It's been a pleasure watching Salasai develop their unique fashion perspective over the past few collections: a perspective simultaneously rooted in the diverse cultural history of New Zealand, and the progressive, androgynous aesthetic that has come to define fashion from this country. Designer Kirsha Witcher's collection for Winter 2013, called 'Heartlands', presented at New Zealand Fashion Week this morning, continued this direction with a dual theme of pastural colonization and ecological awareness.
As the first couple of models came down the runway it became clear that things of a homespun and organic nature were on Witcher's mind when designing 'Heartlands', as linen, textual cotton, suede and an earthy zig-zag print were all immediately present. These fabrics were accessorized with juicy burgundy lips, large metallic cross earrings and black stockings - A.K.A the nineties - which gave an activist feel to the whole 'home on the ranch' vibe: a call to take a look at our consumerist, over-consumptive nature and change our ways for the future. If that wasn't enough, Beck's 'New Pollution' as the soundtrack at this point sealed the thematic deal.
Beige and brown descended into lemon yellow and burgundy and a secondary - and perhaps precusory - story came to pass as button-up two piece suits and white, pleat-front pants suggested colonial takeover: a kept woman sitting on her white-picket plantation-veranda, waiting for her oil-mongering husband to return home - or something like that.
Salasai has obviously found it's stride and popularity with a particular set of styles as shirt, pant and dress cuts were repeated from seasons of yore and it would have perhaps been nice to see a little variation here. However, practise also makes perfect and their 'Heartlands' presentation was ultimately wearable, clever, and just a little bit political.
Nineties slacker activism
Homespun, raglan knit
Lemon yellow, button-up suit
Anything zig-zag print