Bustle of the city on hold. As library-goers existed the Auckland city library to make way for the audience of Zambesi’s 2019 runway. Zambesi’s 80th collection exhibited in their runway “ Nineteen Seventy-Nine ‘ a homage to their founding year. Participating and representing New Zealand fashion for 4 decades and without a doubt continuing to produce strong collections.
Greeted with a limited edition Zambesi library card as you walked to your seats. A great deal of connection between the legacy and history the brand has in our New Zealand fashion industry.
The library wrapped with a crowd in between their books astonished by the multi-layered runway as the models stepped onto the escalators commencing to bottom to top. Sporting teased birds nest hair sharp geometric eye makeup along with looks in which embraced what we know as Zambesi. Models gracing the escalators as they would if visiting for themselves, casually slumped or leant against the rails, to then powerfully walking through bookshelves.
Knits, vest, tailed garments and a touch of colour, text detailing, iridescent chiffon/silk fabrics and black of course. An intriguing iridescent violet translucent fabric-lined a series tailed suit garments that were inside out. A grunge punk attitude contrasted with preciseness. Their eye for detail couldn't be missed throughout the runway, especially with the use of library books sat in models hands accessorising their looks.
Engrossing the viewer with classic elevator music mixed in with perfume genius, rock and ambience. Cutting off one to play the other, leaving the atmosphere inter between and awkward yet fascinating. The placement of the audience and realness and casual attitude of the models felt as if you were watching everyday life occur in front of your eyes as if you were visiting the Auckland city library on a busy weekday.
Walking through the library a display of magazines celebrating Zambesi on the front cover, an array of archival magazine covers that only speak about their successes for so many years and their prevalence on our New Zealand fashion industry.
Unbeatably a milestone for Zambesi and one of two shows this week. A Zambesi Since 1979: 40 Years of Fashion Runway'' showing an archive of the last 40 years that will take place tonight.
Words Gabrielle Stoddard
Images Madeleine Brighouse-Mayo