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Feature: Deborah Sweeney At Air NZ Fashion Week Feature: Deborah Sweeney At Air NZ Fashion Week

From the moment her show opened with a bold red dress, Deborah Sweeney held the slightly jaded fashion week crowd in the palm of her hand. This designer with impeccable credentials which include working for Jill Stuart in New York and designing for H&M and Top Shop in the UK told me she was absolutely delighted with her very assured second showing at ANZFW.

With obvious energy and enthusiasm, the collection was total fun – a romper suit in bold and wide striped navy silk followed a red and black tartan mini-dress, which was then followed with a one shouldered knit dress.

Although this may sound like an incoherent and somewhat eclectic collection, it was totally together – this designer worked her influences from the 60’s through to the 80’s and no-one looking at these garments felt lost from her message. Backstage after the show Deborah told us she had wanted a very graphic theme – which she certainly delivered.

From bright red tartan skirts and dresses to bold black & white houndstooth checked wool worked into tulip skirts and trapeze coats, these were truly striking pieces. Little finishing touches softened the boldness of the look – bows at the top of a pleat in the rear of the skirt, splashes of yellow or green with the houndstooth. Stripes figured too, either in knit dresses, layered under sweet pinafores or teamed with a pair of high waisted pants complete with braces and bow tie.

Just when you thought it was going to be all bold statements, Deborah revealed a girly feminine side with a gorgeous silk printed with seagulls. This print figured in pretty ‘80s style dresses with ruffles running vertically from waist to shoulder through to a longer length top worn with skinny jeans and belted at the hip. Again the details played here; the layered sleeves which draped beautifully, the ruffles layered with a contrasting plain fabric.

This was an entirely cohesive collection from a young designer who is assured of great things.

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