Lauren M and Ella Verberne backstage before the show. Photos: Katherine Lowe
Those transitioning years from primary to high school can be awkward for a kid, but Twenty Seven Names claimed them as inspiration behind their Fall 2011 offering. “It was 1996, we’d just started high school and there were all these different groups of girls all over the place,” said designer Anjali Stewart after the show. “We were remembering how badly we used to dress but we wanted to try to do all those clothes again.” Split into five sections, the collection represented a broad cross section of 90s high school subcultures. It started with the thrift shoppers, who’d run about in little lace dresses and grandma knit cardigans. Then there were the rich girls in their preppy blazers trimmed with collegiate crests. Indie, Winona Ryder types walked out in self-consciously ugly-cool floral-print dresses in a peculiar shade of raspberry red – with matching backpacks to boot.
We don’t do cheerleaders and quarterbacks in New Zealand, but rugby lovers are a dime a dozen. Twenty Seven Names repped the sporty types with girls in knee length dresses with letterman jackets slung casually about their shoulders. And to throw a little darkness into the mix, there were the goths in long black dresses accessorised with perennial scowls.
My favourite piece of the lot (besides those letterman jackets) was a utilitarian woolen coat with massive patch pockets and a detachable storm flap that would double as a cape. It came out in an oatmeal, black and olive green and will no doubt be a huge seller when it hits the stores next year (I’d recommend the oatmeal).
They’re famous for their banging soundtracks, those Twenty Seven Names girls, and this one was as good as ever – it featured party favourites from Outkast, Skee-Lo and Eminem. You know it’s a good show when the audience is dancing in their seats, so this one must have been exceptional – a whole troop of American bloggers could be seen rapping along in the front row.
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