When Stolen Girlfriends Club tweeted yesterday 'please let the weather hold out for our show' or something along those lines, we knew - as with last year - that their NZFW 2011 presentation was going to be replete with the gimmick factor they have become synonymous with and partly successful for.
Entering the Shed Six area punters were were treated to the requisite personalized Mini sitting among scaffolding holding up a black sheet clearly hiding something. That something was a series of portaloos and as male models began making their way from said toilets we were greeted with Winter 2011. True to form denim and checks in typically late seventies styles cemented the collection - skinny jeans paired with Doc Martins, oversized, elongated flannel - but the styles that suggested a modern collection were the fur elements; hats and mega shorts in particular. Leather backpacks finished the styling and it was into the actual venue for the womens wear.
If anyone thought the theatrics were over they were mistaken. As the female models - led by Penny Pickard - entered the runway in front of a backlit screen - that rather beautifully demonstrated everything that was occurring backstage - to 'Like a Prayer' their eighties ball gowns left most of us flummoxed. They came off - the plastic, mismatched earrings didn't - to reveal the sexy, bondage dresses these guys are known for. Style elements that have been staples throughout previous collections - fitted bodices and ruched silk skirts on dresses, super tight leather - were all there, but as with the mens, the fur pieces were definitive head turners, even if they're potentially not the most commercial. The knitwear - all slouchy sleeves and relaxed shoulders - instantly made me want to lounge about on the couch, while a black-slit top suggested an elegance previously remiss from their line, hopefully a telling sign of things to come.
Designers Dan Gosling and Marc Moore accepted the largest applause of Fashion Week yet with a cardboard cut out of third designer Luke Harwood, and if the enthusiasm of the crowd was anything to go by, I'm sure the blogged photos of the after-party will be well worth a check out. Check out the imagery from the show first, below.