New Zealand Fashion Week
26 August 2019 - 1 September 2019

News

Meet The Designers w/ Cecilia Kang and Face Me Make-Up

It’s going to be full on. ‘Galaxy Extravaganza’, the new collection and solo show by Kiwi designer and trans woman Cecilia Kang will be revealed for the first time at New Zealand Fashion Week 2019.

“The collection brings a whole new dimension to our New Zealand audience,” says Kang. “It will be quite full on.”

Cecilia Kang Couture (CKC) has been gathering momentum since NZFW last year, with Kang’s humble charm and impressive self-taught design skills seeing her receive plenty of media attention.

The 2018 show drew on the inspiration of the natural world, with lush flowers, sparkling butterflies and forest motifs.

This year’s ‘Galaxy Extravaganza’ collection is taking Kang’s thrilling couture concepts even further – off the planet.

It was experimenting with fabrics that influenced the collection. Kang’s research led her into the very essence of form and structure. “Suddenly a galaxy became not just about moons, stars and space,” she says.

“My ideas evolved towards the different forms of shape in nature and of non-solids like gas – everything that surrounds us! The Galaxy Extravaganza collection includes all forms of life expressed in artistic detail on my garments.

“...And then ‘extravaganza’ because I am usually dressed quite over the top!”

Both Kang’s work and her status as a trans woman have inspired huge local and international interest, with CKC appearing in Vogue Italia, Black Magazine, Viva Magazine, NZ Apparel Magazine and more.

Kang showcased her CKC Spring/Summer Resort 2019 collection at Auckland five-star hotel Grand Mercure in November last year and in March 2019 Kang was invited to show the collection again for the launch of New Zealand skincare brand Nygle. This year also saw her make an exciting appearance at Seoul Fashion Week as overseas designer for Dew E Dew E – Korean designer show.

CKC has found support in the Asian community, with Auckland’s most influential Chinese women’s group, the Federation of New Zealand Cheongsam Association, inviting Kang to showcase her collection at the International Cheongsam Cultural Festival on June 9 at The Wharf Events Centre.

Fashion couture is at the centre of the Kang’s vision, with CKC focusing on elegant luxury garments that are unique and distinctive. For the future, the brand is looking to explore ready-to-wear. “Also, I am a bit of a zero-waste designer,” Kang says. “I work to use every piece of fabric to create something beautiful as part of the design.”

With super-luxury styling retaining its opulent hold on the fashion world, shimmering sequins, feathery details and classic couture tailoring can be seen everywhere in 2019-2020 trends.

“Organza, tulle, polyester and mesh fabric – to name a few,” says Kang. “I have used a variety of fabrics to create this breath-taking collection and I seriously cannot wait to reveal it.”

The NZFW19 show, ‘Face Me Makeup presents Cecilia Kang Couture’ sees CKC partnering with well-known Auckland mobile makeup team Face Me Makeup, whose credits include editorial and cover shoots for top magazines Bride & Groom, Remix and Eye, as well as shows and launches for popular brands such as Decjuba, Ballentynes and more.

The Face Me team of freelance makeup artists and hair-stylists has worked in fashion editorial, runway, advertising, film, weddings and more. The brand was launched in 2012 when founder Elizabeth Canales-Ron saw the need for a single platform for creative industries and individuals to easily book hair and makeup services.

Face Me and Kang have worked together before – and Canales-Ron says Kang’s gowns match the Face Me Makeup philosophy of unique glamour. “Glamour that’s grand and not subtle,” says Canales-Ron. “Stand-out-in-a-crowd type glam!”

The Face Me team will work alongside Kang to create an ‘ultra-electric’ look for the runway and the Galaxy Extravaganza collection. “We are taking a more creative approach,” says Canales-Ron. “Look forward to seeing different incredible looks created for each gown.”

There’s little doubt Cecilia Kang Couture and Face Me will be turning heads at NZFW 2019 and, to celebrate, the CKC NZFW after party on August 29 will be a ‘galaxy extravaganza’ of local and international fashion week attendees as well as all CKC’s sponsors, partners and allies.

Megan Cunningham