Dan Ahwa is fashion editor for Viva and Canvas magazines.

Expert Eye: Merino Show

A model wears a creation by Life of Riley, one of five labels showcased at the Merino Show. Photo / NZ Fashion Week
A model wears a creation by Life of Riley, one of five labels showcased at the Merino Show. Photo / NZ Fashion Week

A celebration of New Zealand's finest textiles with a focus on merino knits was shown this afternoon at the Merino Show, with five designers showing collections that emphasised merino wools: Miranda Brown, Untouched World, Taylor, Life of Riley and Starfish.

Untouched World showcased a couple of stand-out pieces including an oatmeal coloured roll neck knit dress which gave new meaning to the term casual luxe and a wool trench with a sheepskin lined collar that was among the week's best trenchcoat offerings.

With a handful of designers focusing on collarless jackets this week, the Untouched World team showcased their own collarless knit jacket in a charcoal colour, both lightweight and textural.

Miranda Brown's section was a bright affair with block bright knits and a cream asymmetrical shoulder wool dress with laser cut floral motifs provided the perfect first outfit statement. Developing her interest in tie-dye methods, the collection included tie-dyed scarves and tops that worked well with her merino dresses.

Coming towards the end of her show, Brown's flamboyant bow was greeted by an appreciative crowd.

I've lost count of how many diffusion lines designer Theresa Brady has, and today she showcased another new label entitled Life of Riley, which consisted of short and sassy merino knit dresses, with a couple of easy-to-wear black knit dresses in the mix.

After showcasing her Sable & Minx and Brady labels yesterday afternoon, today's offering was all about keeping merino youthful and fun.

Wellingtonian designer Laurie Foon's Starfish section promoted her love of Eco-fashion and environmentally friendly fabrics, focusing on style with an ethical edge, her draped merino tops will be a favourite for the Starfish customer.

Stand-out pieces include a copper coloured knit cape and a selection of knit beanies and scarves.

Closing the show was Auckland-based label Taylor, whose dramatic layered knit dresses will no doubt appeal to its target market - a woman who likes her clothes layered to the max.

A stand-out piece was an oversized poncho-style knit cream dress and textural black head warmers; as well as an outfit that combined long floaty cream and black silk with long and floaty merino wool. Just don't get anything caught in a door.


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Dan Ahwa is fashion editor for Viva and Canvas magazines.

Dan Ahwa is a stylist and journalist with over nine years of experience. Having studied in Nottingham, England and Auckland, New Zealand, Dan has a background in English Literature, Art History, Film and Media studies and Fashion Marketing. Dan is the Fashion Editor for two of The New Zealand Herald's popular weekly lifestyle magazines, Canvas magazine and its flagship fashion title, Viva magazine.

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