With 11 days of fabulous events taking place during a celebration of all things fashionable, there's no excuse not to be involved in the Fashion in the Big Little City festival. Here is Viva's pick of some of the not-to-be-missed things to do


If you are interested in fashion from an anthropological point of view, then a must-do during the fashion festival is Sharon Evans-Mikellis' talk at the Auckland City Art Gallery, Looks like Rock and Roll. A senior lecturer in Fashion and Textile Design at AUT University, Sharon regularly speaks on fashion and related subcultures, and this event ties in with the current photography exhibition at the gallery, Who Shot Rock and Roll.

Fashion, music and me. I was a punk in the mid-70s. I was expelled from school at 16 for dyeing my hair green, an event which probably influenced my life - it certainly influenced my career. Being kicked out of school meant I wasn't able to take my exams so I couldn't apply for university. I'd seen what a strong reaction fashion could produce in people and it fascinated me that something so playful could be so powerful, so I spent a year drawing, painting and making clothes. I used this work to create a portfolio so I could apply to art school.

I suppose I'm still a punk at heart - I prefer to make or find clothes rather than buy anything mass-produced, and I still can't do neat hair.


Let's talk about... The interface between rock and roll and clothing: how we "read" the rock and roll image and why it is important in a fashion context.

Fashion is more than what's on the runway. I hope my talk will encourage people to see fashion not merely as this season's latest trends, but as a more holistic thing that is about our life at in this time in history, how we communicate who we are, and what is important to us through how we look. For those people who already view fashion like this, then it's a chance to get together and look at some great photos of cool people and their clothes.

3pm, Sunday March 3, Auditorium, Auckland City Art Gallery. Free.


The top spot for a pre- or post-fashion show drink during the Britomart Fashion Sessions this Friday and Saturday, will be the Fukoku Bar, on Tyler St, right on Takutai Square. This will be Viva's base and where you can meet members of our team and try the Viva La Pina cocktail: Japanese shochu infused with chargrilled pineapple topped with sparkling riesling. Or try the Earl Grey Martini: Japanese shochu infused with earl grey tea and juniper berries together with sugar, fresh lemon juice and an orange zest. Chic and intimate, Fukoku is also putting on a special Viva menu.


One of the most delightful ways to view and shop for fashion is surely over lunch with friends. Designer Yvonne Bennetti will show her autumn/winter 2013 collection at Soul Bar and Bistro tomorrow as part of the festival. What to expect? Garments with a luxurious, 1970s bohemian feel.

"The collection is easy to interpret and wear," explains Yvonne.

"I wanted to create outfits that could be translated with ease from morning through to evening with the simple addition of a pair of heels. The fabrications and styles have a timeless factor so they can live in your wardrobe for more than one season. From cashmere coats to snakeskin jackets, cashmere knits, silk printed blouses and antique sequin jackets, I see the garments as true investment pieces."

Tickets are $75 and include a drink on arrival and a three-course lunch to be enjoyed while you watch the show. 12pm-2pm, Thursday February 28. To book, ph Soul (09) 356 7249.


We all know it is important to keep your makeup evolving with the seasons and as you age. That's why our hit-list of things to do during the fashion festival includes getting along to the new Bobbi Brown flagship store in Britomart or the Bobbi Brown counter at Smith & Caughey's on Queen St and booking in for a 30-minute complimentary lesson.

Their skilled makeup artists will be showing how best to use the new Brighten, Sparkle and Glow collection.

On Saturday March 9 the M.A.C store at Britomart will be holding an Archie's Girl instore event which will also be worth checking out.


There's nothing cooler than cycling around the city - think of all the good karma points you earn for the planet - but how to look good while you're doing it can be a challenge.

Welcome Bespoke, a day combining fashion and cycling with fashion and bike shows, markets, entertainment and street food at Silo Park on Sunday March 10. Stars of the day are bound to be The Velociteers - a bike performance group which references folk dancing, weaving, flowers and marching girls - and there's no lycra in sight. (www.velociteers.com)


The High Street District celebrates the fashion festival with a Market Day on Saturday March 9. Expect to find Freyberg Square alive with music, stalls, art, crafts and food.

Wander the streets and explore the boutiques and stores taking part - from Moochi to Strangely Normal, Smoove to Ruby. There'll be instore promotions and the chance to find some fabulous bargains.


Fashion fans will leap at the chance to see some of our all-time favourite movies back on the big screen for free! Having just passed American Vogue fashion editor Grace Coddington's memoirs around the office, it will be wonderful to see this creative talent alongside her editor Anna Wintour in The September Issue (on at the Auckland Art Gallery, 3pm, Sunday March 10). Meanwhile, watching the iconic Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's under the stars (Silo Park, Wynyard Quarter, from 9pm, Friday March 8), sounds simply delightful.


The highlight of the festival has to be the Britomart Fashion Sessions this Friday and Saturday. All the stores and bars in the precinct will celebrate with special promotions, and there will be six big runway shows taking place. From Trelise Cooper at Friday lunchtime right through to the Tyler St Runway Show on Saturday night, it's going to be lights, cameras, action. The best thing of all? Most of the shows can be watched for free (first in, first served) or you can treat yourself (and your friends) and splash out on one of the special VIP seating options. (For more info go to www.britomart.org or book tickets, $45-$65, at iticket.co.nz.)


It'd be safe to say that a key trend right now is the world of the witch with the launch of the movie Oz The Great and the Powerful and news that the international Broadway musical blockbuster Wicked is coming to Auckland. The story of the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good is in its 10th year on Broadway where it has won more than 35 major awards including a Grammy and three Tony awards. In London, Tokyo and Stuttgart it set box office records, while 1.5 million people saw the show during its three-year stint in Australia.

Meanwhile, we're booking tickets now for the New Zealand season of War Horse - the Tony and Olivier Award-winning theatre production from the National Theatre in London and Global Creatures. A stage adaptation of Michael Morpurgo's book, it is an emotive tale of Joey the horse who is sold to the cavalry at the outbreak of World War I and shipped to France. Awe-inspiring puppets of life-sized horses traverse the stage, bringing to life this incredible story. From Tuesday August 20, ASB Theatre, Auckland. To book, ph: 0800buytickets or go to www.showbiznz.co.nz

To celebrate Britomart Fashion Sessions, which is on as part of "Fashion in the Big Little City" on Friday March 1 and Saturday March 2, Viva is giving one lucky fashionista the chance to win a very stylish prize. As well as eight VIP tickets to the Juliette Hogan catwalk show at 8.30pm on March 1, the winner and seven friends will enjoy a visit to Britomart's newest bar, Fukoku, for cocktails, bubbles and nibbles! VIP tickets to select Britomart Fashion Sessions shows are available from www.iticket.co.nz and come with glamorous extras like gorgeous goodie bags and invites to pre-show soirees. For more information please visit www.britomart.org.

To enter visit nzherald.co.nz/vivagiveaways

- This is a VIVA promotion.