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tango’s Odyssey continues at L’Oreal Fashion Week


tango’s Odyssey continues

tango, the rising stars of New Zealand fashion, opened L’Oreal New Zealand Fashion Week today by taking its audience on a journey through the ages with sight and sound.

Odyssey is the theme of the tango 2004 winter collection, by designers Malaika Grove and Vicky Wynn-Williams. It’s an ancient story of the man who goes on a voyage and gets transformed along the way. The Oydssey has shaped our culture from the realm of the Greek gods to the deep reaches of space and a futuristic imagining of humanity’s beginnings.

tango’s Odyssey opened to black light and the theme from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001, ‘Also Sprach Zara Thustra’ by Strauss, as the first outfits entered the catwalk with whites glowing in the darkness. The collection then moved to tango’s Starburst design - dripping with sequins and embroidery, and shimmering with silver, while David Bowie belted out his own Space Oddity.

Ziggy Stardust heated up the mood with zips, chains and checks lending an anarchic feel. Highlights of red and orange broke through, with tango’s printed legs and a mottled fur. Classical elements were retained, with pleating and draping, and a mix of heavily textured cloths.

The show then moved to the part of the collection that surprised even its own designers. “When we first designed this collection I was shocked by the strong 1980s influence coming through in both my own and Malaika’s designs,” muses Vicky Wynn-Williams. “I shouldn’t have been though, as the Odyssey is a journey and the 1980s was a pivotal decade in both of our histories.”

The song ‘99 Red Balloons’ completed the show with sweatshirts, striped knitwear and a futuristic edge that took on Star Trek at its peak. Solar systems were splashed across fronts and down the legs of footless tights, while metallic planets swirled in the midst. Another highlight was the tribute to Stanley Kubrick’s 2001, A Space Odyssey, with tango’s ‘HAL HATH NO FURY’ print in bold tango yellow (the reference is to the computer system in the movie 2001, where Stanley Kubrick makes comment on the computer company IBM, the letters being one letter each removed from HAL).

In a spectacular finale, the last model out entered the catwalk in a flowing white wool dress splashed with a swirling silver galaxy and armfuls of red balloons.

Christchurch jeweller Enid Eiriksson designed a range around the Odyssey theme. The result blew away the tango designers. “We really had no idea what Enid would do, but the minute she started pulling pieces out of the box we got really excited and we just knew how well they were going to work with the collection. We especially love the crop circles and Perspex pieces,” said Malaika Grove. Boots by David Elman and Converse boots supplied by Attitude shoes, completed the outfits.

Following in the collaborative theme, tango showed in a group Canterbury show that also included Sakaguchi and Barbara Lee. The show was part sponsored by The Canterbury Development Corporation, in an initiative of its recently developed Fashion Cluster. “It’s fantastic to see a record number of Canterbury Designers showing here at Fashion Week this year. Being able to combine resources and work together is awesome,” says Malaika.

Meanwhile the phone starts ringing and appointments with international buyers are being made. As the balloons are thrown into the air, tango’s future is looking hot.

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