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currently: listening to The Muppet's 'The Green Album'
Note: This blog post is REALLY long and has a lot of pictures. You've been warned :)
It was a hard last week at university with a difficult assignment due the week before break (don't you hate it when they do that?). So it was fantastic to launch my mid-semester break by going to NZ Fashion Week with my best friend all day Saturday.

It was a beautiful (and cold) Saturday 3rd of September, down at the shiny and new Viaduct Events Centre. A great improvement on the previous NZFW venue, the Viaduct Shed. Which was an actual shed which was next door to the VEC.

Oh and what did I wear for the event? If you can tell from the first picture, I was wearing a yellow/black strapless short panelled dress with a sweetheart neckline (made by myself), with a black leather jacket ($15 on sale at The Warehouse), plain black tights ($5 from Shantons), a black waist elastic belt (12RM from Malaysia), and black sequined flats ($12 from Kmart).

On a side note: Why flats and not heels/boots? Even though I'm only 5 foot 2, there was no way I was going to walk ALL day with heels; a lesson I learnt at last year's NZFW Saturday where me and the bestie lasted from 10am to 3pm in heels last year. Couldn't imagine going through that again.

Me and bestie arrived just at 10am, perfect timing just as they opened the doors. As we flashed security our $80 Premium tixs for the 12pm Designer showcase on arrival, we got QVS goodie at the door. Freebie bag number 1 - containing a makeup brush, nail scissors and a nail file.

Once we found our way round the venue, we decided to skip the seminars and go straight for the Fashion Week Garage Sale. Some great labels, but a very limited range compared to last year. No Stolen Girlfriend Club (to my friend's horror), no Huffer, no Federation - it was all very small shops. Last year it was many rows of fashion stalls which took us almost 2 hours to go through everything (without trying things on) - but this year, we covered most of the bottom floor within 20 minutes. Disappointing.

I did however manage to get my FIRST NZFW purchase. I usually never buy anything from NZFW because everything is SO out of my price range, and I thought this year would be even more so, because I had spent $80 on getting into NZFW, but at the Kagi stall, I gave into temptation.

While at the Kagi stall, I was only casually looking at the jewellery when this necklace caught my eye. I was trying to check out the price of it (acting all casual like I can afford everything when I really can't...) when a guy comes up to me and goes "$20."

Me: Sorry, what was that?
Guy: We'll sell you that necklace for $20.
Me: uh I don't know...
Guy: What's the price of that? *picks up necklace and looks at the tag* Oh $39.
Me: Oh *expecting a change of price*
Guy: We'll still sell it to you for $20. *hands me necklace*
Bestie: *checks out tag* It's really good, down from $99 originally
Me: Ohhh I'm tempted...
Guy: Don't be tempted, you should just get it!
Bestie: Go on Mel, it's a great deal
Me: *acts hesitantly while thinking, then gives in* Oh okay, I'll get it hahahah.
Guy: Great! *Waves at sales girl* This girl is getting this necklace for $20.

And that was it. I got the necklace. I only picked it up after the NZ Wedding Show, but when I did pay for it, the cashier gave me a MASSIVE goodie bag, just for buying a $20 necklace (Freebie bag number two!). Brilliant! It contained a large bottle of ZeroWater though, I had to carry that for the rest of the day...

Anyway, while we're speaking of the NZ Wedding Show, the long line appeared out of no where for that. At least now that everything was inside the VEC, there was no waiting outside in the cold weather. We still got seats near the back, in the front of the tier, and two bridal magazines on our seats.
Here are some of my favourite dresses/shots at the Wedding show:
(click to enlarge)
(left: the catwalk. right: what I called 'Vegas Dress)

(left and right: I love the long layered veil.Gorgeous dress too.)

(left: don't get why the model has to look moody and hold her bouquet like that. right: these kids are so cute!)

(left: gorgeous bridesmaids, love the matching shoulder strap/flowers, right: I would LOVE to wear that dress and look like a floating organza princess)

(left and right: unconventional brides dresses. Brown and of course, a finale dress in black.) 

After the Wedding Show, me and the bestie got to use our $80 premium tickets for front row seats at the Designer Selection Show. Some great things about being front row: One, no big heads in front of you. Two, you feel like a VIP. Three, you get VIP bags. (Freebie bag number three if you're keeping count). Some of the items in this Front Row bag included 5 different magazines (one of these being the MASSIVELY THICK Remix mag), women's products (perfumes, deodorant etc), multivitamins (a bit odd) and a Cherry Ripe. Oh and a large glass bottle of mineral water. Another heavy bottle to carry around.
Oh and another surprise at our Designer show: Bianca, the 16 year old model fresh from the New Zealand Next Top Model Season 3 finale World Show the night before, was at the same Designer showcase as us, rocking headphones, nerd glasses and fluro yellow pants. I took a stalker picture of her:

Anyway, the Designer Selection Show is one of the shows look most forward to cause it's a sampling of everything that's coming up from most NZ designers. Here are some of the memorable pieces:
(left and right: the opening of the showcase had people in Bonds underwear. It's hard to figure out where you're meant to look when you see people in their underwear walking in front of you. No one wants to seem pervy.)

(left: Feels like a 90s flashback when I see denim dresses. right: Not a fan of this guy looking like he isn't wearing pants underneath the white trench coat...The description sounds dodgy already.)
(above: WHAT is THIS!?! ROMAN SANDALS on the catwalk? I despise those shoes after having to wear them for 5 years during school and would have never called them fashionable.)

(left: cute MisteR blazers! right: Love the print and the black/white striped cardi by Trelise Cooper. )

(left and right: these dresses are amazing because they're made out of TOILET PAPER. They were done for a Kleenex competition. Must be like 8ply toilet paper if it has to withstand being wearable.)

(left and right: the third toilet paper dress. It's amazing how they're structured, because from a distance you wouldn't be able to tell that it's a toilet paper dress.)

(left and right: I would wear either one of these dresses. I just love the one bold colour amongst all the neutral tones. Blue blazer on the right is such a beautiful accent piece too. I love the blazer trend!)

(left: another gorgeous dress, though the hemline is a bit too high of my liking. Look at her shoes though! How does she manage not to fall? right: I wouldn't wear it, but I think it's cute!)

After the Designer Selection Show, me and bestie grabbed lunch down at Westfield Downtown before we headed back to the next runway show, the Phoenix Makeup Show. By this stage it was 3pm, and the crowd was MASSIVE. We stood in line for ages and only got seats at the very back corner. Pretty crappy view considering this was a makeup show. Plus there were drunk guys behind us. Not so fun to be around.
(This show was pretty much full capacity.)
What was great about the Phoenix Show was the theatricality they had. There was this burlesque 1920s theme to everything. The intro started up with this mob gangsters robbing people with these police chasing them. From there, things were just spectacular, its a shame we could only get seats at the far back.
(intro of the show - the mob chase scene)

(left: gold painted girls holding up a ball, and don't worry, they're not completely naked. right: flapper girl)

(mid show performance with burlesque dancers and singing)

(left and right: some of the models. And yes, the ones on the right are wearing powder puffs.)

(left: another burlesque model. right: yes, that woman is wearing bananas as a skirt. Can you imagine the bad pick up lines? "Are you wearing a banana skirt or are you just happy to see me?" Yeah that was bad.)

(left: something meant to resemble some butterfly/angel/flower thing? right: the finale piece and what I assumed is the owner of Phoenix makeup)

Straight after the Phoenix show, we had to re-line up again to get into the Ellerslie Race Day Show. We were standing on our feet for about 20 minutes holding up goodie bags that weighed at least 8kgs altogether. It was really quite draining, but we were so determined to go.
We got somewhat better seats this time, a tier down than before. And another goodie bag too - just with some promotional packs and a bit of perfume. Nothing too over the top (Yes, this is Freebie bag number four. Though I pretty much took everything out and made it fit into my other goodie bags.)
The Ellerslie Race Day show wasn't as exciting as the show before, so it was hard to be amazed as models just walked up and down. But there were some nice dresses:

(left: can't go wrong with a red dress. right: it is standard to have a headpiece bigger than your head at Race Day.)

(left and right: don't know who this model is, but she was so smiley, it was refreshing to see. Plus the dresses were adorable.)

After that show, me and bestie decided we could hack one more wait in line to watch the Raise Up 'Walk The Line' fashion show for high school kiddies. I'm glad I watched cause a friend of mine had an outfit in the show and won her category. So proud :D I won't go criticising or commenting on any of the designs though, or the running of the show - since it was all done by high school kids, but I will mention one stand out, and that was this Bollywood dance troop:
They were just awesome with their flips, throwing other kids up in the air, and just general coordinatedness (not a word but I stand by it). Once they opened up the show, all the other entertainment paled in comparison (no offence to the other acts.)

So when everything finished and our passes were no longer usable for anything else, me and bestie left the Viaduct Events Centre by 6:30pm, with heavy bags, sore shoulders, and tired feet. But it was totally worth it with what we had managed to collect, experience, see and keep in terms of freebies:
When I got home, this was the contents of ALL my bags. There were three categories of items. 1) Advertising material and promotional books. 2) Vouchers were you needed to spend something in order to get a discount. 3) Everything else that I could keep cause it was given to me. So I got two bottles of water, a stack of magazines, and a massive list of free products ranging from shampoo testers to whitening toothpaste, deodorants to perfumes, multivitamins to chocolates, eye creams to hemp cream, and coffee to a pack of snack food. My mum reckons the value would be getting close to $100 (especially since Remix is already $17) so I think an $80 ticket to NZFW Saturday has been well spent.

However, I did learn a few things this year that I will have to remember for the next:
1) Earlybird tickets are the only way to go. Preferably front row.
2) Get there early. Stay there as long as you can for as much as you can. But don't buy the pricey food.
3) ALWAYS wear comfortable shoes because you will be standing all day. No heels.
4) Carry a small light bag there, cause it will get heavier. Preferably not a handbag too.
5) Don't buy on impulse, unless the deal is FANTASTIC and the discount is more than 70%.
6) Don't bring water. Because you'll probably get some for free.
7) Get seats in places where you can get good photos. Only sit at the front of tiers and as close to the catwalk as possible. Unless you have an epic zoom lens.
8) Charge your camera battery. And phone battery.
9) Take photos of the fashions you like or find memorable.
10) Say yes to anything being given out, even if it just looks like promo material. You never know what's on it.

And there you go! That is my NZFW Saturday post for this year. I really hope you appreciated how much detail I put into this year's post, which is why it has taken me so long to post. Last year's post was picture heavy with not much content, so I thought I'd improve it. So I now think I have created my longest blog post ever haha. Congrats if you've read the whole thing! Btw- if you're interested in attending next year's NZFW - we should meet up there. I'll let you pay for the tickets :D

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