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Whitecliffe Show

I felt just a little bit like a traitor when I headed to the Whitecliffefashion show last night. As an AUT grad I was on enemy territory at the Whitecliffe student fashion show, but what I discovered was the two schools couldn’t be more different in the talent they are producing. Held at the Alingi Base, the annual home to ANZFW, the Whitecliffe show went on for several hours, a little too long but that’s one of the few bad comments I have to make about this exceptional show.

Breaking from the tradition of a graduate show, Whitecliffe shows the collections from students across three years (hence the length). There was a evident wearable art element to many of the collections, and prominent, theatrical themes. Each student chose his or her own music, styling, make up and models. Breaking from stereotypes two designers chose to use older models, both male and female, and they were some of the stronger walkers from a bunch of mostly abysmal models, but hey- they’re not professionals so I wont go on about it.( Some pros at fashion week still couldn’t walk.)
Breaking from the tradition of a graduate show, Whitecliffe shows the collections from students across three years (hence the length). There was a evident wearable art element to many of the collections, and prominent, theatrical themes. Each student chose his or her own music, styling, make up and models. Breaking from stereotypes two designers chose to use older models, both male and female, and they were some of the stronger walkers from a bunch of mostly abysmal models, but hey- they’re not professionals so I wont go on about it.( Some pros at fashion week still couldn’t walk.)
Continuing in the theatrical vein many collections employed props and gimmick’s which stopped the long show from becoming boring. These included a live piano player, a fierce, but rather skanky dance (that was admittedly effective in capturing the audiences attention) and my favorite, a mini light show during Amber Whitecliffe’s collection of Lamp inspired dresses. It was refreshing to see such varied collections instead of the contrived cohesiveness of other group shows. I had several favorites and cant mention them all but highlighs included ‘ Night Hunters’ by Alice Hetherington, which won my award for best make up with owl inspired lashes ( pictured above). Julia Claire Campbell’s collection ‘ Es//c^9’ ; Sun Hoon Kim’s ‘Passion Liberty and Anarchy’; Sian Britton’s ‘ Phenomena’; Cookie Huang’s ‘Careless’; and the aforementioned collection by Amber Whitecliffe ‘Smashed Palette’. Many of these favs employed grungy punk influences and impressive tailoring. Other collections, while fabulously dramatic, didn’t push my buttons as much as these more wearable ranges.
 The evening was an overall success with a star studded ( at least in the fashion world) turnout. Murray Bevan of Showroom 22 hosted the evening while designers Liz Mitchell, Denise L’Estrange-Corbet of WORLD with daughter Pebbles, sisters Liz Finlay of Zambesi and Margi Robertson of NomD*, Dan Ahwa of Apparel magazine, and a bevy of fashion journalists and bloggers watched from the sidelines. A huge backstage area had to be used to accommodate the over the top, and fantastic, hair styles, make up looks and sheer number of designers. The evening ended on a [sugar] high when I discovered a cute bag of jelly beans in the goody bag, courtesy of Amber Whitecliffe and packaged to match her collection – NICE!
The evening was an overall success with a star studded ( at least in the fashion world) turnout. Murray Bevan of Showroom 22 hosted the evening while designers Liz Mitchell, Denise L’Estrange-Corbet of WORLD with daughter Pebbles, sisters Liz Finlay of Zambesi and Margi Robertson of NomD*, Dan Ahwa of Apparel magazine, and a bevy of fashion journalists and bloggers watched from the sidelines. A huge backstage area had to be used to accommodate the over the top, and fantastic, hair styles, make up looks and sheer number of designers. The evening ended on a [sugar] high when I discovered a cute bag of jelly beans in the goody bag, courtesy of Amber Whitecliffe and packaged to match her collection – NICE!

  

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