In the mood: fashion through the eras

Roaring Forties. Photo / Mara Sommer
Roaring Forties. Photo / Mara Sommer

Spring collections have arrived, referencing a multitude of bygone eras — from the romance of the Edwardian age to the free-spirited 70s. It's a timeless fashion mix that's thoroughly modern, reinforcing a mode of dressing that's both powerful and elegant.

Photographed on location in the Orange Society Room, at Auckland's iconic Orange Coronation Hall.


The Orange Coronation Hall

During World War II the hall opened its doors six nights a week to crowds queuing down its steep steps and along Newton Rd. Also known as The Ballroom, the space helped start the careers of New Zealand musicians and entertainers such as Mavis Rivers, Bill and Boyd, Howard Morrison and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa.

The Orange Society Room has peep-holes in the doors for members to see who was on the other side of the door (or see if they knew the handshake sign or password) before they were allowed access. The supper room below the dance hall area catered for the crowds and even until the late 1980s served sandwiches, cakes, tea and coffee.

The advent of late-night closing and bands in pubs signalled the beginning of the end of an era for dance halls, and 1987 saw the "last waltz" in the Orange Ballroom.


1940s: Roaring Forties
Post-war utility and broad shoulders reminiscent of Mildred Pierce give tailored jackets a sense of power, particularly with a nipped-in waist and pleated pants. Bianca wears Prada shirt $1130, jacket $4110, corset $1130. Ngahuia wears Rachel Mills wrap blouse $439, Karen Walker jacket $835, Wynn Hamlyn pants $299, Mimco brooch $99.90, nine-carat pearl drop earrings, $99, from Pascoes.




1930s: The Orient Express
Intricate sleeve details on shin-skimming day dresses were the hallmark of sophistication during the 30s, appropriate for every occasion. Topped by a wide-brim hat, it's an inspiring starting point for those impending race day and garden parties. Fabienne wears Prada embellished dress $9155, Natalie Chan hat $450.






1970s: Tomorrow never knows
The 70s have made a strong return in recent seasons and the Me Decade continues to inspire with its earth tones, cultish prairie dresses and classic sportswear. Myron wears Cutler & Co shirt, $179, from Fifth Ave, Gubb & Mackie trousers $245, Barkers tie (worn as scarf) $90. Fabienne wears Adidas originals T-shirt $45, Penny Sage A-line skirt $390. Karen Walker coat $4650, wooden bead necklace, $119, from The Mercantile.






2000s: The Glitterati
The high street/high end mix was a key look from the early 2000s, an era resonating with today's relentless fashion cycle. Anything goes for an irreverent take on dressing. Bianca wears Harman Grubisa sequin cocktail dress $685, Mimco plate necklace $129 and earrings $99.90. Lincoln wears Nom*D jacket $405 and trousers $385, Nike sneakers $180, Holeproof socks, $17 (pack of three), from Farmers.




1990s: Team Spirit
Two worlds collide when preppy all-American sportswear and the street stylings of hip-hop cross-pollinate. Julien wears I Love Ugly jacket $219 and jeans $159, Kangol hat, $80, from Parlour Store, own jewellery. Fabienne wears Ruby slip dress $199, Georgia Alice hooded sweatshirt $289, nine-carat drop earrings, $199, from Pascoes. Lincoln wears Huffer jumper $139, Dickie's pants, $89, from Good As Gold.




1980s: Power Player
An era of full-blown excess, the 1980s took ladylike dressing to the extreme with wide-brimmed hats, exaggerated shoulders, clip-on earrings, sheer hosiery and pointed pumps — thanks, in part, to trendsetters of the day such as Princess Diana and Alexis Colby of the popular television series, Dynasty. Ngahuia wears Georgia Alice velvet mutton-sleeved top $539, Juliette Hogan pants $389, Levante hosiery, $17, from Smith & Caughey's; DVF heels, $550, from Runway; vintage hat, $180, from Tango; S Made earrings $27, Mimco ring $59.90, nine-carat white gold diamond tennis bracelet, $4890, from Walker & Hall.




1900s: La Belle Epoque
Turn-of-the-century tapestry fabrics and high-collared blouses are a refreshing take on prim and proper Edwardian details. Miuccia Prada's approach to "nobility and misery" for Miu Miu's Fall 2017 collection is offset by an insouciant attitude and a string of heirloom pearls. Ngahuia wears Miu Miu knit top $820, matching cardigan $920, skirt $2120 and pearl necklace $690; nine-carat pearl drop earrings, $99, from Pascoes. Bianca wears Nom*D jacket $460 and matching pants $440, Cooper blouse $299, Karen Walker belt $55.




1920s: All that Jazz
Fluttering frills on languid slip dresses make dancing the Charleston an even more memorable experience. Bianca wears Kate Sylvester dress $499, vintage hat $120, from Tango. Julien wears Crane Brothers shirt $325, Pearly King waistcoat, $249, from Fifth Ave.




1960s: Ladies First
Clean-cut separates with a modernist edge was the order of the day during the 60s, thanks to the pioneering designs of Hubert de Givenchy and Andre Courreges. This chic three-piece look by Juliette Hogan channels Jackie and Marilyn. Ngahuia wears Juliette Hogan bandeau top $329, coat $799, and skirt $449 (all available for pre-order); Rocio handbag, $795, from the Shelter, S Made earrings $27.




1950s: Female Trouble
Like a heroine plucked straight out of a John Waters film, 50s-style full skirts matched with a tough leather jacket play on the dichotomy between naughty and nice. Teamed with a crisp white shirt and delicate jewels, it's the perfect blueprint for ladylike dressing with a kick. Ngahuia wears Neuw Denim leather jacket $799, Kate Sylvester skirt $369, DVF heels, $590, from Runway, S Made Jewellery bow earrings $27.


For more fashion visit Viva.co.nz

- Canvas

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