Fashion week – Salasai launches more than just event

By Talisa Kupenga

To kick-start this year's New Zealand Fashion Week, the official launch saw Māori and Pasifika created label Salasai first to take the runway. After two seasons off the catwalk, owners Kirsha Whitcher and Kelly Watson wanted to bring something new for spectators. Today their collection debuted with a number of firsts and never seen before standout features.

After two seasons off the catwalk and six months of planning two countries apart, Salasai launched this year's New Zealand Fashion Week with a one-of-a-kind show.

Whitcher says, “It's about a progression of being youthful right through until age and beauty within all, so you'll see some models have flowers of youth. Then you'll see our 2017 print Salasai print with big giant withered beautiful flowers that are dying. So it's like the whole collection that ran from white to dark was like a progression through life."

The pair wanted a standout show and created just that with their collection, Life, in Theory, being the first and only stand-up installation ever seen at this event.

"We wanted to create something that the models could sit and everyone could just really take a good look instead of just watching every look pass them by,” Whitcher said.

This setup allowed the crowd more time to appreciate the garments, especially the Salasai men's wear.

Whitcher says, "So that's one of the main reasons we wanted to do fashion week this year, is we're officially bringing menswear to Salasai full-time not just every now and again.”

Waston says, “[It's] just really putting him out there and just kind of showcasing to everyone that he's back on the scene and we're really excited."

NZ Fashion Week continues until August 28.