New Zealand Fashion Week

Guest post by Tullia Jack
New Zealand Fashion Week is always exciting. There’s something about the way our antipodean cousins approach fashion that is so unique and surprising we can’t help but admire. The same is true for the way they are tackling sustainable fashion. While I was at NZFW last week I had the chance to catch up with three designers whose approach I admire most.

Starfish has been on the radar since 2007 when they won the New Zealand Sustainable Business award. Designer Laurie Foon has a very holistic and inclusive approach to sustainable design. She has a strong focus on environmentally friendly textiles, sourcing the latest research to guide her choice in greige fabric. Laurie the uses the best available techniques to colour, print and finish the fabric. She is also one of the only designers I am aware of who considers clothing past the point of purchase. She recently set up a clothing take back scheme, refurbishing post consumer garments from past seasons and selling them in her retail stores. Their AW12 collection features long loose silhouettes, warm colours and super soft draping. Elegant tucking and tailoring gave a ladylike charm to the construction. We loved the felt booties too – tres chic!

Untouched World are the first clothing company to be recognised by the United Nations for sustainability. Designer Peri Drysdale founded the company in 1981 with some suitably conscious values. With a focus on quality and craftsmanship, Untouched World garments have a reputation for lasting across decades and continents. Untouched World is also heavily into research and development so every season advancements in wool technology are incorporated, which has lead to the inclusion of ecopossum, mountainsilk, organic cotton and bamboo.

Perfect for the woman with a packed schedule, Untouched World AW12 featured loose knit, low care garments. Inspired by a global nomad aesthetic, the collection was strong on separates, giving endless possibilities for outfit compositions. A comforting palette of neutrals resonated with the pared back eco-fashionista inside and set the scene for some eye-popping phoenix red highlights.

Finally, I really loved the MisteR show. While designers Mickey Lin and Ra Thomson are still at the outset of their journey in sustainable fashion, they do have a honest and multifaceted approach to their business. They also get brownie points for the goodies bags, provided by Liminal Apparel. Liminal make some great fairtrade organic cotton Tshirts and bags that they invite other designers to apply their ideas to. They are really involved with helping producers and growers in their supply chain work towards alleviating poverty.

MisteR’s AW12 collection provided a cheeky school yard vibe, with bold plaids, office blue stripes and rugby red. The styling was almost painfully cute with soft toy gingerbread brooches and felt love hearts. For the fellas the bow-ties and neck-ties added a playful element – it’s a trend I really want to see on the street!