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By's Miranda Likeman

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Day One

Day One at Fashion Week is not what you might expect. It is really another day of set up, registration and a final desperate rush for tickets and seating. But in the evening, everyone kicks up their heels for the official opening party, and if you are lucky like we were, at the Karen Walker Eyewear Launch, where I tried on the divine glasses...

The official party started at 5.30 but the well dressed were out and ready to play by five. Pieter Stewart opened the proceedings and Mayor of Auckland City, Dick Hubbard stepped out in new look Mayoral robes designed specially for fashion week by AUT Rookie Michelle Boyes - a task that took approximately 150 hours to designing, knitting, felting, sewing and hand-stitching the robes which were made from all natural, all New Zealand materials.

Woolyarns chose to custom produce a totally unique blend of merino possum silk yarn for the Auckland Mayoral Robe, as an example of the type of fabrics which can be produced from yarns produced exclusively in New Zealand. The colour of the yarn is also unique to this project and has been dubbed "Mayoral Red".

Swarovski provided crystals for the project and Michelle threaded more than 6000 crystals to create four iconic Auckland panels - Rangitoto, the Sky Tower, Pohutukawa flower and sails on the harbour.

Prime Minister Helen Clark officially opened Fashion Week and called Dick Hubbard 'Wizard' Mayor, which wasn't far off as he did rather resemble Harry Potter as he bounded on and off the stage. The Trade and Enterprise Export award was presented to Huffer, who will now have a mentor and around $35,000 to further their exporting efforts. The boys from Huffer were over the moon!

A fantastic dance sequence followed, then it was off to the Karen Walker Party...


Karen Walker Eye Wear Party

WalkerSince starting her label over 18 years ago, Karen Walker' s unique way of doing things has continuously captured the interest of customers and media all over the world. Karen Walker has stockists in 150 stores worldwide and a celebrity clientele that includes Madonna, Bjork, Sienna Miller, Cate Blanchett and Kate Hudson. September sees KAREN WALKER EYEWEAR on the catwalk at New York Fashion Week. Karen Walker launched her 06/07 eyewear collection at a party held after the launch party for Air New Zealand Fashion Week. We snuck a peek...

Walker EyewearA mere year on from the launch of KAREN WALKER EYEWEAR, when styles “Annie” and “Amelia” reigned ubiquitous, retailers are now stocking in advance to keep up with the incredible demand for karen walker eyewear. Karen’s debut eyewear collection experienced unprecedented sales with stock selling out within two weeks of its release, and those awaiting her newest collection will be sure to get in early.

Walker EyewearEach of the 33 pieces in the KAREN WALKER EYEWEAR collection capture Karen’s unique style, inspiration and creative energy which transpires across all of Karen’s designs. The styles are inspired by pop culture icons to world leaders and African dictators. “The idea we've worked to since the start for our eyewear is always to draw our inspiration from leaders and dictators. We've always been fascinated by how, especially in slightly politically shaky places, the size or shape of the eyewear defines or represents the status of their power. It's like if you're a big dictator, a big leader or even just someone who makes big statements you need powerful eyewear” Says Karen. Derek Henderson who shot the 06/07 campaign captured this sentiment perfectly.

Michael Lawrence General Manager at Sunshades Eyewear who represents Karen Walker Eyewear says “Sunshades in it’s 35 year history in the sunglass business has never experienced such an amazing response to a new range.” When Michael was asked about the new collection he was excited that the new styles are again on the cutting edge with the range moving on from the feminine vintage shapes to hard angles, sharp lines and a push toward a more masculine look.

The party to celebrate the launch of Karen’s 06/07 eyewear range was held onsite at ANZFW, directly after the official opening party - and anyone who was anyone was there. Models wearing her new sunnies were at a faux press conference at the end of the Chandelier room, sitting silently while guests were invited to don a pair of the glasses and have their photo taken at the podium. I was dressed in a divineblack net dress from Juo and the highest heels I own - which killed me. I could hardly walk around, which was a shame as there was alot to see. Cocktails were a divine mix of lavender and lychee, and the goodie bags contained 420 water, chocolate and a USB stick, very useful!

Karen was in good spirits and looked a million dollars as usual - and it was wall to wall celebrities. Karen’s s/s 06/07 collection is available now from Karen Walker stores and high-end eyewear and fashion boutiques. For stockists call 0508 EYEWEAR. RRP: $299 each.

Karen recently revealed her Spring/Summer 2007 collection at her first-ever U.S. presentation at New York Fashion Week recently. Tim Blanks of STYLE.COM raved ‘well-travelled New Zealander Karen Walker is ready for new frontiers. She claimed inspiration from the women who worked the farms in England while their menfolk were away at the front during World War II and there were discernible echoes of the 40’s in the floral prints, puff sleeves and baggy pants.’ Check out our slideshow of the highlights here…



Cybele12.30: Cybele certainly knows how to rock a show. Her collection 'Blue Blood' was a divine selection of chain printed jersey dresses, chiffon printed slips over satin and all the hallmarks of punk. Denim, chain motifs and vibrant gold houndstooth patterns were everywhere. The goodie bag contained hair product from Kevin Murphy, MAC Premediated cream in vibrant red and a notepad from Dead Ponies.


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