Fashion Week Diaries: Day two with FQ digital editor Kelly McAuliffe

28 August 2019
By Fashion Quarterly

Tag along on day two of NZFW 2019 with FQ digital editor Kelly McAuliffe. It’s the first full day of shows, the sun is shining bright despite the iffy weather forecast and there’s a good feeling in the air as we get fashion week properly underway.

If you’re reading this and thinking to yourself “wow, 5am – don’t tell me she’s one of those people that wakes up and has half a day’s work done by 8am, works out and has time to blend herself a healthy green smoothie”… well, don’t worry, I’m not. At all. What really happened is I sat bolt upright as an alarm – not my own – went off, before realising my boyfriend’s new morning gym habit was still in full force (yes, EVEN DURING FASHION WEEK SRSLY). He leaves our apartment with a bounce and my automatic reaction is to snuggle back under the covers, drift off to sleep and continue dreaming of Kate Sylvester’s English countryside-inspired tailored jackets, beautiful handwritten love letters and wind machines from last night…

Okay yes, that’s a much better hour to tear myself away from my duvet. Today is pretty jam-packed and I’m not going to have much downtime, so I need to select an outfit that’s going to take me from construction site this morning (more on that later) to champagnes in the evening. I opt for Maggie Marilyn’s ‘You’re the One’ black silk ruffle dress, but because the weather is so up and down – and it wouldn’t be NZ Fashion Week if it wasn’t – I layer it over a Harman Grubisa shirt and bring along my Camilla & Marc Dimmer blazer for good measure. In Auckland, you just never know…

While the rest of the team are either in the office talking about last night’s opening night party (SO many great fashion moments!) or at the gorgeous Yu Mei breakfast (pasta for breakfast? Yes please!), FQ features editor Jessica-Belle and I are feeding ourselves with a bit of retail therapy by way of a tour around the new Westfield Newmarket shopping complex. We are handed pink hard hats and high vis vests which, we must say, felt very fashion week appropriate, and head through the construction zone for a visit to the new Farmers department store which is finished and ready to open this Thursday 29 August. Set across 7000 square metres, the space is vast, the product merchandising is outstanding and the beauty offering will have you salivating. For one, Farmers have secured a Deciem The Ordinary counter exclusively, where you’ll find the full product range. We snap a quick selfie to send to the group chat (because we felt cute), grab two coffees to go and head back to the office.

Back at the office, we’ve been working to get last night’s coverage live on (check it all out on our dedicated NZFW “channel”). In between writing, editing images and posting to Instagram, there’s time for a coffee and a quick bite to eat from my snack pack (I pack one every year full of fruit and semi-healthy bites because you often don’t know when your next meal will happen during fashion week) and then the entire team heads out to Maggie Marilyn. On route a good friend texts me “Do you think Madonna would be a good concert to go to?” and although I usually go into communication hibernation for this one week of the year, this particular text feels so fashion week appropes I fire back a text immediately saying “100% YES”.

Arriving at the gorgeous Glasshouse venue in Morningside (the venue for Fashion Quarterly‘s Summer Party last year) we feel like we’re in for a treat, but our jaws all still hit the floor when we walk inside and see Maggie Marilyn’s beautiful orange orchard and garden set for her first-ever NZFW show. I ask Ella (Maggie’s right hand woman) where the ready lawn is going after the show (because after all, Maggie is all about sustainability) and she tells me the lawn has already been sold on Trade Me! The daisies were handpicked by another MM team member earlier today and everything was carefully placed by our feet. Maggie gives a heartfelt speech that gives us all of the feels, talking about her conscious approach to fashion and business: “We all have the power to create change and my eternal optimism believes we can do it.” She also mentioned the recent article she wrote for Fashion Quarterly‘s latest issue (out now), where she was asked to define what success means to her—you can read that piece here.

With a phenomenal lineup of models and makeup by Mecca using brands with a natural, sustainable, recyclable or vegan focus, the collection itself was positively dreamy – the beautiful use of colour (particularly a lovely shade of periwinkle blue and deep shades of green) teamed with the feminine suiting and delicate ruffles she is known for was pure perfection. Post-show, guests were invited to linger in the garden and take home fruit and flowers from their pop up market. World class.

After a morning of shows, it’s time for a footwear change; aside from the snack pack, I always pack multiple footwear options for all eventualities. I opt for maximum comfort levels for the rest of today and select my Converse Chuck 70s which are a street style staple at fashion week and beyond. FQ fashion director Sally-Ann and I stop off for a coffee (yes, that’s three and counting) and are snapped by the talented photographer Andre Kong on our way back to the office.

Realise I didn’t really manage a proper lunch, so dig through my snack pack and eat my way through half a bag of Simply 7 Jalapeno Lentil Chips while I frantically schedule content for the website, post some links to Facebook and fire off a few emails. Is it just me or are these the most addictive chips in the world? Can’t. Stop. Won’t. Stop.

Back at the tent, Hailwood is showing for his 19th year at New Zealand Fashion Week – a massive milestone. There are some major rock n roll vibes with a live musician, smoke machine, and plenty of glittering dresses, black velvet pants and a knockout black silk satin dress with cowl back which has a few necks careening in the crowd to get a good look at it.

We hit the Paris Georgia pre-show drinks and with champagne in hand, toast our first full day at fashion week nearing a close. Jessica-Belle and I eat three miniature croque monsieurs for dinner and couldn’t feel more fashion if we tried (also, I am counting down to when I can eat a proper dinner at home later!)

The show is running a bit late but that’s pretty normal in fashion week land. When the lights go up and the first model walks out, we all know we’re seeing something very special; aside from it being the first time Paris Georgia has done a runway show, the entire collection is stunning and incredibly wearable, so much so, the team immediately compare notes post-show on everything we want to buy. Top of my list? The camel jacket with puffed sleeves, a dramatic red dress with low back and a gorgeous green coat worn by NZ supermodel (and multiple FQ cover star) Ngahuia Williams.

No after parties for me tonight as we are only a quarter of the way through the week and fashion week is a marathon, not a sprint (have learned that the hard way!) Once home, the slippers are on, candles are lit and perched on my sofa, I make sure our fashion hub is up-to-date, the content from the day is published, our ‘grams have gone up and our plan of attack for tomorrow is finalised. A digital editor’s work is never done! (But for now, this one is going to call it a day—good night!)

Find out more about FQ digital editor Kelly McAuliffe here and follow her on Instagram here.

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