Friday, September 2, 2011

Zambesi @ New Zealand Fashion Week 2011

I have long been a fan of iconic NZ label Zambesi, as well as Nom*D (more here). As a student in the early 90's in grungy Dunedin, I would spend hours inside the stained glass windows of Nom*D designer Margi Robertson's store Plume, marveling at beautiful Nom*D and Zambesi pieces as well as Jean Peal Gaultier, Martin Margiela and Ann Demeulemeester. It was all so glamorous and a bit punk and rock and roll and cool. I'd sometimes blow my student allowance on a piece piece Nom*D or Zambesi. I coveted these pieces - little bits of luxury I mixed with my rag tag collection of cheap chain store & vintage buys, woolly thermals and docs. So I was thrilled to get an invitation to Zambesi's show at Fashion week last night from my clever photographer & make up artist friend Owen Allison (Owen - I owe you!). Upon wondering what to wear, I was recommended I 'wear black' - good option for Zambesi! However, after a minor wardrobe crisis, I decided to go for my electric blue dress with leather jacket and homemade stud wedges. The new Viaduct Event Centre is fab, a glistening glassy jewel sitting overlooking the harbour. Walking up to the venue, there was a palpable buzz in the air as styley Bryan Boy lookalikes (Mino), stunning models & celebs tripped about. Katherine Lowe was out front looking preppy & cute in mustard trou & navy top (below) as we bustled in straight to the bar. There were lots of leather jackets there too, but also a good splash of colour that was great to see, especially acid oranges, hot pinks and verdant jade greens, with lots of chunky jewellery & red lips.Once the catwalk space opened in we tripped, me trying not to stack it in my homemade studded wedges in front of Colin Mathura-Jeffree. I sat behind Blogger Hannah McArdle, who I had just discovered yesterday via Katherine's brilliant Blog. My seat buddy "Fashion Friend Matt from Wellington" & I felt compelled to compliment her on her her fabulous lilac quiff (as I eyed up his studded Hermes cuff). The lights went down & a bass-line sounding like Black Eyed Peas 'Boom Boom Pow' started to thump, but launched into a haunting Japanesey type soundtrack, compete with gongs sounding like half Yoko Ono, half Air. Ethereal Zambesi models began drifting down the runway there was not only signature muted palettes but a vibrant shot of colour in the form of shocking yellows and electric blues injected into the collection, plus some blasts of print and creams. Textiles ranged from chunky knits & fur to sequiny metallics & slick rubbery wet-looks. MAC's deft swipes of Russian Red lippie & hi-def Cyan paint stick with Atlantic and Sky Blue eyeshadow was the prefect compliment to the look. 
On feet were Cherry Doc Martens and Chuck Taylor's which kind of reflects Zambesi's style and the whole vibe of the show - super cool & styley yet totally laid back & non-pretentious. The following fabulous pics are from here. The show was produced by Liz & Neville's (Zambesi founders) daughter Marisa Findlay, a lovely and talented lass who did an amazing job. As said in the NZ Herald, "Producing a fashion week show is not for the faint-hearted, with multiple elements that could go wrong - from music stopping halfway through a show, to bad lighting, to tardy models. Making sure this doesn't happen falls on the shoulders of the producer, and since New Zealand Fashion Week's inception Marissa Findlay has had her fair share of highs and lows. "(NZ Herald). Working with Marisa was model/designer/photographer/stylist and all around cool chick, fellow Southlander Terzann Elliot (below). I had to take a snap of her gorgeous McQueen clutch. These backstage pics are from Katherine Lowe's NZFW Blog. Check it out here. Afterwards it was on to the Pullman Hotel after party for delicious Zamboozi cocktails - Hendrix Gin, Elderflower and a sprig of rosemary - sipped at tables swathed in black leather - very Zambesi! I'm now sipping my Berocca and dreaming of beautiful clothes. Congratulations Zambesi on an AMAZING collection, and a fantastic show. Rather wobbly video of the show below. ..


  1. Awesome, I love those bold bright blues and yellows, with loads of black. Your electric blue dress fits in perfectly!

  2. I know how funny - and after my yellow post last week! You would have loved it...

  3. Love the colours mixed in with the black, bit of a change for Zambesi!? Your dress goes well with the collection! Its beautiful you should post more pics of you in it!

    Vulette x

  4. so much great stuff here. really loving that oversize black knit collar.


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