Following the success of last year's show, Fashion Festival now lasts an entire week.
To buy tickets to the Viva show at fashion Festival, click here.
Right now, across the Tasman, the biggest fashion event of Australia is taking place - it's the Melbourne Fashion Festival. First established in 1996, this annual event works to connect consumers with designers and retailers through a whole host of fabulous activities that celebrate fashion, the creative arts, commercial ideas and works to encourage fun, positive social interaction.
There's everything from catwalk shows, workshops, instore promotions, art exhibitions and more. The city comes alive with all things fashion.
The great news is that here in Auckland, next week, we'll be having our very own Fashion Festival. This is thanks to the dynamic mother and daughter team Pieter and Myken Stewart - who are also the powerhouses behind New Zealand Fashion Week.
"The first Fashion Festival took place last year with just one big fashion show," explains Myken, "but this year, year two, we've stepped things up and it's really exciting to see so many businesses share our vision and get behind the concept.
"They can see how great it is for the people of Auckland by creating stimulating events that also stimulate sales and brand awareness.
"The key is that the Fashion Festival is very different to New Zealand Fashion Week, which is now in its 11th year. Fashion Week is a trade show, which the public generally can't go to and where designers show their collections for a season ahead to media and potential buyers. The garments you see on the runway aren't in production, they're just samples.
"With the Fashion Festival, it's all about celebrating what's in season and in store, right now. The public can buy tickets to all the events and then if they see something they love - they can buy it right away. It's a fantastic opportunity, especially with the runway shows, to see garments that have been put together by a stylist and then being worn and moving on a model. It's inspiring when it comes to deciding what you'll be buying for your winter wardrobe. This is the festival for everyone that will only keep on growing and growing. We are super-excited about all the free activity that is happening around town and what is going to be the week where everyone knows they can be fully fashion."
At the heart of this year's Fashion Festival is a series of runway shows which will be held in the evenings throughout the week. Tickets are available from iticket.com and it's a rare chance to see some of New Zealand's top labels on the runway. Names such as Zambesi, Cybele, Trelise Cooper, Juliette Hogan, Helen Cherry, Max, Adrian Hailwood, Bendon, Richochet and The Carpenter's Daughter will be showing their winter 2011 collections.
Another highlight of the week will be the M.A.C Beauty Seminar on Tuesday night. Here, senior makeup artist Amber D - just back from the fashion shows in Milan and Paris - will share insights into how to adapt the latest runway trends. Along with two other top makeup artists, she will demonstrate how New Zealand women can easily update their look. Their tricks of the trade will be projected on a big screen so everyone in the audience can see. Attendees will also receive a gift from M.A.C and have the opportunity to play with the product.
The seminar lasts 90 minutes and covers four key makeup looks for winter, everything from wearing high-impact brights to getting nude looks right, plus an insight into the new icy pastel colours and how to make bronze and copper work for you. (7.30pm, Tuesday, Shed 6, 90 Wellesley St. Tickets $75 for iticket.co.nz)
Taking inspiration from another great Melbourne event will be the High St Long Lunch on Friday March 25. Twelve inner-city restaurants are coming together to put on lunch right down the centre of High St. Yes, that's right.
There'll be a lush lawn laid down the middle of the road, along with tables, umbrellas, music and entertainment - including models from the surrounding boutiques, strutting their stuff. There are only 300 tickets for this exclusive lunch with prices ranging from $110-$135 depending on which restaurant you choose to dine with.
The price includes a cocktail on arrival, an entree and a main, wine, beer or cider, coffee and dessert.
For those who can't take the Friday afternoon off, there's the chance to join the action later in the day at Freyberg Square, where a bar will be set up. (To find out more go to www.highstlunch.co.nz or ph (09) 354 3951).
In Newmarket, they'll be transforming Osbourne St on Saturday March 26, with a giant runway.
Throughout the day catwalk shows will feature garments from designers and retailers in the area. This will all be accompanied by instore promotions, discounts and even a chick-flick at the Rialto Cinema.
Meanwhile, fans of Outrageous Fortune should high-tail it to the Auckland Museum, where a collection of West-inspired garments from Cybele, Kristine Crabb, Huffer and Murray Crane will be on display from Tuesday March 22 to Saturday March 26.
The designers have all worked closely with the television show's wardrobe designer on the outfits, and industry voice Paul Blomfield will be holding a series of floor talks throughout the week where he will discuss how the Wests have influenced New Zealand fashion and, says Blomfield, how designers respond to seeing their garments being used by television characters.
"Fashion designers work very hard to create an identity for their brand, through the use of images, symbols and association," he says. To find out more, go to aucklandmuseum.com/outrageousfortune.
The Fashion Festival will also include a Designer Garage Sale, like that held for Fashion Week. On March 26 and 27, 30 designers will be selling garments from their stockrooms, retail outlets and samples at marked-down prices. This is the perfect place to pick up some bargains from the likes of Ben Sherman, Chaos & Harmony Doosh, Federation, Gregory, Kagi , Ricochet, RJC, Sabatini, Starfish, State of Grace, Stolen Girlfriends Club and more.
Gold coin entry will go to the Auckland City Mission, while there will also be the opportunity for shoppers to donate clothes to a Christchurch Fashion Emergency rack. To find out more go to designergaragesale.co.nz
There are so many events happening all over town, it's difficult to mention them all here. From the K Rd Fashion Crawl with Doris Du Pont of the New Zealand Fashion Museum, to being personally styled in store by designers such as Adrian Hailwood and World's Francis Hooper, from special gift with purchases and Fashion Festival discounts at the likes of Zambesi and Trelise Cooper, to the Fashion Festival afterparty at the Britomart Country Club, it really is a celebration of fashion in all its forms.
So dress up and join the glam set at the most fun fashion event of the year.
* For the full schedule of events and how to buy tickets, go to nzfashionfestival.com.