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Designs take us back to what we are today


The Gaye Bartlett Collection

Designs take us back to what we are today

The excitement and exhilaration and elegance of pre-war fashion are the inspirations behind fashion designer Gaye Bartlett’s collection for L’Oréal New Zealand Fashion Week 2002.

The Auckland-based designer takes us back in time to the 1930s to ‘reflect on the incredible changes that occurred during the 20th century’ for the first official on-site show of the fashion event of the year.

“I am asking my audience to reflect on what has brought us to now, to this fashion point we are at in New Zealand in 2002,” Gaye Bartlett says.

“This collection is about things that have had another life or history – it reflects the fact that many garments worn during the great depression were designed in response to the thrift of the times.”

With fabrics sourced from Italy, Germany, France, India and Japan, Gaye Bartlett’s collection parades her passion for sophisticated elegance, quality and attention to detail in timeless designs.

“Women wearing these garments will feel elegant, they will be comfortable and they will be proud of their investment,” Bartlett says.

The Gaye Bartlett Winter 2003 Collection at L’Oréal New Zealand Fashion Week combines a colour palette with a depth of tones from greyish beige and smokey blue green through to ruby, violet and an aubergine that Bartlett calls beet.

Naturally, black – ‘always practical but never predictable, it can be flamboyant or restrained’ Bartlett says – is the foundation of the colour palette.

She says the collection is a mix of soft and tailored pieces with a twist of tradition.

“It has a conceptual muse in terms of time, the need to escape in to what you are wearing, a fantasy if you like but one tinged with the need for frugality and to make the most of what you have.

“We’re living a hectic lifestyle in the 21st century and with our collection we are saying it’s good to take some time to reflect on the incredible changes and advances that have happened and what has brought us to this point in time,” Bartlett says.

All the pieces in the collection are significant, Bartlett says. “That is what makes the range work; it is the combination of all the garments that creates the style.”

Three significant points of reference emerge from Gaye Bartlett’s 2003 collection. A three quarter length custom tailored black jacket is produced in different fabrics to suit day and night.

A petal skirt evokes images of the 30s with rose scallops that define the era and reflect a touch of opulence and luxury that is hidden in the detail.

Gaye Bartlett trousers for 2003 are in a range of styles including cuffed designs favoured in an era when masculine fashion evolved for women and was seen to indicate seriousness of intent. Bartlett says she has been drawn to the 1930s because of the exhilaration and the devil-may-care attitude of the times tempered with the effects of the Great Depression.

“We are very proud of our L’Oréal New Zealand Fashion Week collection. We love the concept and are proud of its execution with the fabrication embodying a combination of commercial and luxurious qualities,” Bartlett says.

“The range builds on our signatures of sophisticated elegance, quality and attention to detail.”

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