NZ Fashion Week 2019 stylist's review

NZ Fashion Week 2019 has wrapped for the year, style director Louise Hilsz asks the local stylists to share their favourite shows, most exciting emerging trends, and the highlights from one week in the year on every fashionistas calendar.

Louise Hilsz - stylist & style director BeautyEQ

What was your favourite show and why?

Stolen Girlfriends Club. The show had such a good vibe both on the runway and off, nothing pretentious. Love the mix of men’s and women’s and styling it was awesome. The use of neon yellow was standout.

Biggest trend you saw on the runway and off?

Casual. Saw more people wearing sneakers than heels, which to me felt like a more low key look.

What was the most interesting thing that happened to you this week?

Patty Huntington asking to take a photo of my Moschino My Little Pony bag - that was pretty cool.


Stacey Beatson - personal stylist

What was your favourite show and why?

 If I had to choose one, it would be Olli. I love everything about this beautiful label – from the color palette to the flounces, and the frills, the smocking – which evokes feelings of yesteryear but with enough cool factor to make this brand feel very modern and fresh.
The designer Holly is only 20-years-old and does not have a degree in fashion, which brings another layer of fabulous to this label. I read somewhere that her bedroom is draped with curtains, sheets, old garments, which she recycles fabric from and creates the most amazing garments. The detail is surprisingly sophisticated for such a young label.

Biggest trend you saw on the runway and off?

I did not get any clear direction in trends from all of the different shows, they were a very eclectic mix and I felt the same with the street style. There were a lot of people trying very hard and a lot of people not trying at all. Like the ranges, the diversity in what the attendees wore was a big melting pot, which indicates that New Zealand Fashion Week goers are gaining confidence to be true to their own style, which is very refreshing.

What was the most interesting thing that happened to you this week?

That sense of nostalgia with fashion week returning to the Town Hall. When Fashion Week started I worked a huge amount of hours both backstage on hair and makeup, as well as in the L'Orèal powder room. Seeing makeup artists waiting outside early one morning, I vividly remembered those days of waiting excitedly for the day to begin – with new hopes and aspirations, and a fun sense of collaboration with the other artists.


Luly Wilcox - stylist

What was your favourite show and why?

That’s a hard question, there have been so many amazing shows at NZFW this year. I have loved the venue being back in Auckland's Town Hall. Kathryn Wilson was a highlight. The show was full of joy and the models looked like they were having a blast, which is always refreshing. She always has such a creative theme that leaves everyone in suspense building up to the show. I’m a huge fan of colour, so her shows are always are a favorite of mine. Adrian Hailwood is the king of NZFW his rock and roll chic glamour theme definitely brings that cool edge. I also love how Hailwood has live music at his shows - it's the best.

Biggest trend you saw on the runway and off?

I have been impressed by the diversity of the models at NZFW this year. It’s less of a ‘trend’ and more just how it should be. It seems like the fashion world is starting to try and reflect the actual world we live in – and acknowledge that there are a lot of women that, up until now, haven’t seen themselves represented on the runway. It’s a step in the right direction, and I hope this continues.

What was the most interesting thing that happened to you this week?

I had a tinder match at Stolen Girlfriends. Ha, who would have thought?


Zeenat Wilkinson - stylist & editor of Sauce

What was your favourite show and why?

Maggie Marilyn. The show was phenomenal. I had goosebumps the entire time! The casting truly celebrated the modern woman that wears and loves Maggie’s designs, and she celebrated their strengths in beauty too. The collection showed Maggie at it's best with feminine shapes, pretty colours and divine detail. The runway was made out of grass, surrounded by tulips, citrus fruits, and sunflowers. Guests could pluck out the fruits and flowers and take them home after the show. As a small business owner I often second guess myself, Maggie’s speech was a wonderful reminder not to do that.

Biggest trend you saw on the runway and off?

Lots of little mini belt bags, and corset belts too.

What was the most interesting thing that happened to you this week?

So many! As an ambassador, I had the opportunity to meet the people that work on NZFW and connect with them and support them at the event. I also did a TV interview for the first time in my life and talked in a panel discussion on the topic of diversity. Oh, and how could I forget — Ubering around town to get to Zambesi with Stan Walker!


Kylie Cooke - stylist

What was your favourite show and why?

Zambesi. Because everything was perfection, the collection, the venue, the music, the casting and I had the most wonderful view to soak it all in.

Biggest trend you saw on the runway and off?

A palette of confectioners-inspired sweet colour combinations. Kate Sylvester, with her winter lilac and khaki palette, and the Zambesi collection of iridescent lilac and a rainbow of powdery pinks, lemons and blues.

What was the most interesting thing that happened to you this week?

Having my son join me at Maggie Marilyn's show. He’s caused quite the sensation with his intense stare down the barrel captured by Snapper Online. (see the image of Foxton Laurent sitting on Kylie's knee.)


Sarah Stuart - TV3 stylist

What was your favourite show and why?

So many this year, but one stood out. Benjamin Alexander. His dreamy industrial venue had the sun beaming through the windows and set the tone for the show. That runway's vibe complimented his contemporary designs with the big Victorian-inspired full-sleeved outfits and neutral colours. I also loved the accessories and makeup.

Biggest trend you saw on the runway and off?

Snakeskin print and pastels were a huge trend this year. Think cornflower blue, lavender and peppermint green. And brace yourselves, it looks like hemlines are getting shorter. But don't worry, you can balance that with an over-emphasized detailed shoulder detail from collections such as Maggie Marilyn and Paris Georgia.

If tailoring is not for you I was inspired by the Stolen Girlfriends and 'Not For You' shows. Both layering tees over long-sleeved tops - think vintage 90's early 2000's.

 What was the most interesting thing that happened to you this week?

So many interesting things that happened on the runway with a huge focus being on diversity and inclusivity. Most interesting were the people I met, which is something so true to the atmosphere of NZ Fashion Week. Real-life inspirations like street style influencer Chloe Hill who is even more amazing in person. Meeting Dress for Success' head of the board Margot Minnett Earwalker who shares my thoughts around how clothing can help us step onto a new chapter in life. Grace Stratton is another person I met who is breaking down all the stereotypical barriers in our industry - we all had one thing in common, and that is our love of fashion.