Michael Whittaker with Jasper Seven backstage at Zambesi - all photos: Oliver Rose
There's nothing quite like the nationalistic pride you get from supporting the Kiwis showing in Australia. It's kind of like going to a Bledisloe Cup game, but with far skinnier boys and girls and way more makeup. I'm backstage at Zambesi sitting amidst five New Zealand models getting their faces painted, hair straightened and nails buffed. Bruce Raubenheimer, Georgia Fowler, Bella Barber and Jasper Seven from Auckland; and Michael Whittaker from Whangaparoa. Alongside them are more Kiwis - makeup artist Amber D from MAC, Carolyn Enting from the Dominion Post and a dreadlocked hairdresser I could swear used to work at Ginger Meggs in Christchurch.
Zambesi is a different beast compared with the majority of the shows here in Sydney. It's dark and moody, intellectual and nuanced, with a definite lack of cleavage. And it's always a pleasure to see - there're only so many cocktail frocks you can look at with a captivated smile on your face.
Jasper Seven with his girlfriend Dempsey Stewart
Backstage, the mood is purposeful. Purposeful, and a little frenetic. Everything seems to be going to plan. But they're still a while away from starting. The panic generally sets in with 15 minutes to go. Answers to questions aren't coming as easily as I'd like though - show producer (and daughter of Elisabeth and Neville Findlay), Marissa, brushes past me with an exasperated look on her face. Zambesi Man designer Dayne Johnston has just arrived and shakes his head as soon as I make my approach. "I can't talk about the collection! Not until after," he says. "But I'm feeling confident."
Elisabeth Findlay and Dayne Johnston of Zambesi
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