Sep 05, 2012 10:59AM

New Zealand Fashion Week: Zambesi, Ruby & Cybele

Our backstage galleries and reviews from the front row.

We think Helena Bonham Carter must have played muse to Zambesi for their beauty looks this season, if not the whole collection. For women, hair was messy with a million pins and plaits — some almost looked like dreadlocks, with wild wispy bits flowing down the back of the neck — while others had tousled mullets. Models wore a bold, plum lip, and there was a bit of a steampunk thing thing happening with the clothing. A play on layers saw some relatively crazy shit going down, namely a knee-length dress worn under a cropped jacket and on top of cropped pants, which looked as tricky as this sentence. There were leather leggings and collars, with a checkered print carrying over to menswear. The silver loafers and Doc Martens were a superb footwear choice for both sexes. A++ Would Buy Again.

Ruby was like a macaron or sherbet, or something that is really girly and sweet. "Be warm and soft, and smile," the show director told the models backstage. "Be light and happy, not aggressive" and, most importantly, "Have fun!" Her words could also be used to describe the collection itself. There was a nod to mod, with angora knit sweaters (get it on me now — it's freezing in Auckland), silver lame and faux-fur stoles. Stripes and over-the-knee socks felt French (for no other reason than that's what everybody imagines French people wearing 24/7), while credence must be given to the leopard print — it's hard thing to get right, but Ruby did it with subtlety in powder pink. Nice one. Goodie bags (let's face it, it's an important part of the show) were also caaa-utteee — Penguin Classics, fresh flowers and pastel-coloured marshmallows. Being a girl rules.

Cybele was a mix between futuristic and goth, with a rose motif running throughout and bolts of cobalt blue spicing things up (sorry for using that expression, we can't even use jet lag as an excuse anymore). The backpacks and long dresses were best and mesh — a totally underrated and breathable material — was also key throughout.

Photography: Jeannine Tan for Oyster