Fashion, NZ Fashion Week

Kate Sylvester AW15 at NZFW

Kate Sylvester is clearly a woman who does not rest on her laurels. She has an internationally-successful company, raises three boys – whom we saw at her show – and is well-read. We know this last fact as she bases her collections on smart well-dressed women from literature, and this most recent collection is no different.

At fashion week 2014 this week, not only did Kate Sylvester come back after a half-a-decade absence, she re-introduced her menswear, and gave us theatrics and a soundtrack and clothes so good that the whole package just kicked it out of the ballpark.

Kate Sylvester’s AW15 collection was named for author Donna Tartt, and wittily had strawberry tarts on the front row seats, made by Little Bird Organics Unbakery. The Autumn Winter collection ‘Tartt’ drew upon the author’s two books The Secret History and The Goldfinch, creating a wardrobe for these girls with a casually-decadent air about them. There were long neck scarves jauntily thrown over shoulders in that careful-to-look-careless manner, furry jackets, lacy dresses, and restrained sex appeal a-plenty. It was all so covetable and I would wear the entire collection and the red lips to boot. It had the best finale, with three men in the rigging above her heads releasing small squares of the novels cut up like word-snow raining down in a text-flurry.

The show notes we were given had lines from the books that referred to the character’s clothes and provided inspiration for the line. Here are some of them.

‘They looked particularly angelic, their blond hair wind-blown, both in white tennis sweaters and tennis shoes…’

‘But strange and marvellous as she was, a wisp of silk in a forest of black wool… ‘

…beautiful starchy shirts with French cuffs; magnificent neckties; a black greatcoat that billowed behind him as he walked and made him look like a cross between a student prince and Jack the Ripper.

…she looked like she’d just got out of bed herself: tousle-haired, no lipstick, wearing a grey wool sweater that came down past her wrists. Smoke drifted from her cigarette…

…and it caught in Camilla’s dress and billowed it out like a white balloon. She laughed…

We like watching Twitter for capturing the zeitgeist and general mood and Kate Sylvester was a big hit with Tweeters. Here are some Top Tweets about the show…

Megan Bedford ‏@meganbedford Still thinking about last nights kate_sylvester show. Judging from my insty feed, so is everyone else.

Megan Robinson@threadnz Literature confetti raining on models at Kate Sylvester! What a ‘novel’ idea.


natalie cantell@nataliecantell great to have you back kate_sylvester x nzfashionwk

Sacha McNeil ‏@SachaMcNeil So that was worth staying out past bedtime. #KateSylvester #nzfashionweek


Maddy Budd ‏@MaddyBudd Kate Sylvester was sooo good. This emoji

Katherine Lowe@thedownlowe What a fucking good show. #nzfw #katesylvester

Demi@demileesinclair there’s a really big difference between a fashion show and models walking down a catwalk wearing clothes.. and kate sylvester nailed it

FOUREYES@foureyesblog  This could very well be our favourite show of the week. kate_sylvester at #nzfw. Also, literary snow!…


rebeccawright ‏@rebeccawright Kate Sylvester nails Fashion week again.

Cayden Crombie@justonceplease I don’t know why, but #KateSylvester made me happy #NZFW

Kelly Thompson ‏@kellythompson1 Loved shooting beauties backstage at kate_sylvester, stunning show!


MAC face look by Kiekie Stanners


Backstage photos by James Yang

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