By Emma Raho – Staff Writer
2019 Fashion Week was a revelation. I’m too new to this industry to ever remember it being held at the Town Hall so, to me, it was a huge change from the Viaduct Events Centre where I cut my FW teeth. I loved the unique charm of the Town Hall, the outdoor flow between the main venue and the runway in Aotea Square and the fact I could take a twirl around Smith and Caughey’s or Sephora in the rare bit of spare time I had. However the ‘new’ venue wasn’t the only thing to love about NZFW19. Here are my favourite moments from the week.
All is For All – It was amazing to see the diversity on the runway this year. I’m here for every body type being represented and for the first time, models with access needs were included in designer shows. This is absolutely amazing to see and not because it’s some kind of sympathy vote or token effort to look caring. The reason designers are casting models with access needs is because fashion is, an should be inclusive. People who use wheelchairs or crutches or have other additional needs also wear clothes and therefore have as much of a contribution to make to fashion as anyone else. Everyone should see themselves represented on the catwalk because fashion is for everyone.
Focus on sustainability – There was a big drive to reduce waste in all its forms this year. From the runway right through to the hospitality. The effort to reduce waste at big events is something that has been gaining momentum for a while. There are various initiatives to try and combat the disaster of plastic and styrofoam that seems to accumulate every time anything happens. It’s totally unnecessary, and although the individual responsibility fixes are relatively easy to achieve it’s the attitudes and habits that are the hardest to change. This is why it’s important for big influential events to start turning the tide and making those changes so it becomes normalised. Also a good move forward were the conversations and panel discussions conversations that called into question the massive environmental and humanitarian issues in the fast fashion industry. Good to hear some giant retailers are making changes but is it enough?
One of my absolute favourite things from this year is the amount of genuine heart and realness shown by many of the designers. So many family and friends sitting in the front rows to find themselves pulled up at the end and thanked publicly for their support. Another thing that gave me warm fuzzies were the designers that brought their lives and cultures into their shows, living their life through their art. I love a warm, relaxed atmosphere that goes against the typical fashion show stereotype and that was certainly achieved in 2019