Teuila Fuatai is a reporter for the NZ Herald

Fashion Week: Circus stars add sparkle as fashion week opens

Performers from Cirque du Soleil's Totem entertain the crowd at the opening ceremony last night.
Performers from Cirque du Soleil's Totem entertain the crowd at the opening ceremony last night.

New Zealand Fashion Week kicked off with a spectacular performance by members of Cirque du Soleil's Totem show in Auckland last night.

Hundreds turned out for the evening event at the Viaduct Events Centre, where designer Kate Sylvester - who this year celebrated 21 years of her label - officially opened the 14th New Zealand Fashion Week.

"We're really excited. It's a great turnout," Sylvester said.

"Twenty-one years for us ... it's astonishing."

Television and fashion industry personality Colin Mathura-Jeffree, who donned a mustard World suit for the evening, said he was looking forward to being awed by some of the local designers this week.

"It's all about New Zealand fashion and ... the new creativity, and the new vibe and the new inspiration," he said.

He expected Dame Trelise Cooper's show to be "phenomenal", and "classics like Zambesi" to be good, but was also excited about seeing some of the new designers on show.

In addition to Sylvester's 21st milestone, New Zealand Fashion Week founder and director Dame Pieter Stewart acknowledged Zambesi, which has been in the business for 35 years, and Vicki Taylor - whose label Taylor Boutique turned 15 this year.

Auckland-based label Celine Rita was also given special mention for reaching its 5th birthday this year, as was Juliette Hogan, which turned 10.

Pictures: Fashion Week Party People: Opening Night

The leaders of each of the five labels cut an individually themed birthday cake during the formalities of the opening ceremony.

Dame Pieter also took a moment to acknowledge model and television presenter Charlotte Dawson, who took her own life in February this year.

Auckland Mayor Len Brown and Government minister Nikki Kaye also spoke during the function, and commended the turnout for the event.

Mr Brown also said he was looking forward to Dame Trelise's show this week.

Following the speeches, the fashionable crowd were treated to a short and colourful performance from Cirque du Soleil's Totem.

- NZ Herald

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