The Carpenter’s Daughter at Wellington Fashion Week

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As with most fashion weeks (or any other Friday night for that matter), it was a boozy one catching up with various friends both at the WFW events and at the show at Willis York. Waking up the next morning with a pounding head, exacerbated by the harsh fluorescent lights of the cheap hotel room did not put me in such a good mood for fashion shows, but I readily admit that this wasn’t the only reason.

The first show for the Saturday was The Carpenter’s Daughter – an independent New Zealand plus-size womenswear label. I’ve always been slim so I don’t relate to plus-size fashion, and surely there are equivalent pieces from a multitude of designers in a smaller size in another show?

After the show, I left having realised a few things.


1. In a perfect world there would be no such thing as plus-size fashion.

I don’t mean that there wouldn’t larger sizes. What I mean is that all clothing which would designed and sized in a way that it suits all types of figures. Human bodies aren’t just scaled up (or down) perfectly proportionately, so I imagine it would be more challenging to design clothing that is well-fitted for larger sizes as there is more variation which the designer needs to cater for.

Incidentally, fashion/pattern-making students – are you taught how to design clothing for different body types?  Until the industry recognises, accepts and starts doing this, I’m really, really glad there are labels like The Carpenter’s Daughter who are able to provide this. Oh I took more photos – as usual click on any of the images to see more over on Facebook.

The Carpenters Daughter AW14 (9)


2. The Carpenter’s Daughter is a brand that does far more than make larger-sized clothes.

It empowers women and helps them gain confidence. The atmosphere of the show was just ecstatic – the audience whooped and cheered, and it just felt like a very inclusive and supportive party which involved the audience just as much as the models. If the atmosphere in their retail stores is anything like it was at their show, then I can see why they have such a loyal following and have done so well in such a competitive market.

The Carpenters Daughter AW14 (17)


3. The “dress for your body” type of advice is shit.

We’ve all heard this stuff. Don’t wear horizontal stripes if you’re curvy, wear similar colour tops and bottoms if you are short etc etc. Prima facie it seems innocent enough and even well-meaning, but underlying this is an assumption that there is a single aesthetic ideal (typically 6′ 2″ and aryan) to which we should all try to aspire to – whether that is achieved through restricting food intake or by disguising our aesthetic shortcomings by creating optical illusions with clothing.

The strange thing is, I’ve found being valued or praised for your appearance just makes you more aware of your aesthetic shortcomings, as presumably, someone who is more attractive than yourself will get even more valued and praised for it and be worth more than you.

The Carpenters Daughter AW14 (24)


4. There is nothing more beautiful than confidence.

Fashion shouldn’t be so serious – you like something? Wear it, and rock it.

The Carpenters Daughter AW14 (7)



5. Plus-size labels know how to drape.

I would hazard a guess and say that working with a more diverse range of figures means that designers become more innovative with how they use textiles and how they design clothing so that it is fitted or beautifully draped in all the right places. Case in point – hell, I’d wear these.

The Carpenters Daughter AW14 (21) The Carpenters Daughter AW14 (31)


6. Paula Bennett walked in the show.


The Carpenters Daughter AW14 (25)

– Chris.


Author: Chris Park

One half of the Park Brothers. Purveyor of banter, curator of misc. Manage comms for @BuoyandMine. Read More

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