Here's your first look at Twenty-seven Names' new collection, called I Thought You'd Never Ask, which will be presented to press and buyers at NZ Fashion Week this morning - and simultaneously released online for those unable to attend.
The duo behind the label, Rachel Easting and Anjali Stewart, flew to Sydney in July to shoot their lookbook, campaign and a video, which will all be released online to a special website this morning, alongside illustrations from Easting. The move reflects the Wellington-based brand's strong online presence: they're a favourite of bloggers, and recently launched their own online store.
It also continues their tradition of using group images and portraiture shots as a way to showcase their collections; a long-running project that they have worked on with photographer Guy Coombes for the past two years.
"I've always loved life drawing and portraiture, and we're both always drawn to contemporary artists who work with portraiture as a main avenue for communication, like Gillian Wearing, Cindy Sherman and Rineke Dijkstra," explains Easting.
"I like the way it makes the works about people rather than just the clothes. It's people, after all, who we design for."
It's a concept, too, that makes the models feel like more than mere mannequins, and the young women Twenty-seven Names photographed this season were a varied, international mix: Texans Bay and Kendall, South African Renny, Melissa from Manchester and Australian model Sarah, a fashion student who doubles as the fit model for Sass and Bide.
A video will also be released to the website, with a playful twist on the usual fashion film: the models rap. "We didn't want to do the traditional stare off into the distance fashion video ... so we just thought we'd use hip-hop as the starting point for the video, give it a go getting the models to lip sync and see how it went," explains Stewart. "It's no secret that Rachel and I love hip-hop, and we like to do things that are a little humorous. We didn't want to create something super-serious and we thought it would be a way of showing a bit of personality from the models."
"Bay and Kendall were really into the video - I guess that's to be expected from two models from the Deep South. We were lucky to work with such a diverse group of women who were totally obliging to work on an unusual project."
* To watch the video and see the full selection of campaign and portrait images, click here.