NZ Fashion Festival: Tuesday

Date: February 28, 8.30pm

World's Benny Castle says this year's collection is about dressing up for winter with structured, elegant pieces so you can dress as powerful as you feel. Photo / Supplied
World's Benny Castle says this year's collection is about dressing up for winter with structured, elegant pieces so you can dress as powerful as you feel. Photo / Supplied

Who's who at this year's festival of fashion? We find out what to look out for in the coming week.

Some of New Zealand's top designers and well-loved labels will present their autumn/winter collections at the New Zealand Fashion Festival, with nightly runway shows showcasing the latest trends and what's available in store.

Here we have details of each designer, and a little about their approach to the season.

Designer Annah Stretton

For winter we were inspired by a sweet, surreal, doll life set in another time. The key feature of the collection is the tutu silhouette, empire lines with velvet coats and muffs, lace and ribbons.

Favourite piece?
The "Elle May" wedding dress. Delicious black wedding tulle gathered on to more black tulle with handmade tea roses; a truly wondrous thing.

Top winter style tip?
Pretty, feminine, with beautiful accented tights, and high-heeled brogues. No big handbags.

I love fashion because ...
It is artistic, always on the move but not too serious.

Favourite stylish places?
The Auckland Art Gallery. Truly inspired nikau palm ceiling.

Anything else you would like to add?
Fashion should be more theatre, less trend.

* Stockists (07) 889 4053

Farmers' fashion merchandise controller Alison Coaton

We are inspired by overseas trends and have determined four key looks for Farmers fashion this season. These are prim and proper lady-like dressing; "mod" styles with block colouring in key colours such as cobalt blue, red and mustard; eclectic folk; and oriental prints and kimono shapes.

Top winter style tip?
Build your wardrobe with basics such as fitted skirts, ponti slim-leg pants and fitted dresses. Then create a number of different looks with colour and accessories using the key pieces as your starting point.

Favourite stylish places?
SPQR- the pizzas are delightful. And Malt Bar in Grey Lynn for somewhere casual for a drink. I love the wide range of people who go there.

Anything else you would like to add?
This season we are introducing a number of designer brands to the range available at Farmers; these are really going to be popular with younger shoppers. The brands include Betty Clark, Stitch Ministry, Events, Precious Vessels and Line 7.

* Stockists ph 0800 327 637

Designers Keri Wanoa and Hemi Sundgren

For winter we were thinking about crossing generations - ethnic meets modernistic chic: "Elegantly Cultured". Our inspiration for winter was to simply inspire pride in identity, we hoped if we followed that mantra we might possibly inspire a new view on indigenous design in fashion. Hemi exclusively designs all of our collection prints in-house. This season we wanted to bring past practices and traditions into a modern silhouette, hence the title "Crossing Generations". Hemi took the Taaniko patterning found on traditional Maori clothing and moved in a direction of modern cuts and clean lines.

Favourite piece?
Our Whiri chunky knit cardigan. I'm undecided on which colourway I love best but the comfort of this knit is indescribable while still being ultra-chic.

Top winter style tip?
Wool. You can't go wrong with wool.

* Stockists: Palm Boutique, ph (03) 548 8474, Govett-Brewster Contemporary Art Gallery, ph (06) 759 6060

Menswear designer Benny Castles

For winter we were thinking about light and dark, happiness and sadness, honour and shame, goodness and evilness. The collection is about dressing up for winter; structured and refined suitings with elegant detailing so you can dress as powerful as you feel with a contemporary luxury fit for the New Zealand woman's lifestyle.

Top winter style tip?
Buy a beautiful coat that will last you a life time and then buy a new one next season.

I love fashion because ...
It is good and evil.

Favourite stylish places?
Ambeli restaurant in Wellington- haute couture food.

Anything else that you would like to add?
World now has an online shop and a Facebook page.

* Stockists ph (09) 529 9444

Designer Belinda Bond

The Navajo trend inspired me to create garments that had Aztec prints, feather trims, tassels and thick warm wrap-around knitwear with beautiful patterning. I have fallen in love with the bird prints this season and these have been featured as a theme through the collections.

Favourite piece?
The Angora blend poncho, because it is soft, has a beautiful vintage fairisle front pattern and delivers warmth in the emerging cool months ahead.

I love fashion because ...
It is always changing and evolving.

Favourite stylish place?
The new Christchurch pop-up city. It's refreshing to see innovative urban design among an earthquake-devastated cityscape.

*, Stockists ph (03) 339 5700

Designer Lisani Lennox

My grandmother, Betty, inspired this collection. She always considered what she wore and took pride in being a lady. So I created a collection that gives me the freedom to embrace the challenges of my day with confidence, while expressing a sense of beauty and style in what I wear. Perfectly constructed dresses and elegantly tailored wool coats are the foundation of the collection. Overall, the collection is a contempory take on a classic, feminine silhouette.

I have a strong background in textile design ...
So prints are important to me - I use them to inject colour, character and cohesion to a collection, but I generally use bold prints sparingly. This season I especially love the "Forget me not" print on the Evelyn silk tunic, it has a wonderful 1940s feel.

Top winter style tip?
Invest in a beautiful scarf - it adds texture and interest to even a simple outfit. The Lennox Foxy faux fur collar is a new take on the scarf - it's both glamorous and funky, and incredibly cosy.

Favourite stylish places?
Down a quiet little street we have a local treasure, Little & Friday cafe. The coffee is superb and the sweet treats are beyond amazing.

* Stockists ph (09) 446 6658

Designer Elizabeth Soljak

Our new bridal collection is inspired by vintage styling - bias-cut dresses, some with long sleeves, sheer dresses layered over silk slips, brooches, and fragile silk veils worn over long hair. My wrap skirt is still a key piece, but worn with a loose, floaty top, some with hand-beading and sequins.

Favourite piece?
A short cape that ties with silk ribbons, the pattern is cut from an original Art Deco cape, and is the perfect cover-up.

Top winter wedding style tip?
Be comfortable in your wedding dress, and enjoy the chance to wear your dream dress.

* ph (09) 522 1139

Designer Marilyn Seyb

Colour and texture turns my passion into reality. Italian luxe yarns in silk and cashmere blends turn humble knitwear into luxurious wardrobe essentials. Features include chunky cables and ultra-fine classics with silk trims for a feminine spin.

Favourite piece?
The "Hot" jacket. Tight and glam takes me from off-duty denims to high glamour, worn suited with matched trousers.

Top winter style tip?
Colour. From my favourite, aubergine, to emerald green.

I love fashion because ...
Like the weather it changes each day. Wake up, gauge your mood and dress for the part.

Favourite stylish places?
Any place that isn't shaking from an aftershock. Of course Paris never fails to gobsmack me, and for total unwind, massages in beloved Bali.

*, ph (09) 358 3536

* Herald Online Life & Style Editor Nicky Park will be blogging from the New Zealand Fashion Festival. Follow her on Twitter. We'll also have plenty of video coverage so stay tuned.

The New Zealand Herald and Viva are sponsors of NZ Fashion Festival 2012.

- NZ Herald

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