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Feature: Annah Stretton At Air NZ Fashion Week Feature: Annah Stretton At Air NZ Fashion Week

By's Jackie O’Fee

Annah Stretton’s Winter ’07 range was quite the surprise - gone was the over the top frou-frou this designer is known for and in it’s place a definitively pared-down kind of gal. More tailoring, a sombre palette (read: loads of black) and simpler, cleaner lines overall defined this show.

Speaking to Annah after the show she shared that she felt it was still “Annah Stretton, but unplugged” and admitted that she found the paring down process “quite difficult”. Interestingly enough the designer admitted that her favourite pieces were the incredibly gathered and layered tulle skirts – in bright red or muted gold these were the most frothy of all the garments sent down the runway. Yep, this designer by her own admission loves the show-stoppers, while quietly admitting to favouring the quieter pieces in her own wardrobe.

The collection began with simple wool boleros teamed over sheer blouses and worn with tailored wide legged pants, and classic merino tops that draped to form a hood while creating a beautiful cowl in the front, again with a waisted, tailored pant. The pants weren’t left entirely without detailing; be it tabs at the waist or bows near the hem. Simple shift dresses, long skirts that ended with an elegant ‘puff’ around the calf, trapeze coats whose only embellishment was a trio of oversized buttons, classic suiting in a gorgeous textured raspberry wool and clean, easy knitwear all heralded a new, easy-to-wear direction. If you love the Annah Stretton of old, don’t panic, she really couldn’t help herself – jackets and skirts with inset panels; a plaid wool panel juxtaposed with a strip of chiffon in one jacket, soft pink wool mixed with bold herringbone in another, oversize silk ribbons, the occasional raw edge and a few strongly asymmetrical hems on jackets.

The show ended with some very stylish evening gowns, a cleavage-exposing low cut brown velvet number and the most gorgeous maxi dress of black chiffon covered with small gold discs - the showstopper for me.

Jackie O’Fee

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