stressed” while stylist Luke snarls “what are all these people doing here,” looking scarily in my general direction. But it’s hypnotic and I have to stay long enough to capture the gorgeousness, before I leave so that there will be one less extraneous body.
The ‘Art of the Scarf 1980-2012’ installation is exquisite and the show notes have a dear word from Jenny Kee at the end: “Thankyou to dearest Anna, Rae (Begley, from PR firm Little Hero) and Luke for Romancing the Waratah ♥”
Jenny Kee and kids.
Time to return to being a working Mum in Auckland - but one that’s had a sensational fashion fix. Bring on New Zealand Fashion Week in September!
Words and photos by Julie Roulston using Sony NEX
7 May 2012