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The Beast is Back

The Beast is Back

Many of the world’s elite fashion designers have immortalised themselves through dramatic catwalk experiences…

Marc Jacobs enlisted the Penn State marching band to introduce his Spring 2006 collection, the legendary Alexander McQueen featured spray painting robots in Spring 1999 and a Kate Moss Hologram in Spring 2006. And Chanel’s extraordinary carousel display of Fall 2008 and the icebergs of Fall 2010 will forever be remembered as showstoppers.

For the past 10 years Waikato based fashion designer, Annah Stretton has established her brand as one that is synonymous with statement catwalk appearances. Who could forget the remarkable Beauty and the Beast ensemble which saw a model don a boar head on the New Zealand Fashion Week catwalk in 2004…

The outfit with its matching pearl and jewel encrusted, frothy cream tutu ball gown with taxidermy boar head has since been immortalised in the World of WearableArt museum in Nelson and, for one night only will make its second appearance on the fashion week runway.

Annah’s September 6th show, which also celebrates her 20th year in the rag trade will culminate with a round-up of the very best and most memorable pieces that have defined her brand over the last two decades including the World of Wearable Art gown the Greatest Frock on Earth; a tribute to the fundamental staple of Annah’s bespoke wedding collection, the didion dress.

From the strapping fa’afafine who strutted their stuff in the Jewel in the Crown 2005 show as well as frocks of lavish fabrics from War Bride (2002), Time Pirates (2003), Feral Beauty (2004), Driving Miss Daisy (2006), Taming Tiger Lily (2007), Compliments for Fish (2008), Envy (2009), Calamity (2010) and Living Dolls (2011).

“Our shows have historically been extravagant and dramatic affairs,” says Annah. “We have immortalised ourselves on the fashion catwalk with outfits that have both delighted and disgusted audiences. In the past we have polarised the media but I have always been of the opinion that while I have the spotlight, why not maximise it? At the end of the day it has always been about staging a great visual show that reflects that essence of our NZ Made brand. And what is fashion anyway? Isn’t it really all about the individual?”


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