Fashion Week: All stitched up (part III)

Drag queen v beauty queen

It was the battle for the photo opportunity when designers looked to oomph up interest in their shows with guest appearances on the runway.

At Annah Stretton, Buckwheat was joined by three other towering fa'afafine in the week's highest heels. This rounded out a show in which Stretton, an Ernst & Young export award finalist, incorporated Pasifika panels in her colourful clothes.

Petrena Miller invited former Miss Universe Lorraine Mexted to be her star model, she opened the show in a fake fur cape and closed it with a twirl.

Seems Mexted has been taking tango lessons and she sure looked the part in a red-beaded dress.

Sally Ridge also had an eye for the camera, using dancers from Diocesan and her daughter, Jamie, on the runway. Nicky Watson kept an eye on the models she coached from the audience.

Fur faux fuss

Rumours of a big anti-fur protest down at Fashion Week proved unfounded, but just in case, there were plenty of police on standby and a section of Halsey St was blocked off with barricades.

About 10 protesters gathered with placards for a peaceful demonstration watched by around 30 officers who passed the time in the morning discussing who would be their new Police Minister.

Inside, the protesters would have found some trade stands with possum products and a handful of designers using fur trim, including Caroline Moore and Petrena Miller, with others opting for the more politically correct fake fur.

And for those who say possums are a pest, the protesters say they're upset at the inhumane way some are trapped.

Boys in blue want a makeover now

Police on fur patrol watching the fashion set file into shows got talking about their own uniform and wondered if Zambesi might be able to follow their Air New Zealand uniform relaunch with a long overdue overhaul of their uniform.

With high-riding strides and a pale-blue shirt that looks little different than the security guards on duty, the force has a point.

Maybe they should ask Annette King or Winston Peters to make sure the promised 1000 new officers also get a new look.

As one standard issue sergeant remarked: "There's room for improvement, let's be honest." He fancied drill pants, with more pockets. A new cargo cult perhaps?

Hot October night

Balmy nights mean happy days for designer Turet Knuefermann, who took a punt on the weather at her IPG evening show at Victoria Park Market.

She called in some long-range forecasting advice and was told that her outdoor show on the overhead canopy at the market should be fine, but just in case, her goody bags included umbrellas.

The show, which had a Latin theme, was hot - sexy, sophisticated dresses impressing a big crowd still buzzing after Zambesi rocked to Pluto.

Corporate endorsement from Air NZ boss

After spending millions of dollars outfitting his airline staff in Zambesi, you might have thought Air New Zealand's chief executive Rob Fyfe would have rated a front-row seat at the St James.

Not only was he in row two, but he had mantilla-wearing VIP guest Diane Pernet in his line of sight.

Fyfe took it all in his stride and, like the audience, rated the show, declaring it "so different from last year's, really, really dramatic and very, very strong".

Fyfe says he and his wife have been Zambesi fans since discovering the label back in the late 1980s in Wellington. He owns several pieces.

The man who declares himself "not a beige guy" would have approved of the Air NZ grey the label used, but he most liked a black classic long jacket.


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