Trelise Cooper followed international designers into a fashion furore last night when she sent models down the runway wearing Native American feathered headdresses.
Victoria's Secret and Chanel have both attracted controversy for their culturally insensitive appropriation of what are considered sacred war bonnets for use as a runway accessory.
The opening model in what is always one of New Zealand Fashion Week's biggest shows wore the headdress. Feathers were a theme throughout as part of the Cooper collection, inspired by boho-festival style. She followed this with her main Trelise Cooper line with bold florals and the sequin high style that appeals to her high-profile clients.
Cooper said she had seen feather headdresses worn as a "fun thing" on her travels in the US and Ibiza recently. "It's a fashion thing and I don't mean any disrespect," she said after the show.
Photos: Fashion Week: Day 1 runway highlights
The first day of Fashion Week began with NOM*d's moody, concert-like show accompanied by live drummers.
The show's dark mood was seen in other collections during the day, including Salasai, Lela Jacobs and the Underground installation in Silo Park. It finished with fashion types rugging up to head to Western Springs Stadium for Stolen Girlfriends Club's show. Afterwards the hot ticket was to score an invite to their after-party at adult entertainment club The White House.
Today's shows include Huffer's new brand aim, Juliette Hogan and stalwarts Zambesi, celebrating their 35th year.