I was sitting next to Richard Kavanagh at the AUT Rookie show last Thursday night nervously tapping my feet moments before the show began. And not just out of excitement for the show. I was in dire need to pee. Like extreme dire need. It was pee or die. I got up and asked one of the organisers if I had time to run to the bathroom but they said no. I made my way back to my seat cursing the day I was born and tried to relax (but not too much) and watch the show. The 24 designer show. I survived four. As the fifth was about to begin her segment, I made a run for it. After exiting the catwalk, I made my way round to the right side of the building, found an usher and asked her to point me in the right direction. I’d gone the wrong way. That meant recrossing the catwalk in front of the photographers pit. How embarrasment. Egg on my face rating – three out of four.
I’ve been to a fair few rookie/graduate shows in my time and more often than not they’re a bit of a cringe fest. Crazy colours, vastly exaggerated proportions, poorly made and executed etc… So I was extremely pleasantly surprised to witness such a high quality of design at the AUT Rookies show last Thursday night. The two collections that stood out most for me were those of Glenn Yungnickel and Celia Phillips.
Glenn Yungnickel first appeared on my radar at Dunedin iD back in March. He showed what I thought was the strongest menswear collection of the week – oversized shirts with Japanese worker style pants. He’s now working for Murray up at the Crane Brothers workroom, and there are whispers that he’ll be designing the new collection – though that’s yet to be confirmed.
In an all red collection, Glenn kept the Japanese workwear theme going with high-buttoning blazers, rolled up pants and long shirts. Granted tomato red might be a bit far out for some, but kudos for keeping the direction so clear and concise. Now is it just me, or are those all beige socks? Keep an eye on this guy!
Celia Phillips showed a collection based on an American Latter Day Saints (Mormon) cult named Yearning for Zion. Lots of Amish layers and bias cut drapery. Her five look womenswear range was easily on the same level with some of the best stuff we saw at New Zealand Fashion Week. Hopefully a clever designer will snap her up and put her to work straight away.
GO THE ROOKIES!
I LIKE YOU!