WFW SS’14 Group Showcase

Quite possibly the show that I was the most excited for, was the Group SS’14 show, which, unlike most of the other shows which mostly focused on what was currently in stores, was a glimpse to what we have to look forward to following the winter. And I don’t think I was the only one – the showroom was buzzing with anticipation, which only seemed to intensify as the lights dimmed and a short movie played on the screen. The first look for The Oblivious’ SS14 collection followed, both fanciful and full of whimsy as each model flounced down the runway in silky rust coloured florals, sheer ruffled blouses and printed pants. The bambi prints and flower garlands adorning their crowns seemed to remove me, if only for a moment, to a woodland tea party, something more magical than I had expected.

Wellington-based designer duo Phillipa & Alice followed, a mix of florals, tartan checks, and nautical stripes all working in harmony with bold colours like red, fuschia and cobalt blue. Entitled ‘She’s fine, she’s mine’, the collection certainly seemed to live up to it’s name, mixing ladylike dresses with form fitting shorts and cropped pants. Hours later, and that tri-coloured contrasting sheer blue blouse is still on my mind. I hate to sound cliche, but summer could not come soon enough.

Having heard that Yujia Wang’s Silence was.. label was one to keep an eye out for, I found myself beyond obsessed with the geometric prints that graced the runway. With an in-house team that designs these from scratch, I just knew that it was going to be something special. These prints were set against similar toned block colours in most instances, providing a subtle point of difference. Other points of note were the asymmetrical seams and ruffle details.

Injecting a bit of added fun to the evening, alternate models walking the Mardle show walked down the runway carrying an Instapix camera, stopping briefly on their walk back down the runway (funway) to take a quick snap of the new look emerging from the entrance. Dresses were ladylike and cinched in at the waist with a belt, as geometric prints reigned supreme. Delicate lace panels and striking scalloped sequin sleeves added a touch of luxury to cocktail dresses that seemed fit for any party.

Frantisek followed, a collection mostly focused on dresses which cleverly used the patterns on the fabric to create a unique look, a theme that at times seemed mathematically geometric. What struck me a couple looks in, was that the entire collection was comprised of three different fabrics, which were used in such an interesting manner that allowed each and every piece to stand out on its own.

Having met designer Sheryl White of highnoontea earlier today, I was so excited to see her collection storming the runway. The way she told the story behind the collection, I felt immediately transported to an era reminiscent of ‘The Notebook’, yet with a modern feel. The story was effortlessly translated on the runway, a mix of carefully tailored jackets, shorts and pants, waist cinching tea dresses and punchy prints. I couldn’t help but gush to White over how gorgeous the tropical ‘platinum’ dress was, with those brightly coloured hibiscus flowers standing out for me above all else.

My Boyfriend’s Back was a cross between muted tones, and bold prints, a concept that works so well when executed. Mini ruffled jackets and skirts added a bit of sweetness, although for me, the standout had to be the head to toe floral look – it was so incredibly eye-catching, that I couldn’t look away!

The last show of the night was Love Hotel, putting the cherry on top of what was already a stellar evening. Two models wearing matching outfits walked the runway, hand in hand, a playful element that was a recurring theme. A fleur de lis motif seemed to tie the collection together, from soft draped dresses to simple shifts with side splits to the thigh. While black, even in the summertime, has long been seen as a Wellington cliche, boring is not a word I would associate with the Love Hotel looks, which added a fresh spin on our city’s uniform.

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