Phoenix Cosmetics at New Zealand Fashion Week

Phoenix Cosmetics at New Zealand Fashion WeekAnnoyingly it was raining outdoors and the wind had already whipped my previously well-styled hair into a limp, greasy mess. Fortunately, the indoor show at Auckland’s massive Events Centre for Phoenix Cosmetics provided enough rainbow-coloured catwalk action to brighten everyone’s day.


Sampling four sets, the show began with some hip-hop breakdancing and a runway adorned with multi-coloured polka dots. Next came a candy-coloured deluge of neon leotards, big hair, zebra print and clashing patterns accompanied by the Flashdance soundtrack. The audience were more than thrilled when actual Flashdance moves came hopping, skipping and gyrating down the catwalk – culminating in an explosion of glitter and the model doing the splits at the tip of the runway.


Following this, a medley of 90’s themed outfits and make-up to match somersaulted in front of us – quite literally, the models-come-gymnasts walked, danced and pouted with flare. Attached to tutus and lamp-shade style skirts were naked Barbies, My Little Pony characters and Care Bears. A trip down memory lane and an absolute assault on the eyes – and also the nose to be honest, I’m pretty sure every dancer was spritzed with Impulse body spray on their way out; there was a distinct smell of cheap fragrance that smelt of PE rooms and teenage angst.


Phoenix Cosmetics at New Zealand Fashion WeekMoving on, out came the gothic crows. Complete with black, feathered wings and plenty of silver studs. The highlight of the show included a diamante head-cap which dazzled with at least three-hundred separate studs flowing from the model’s eyebrows, across her head and all the way down the nape of her back. I’m pretty sure a dozen fell off, but even though they scattered across the runway like rampant bull-bearings, the rest of the acrobatic models manoeuvred their way around them like ballerinas – in seven-inch heels and all. Head-crow came down last – like the black witch of the wild west, this plus-size model had more attitude than Jessie J on steroids. Nice to see some curves on the catwalk, even if she did scare me.


The circus continued with coloured guitars, bright wigs and enough sequins to make a disco ball look dull. Similar to Katie Perry’s candy-pop style, there were plenty of coloured skinny jeans and pastel shades to be admired. The models looked like a human pack of pimped-out Smarties, donning sequins, glitter, animal print and bubble-gum shoes. It was daring, brash and totally OTT. We were there to see the make-up but to be honest I don’t really recall what that was like. With all the back-combed hair – crimped to within an inch of its life – silly string, colour, chaos and carnage, I can only really remember being in a dream-like state, high on visual sugar, gymnastic dance moves and vanilla-flavoured body spray. It was entertaining to say the least.


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Images courtesy of Anna Sarjeant