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For Autumn/Winter 2009, the designer has found a specific focus in the symbols of the Nishikigoi (known as Koi or Brocaded Carp) and the Chrysanthemum.
“This theme has enabled me to take the colour and drama that signifies the Annah Stretton collections to a new level. I‘ve always been fascinated by the skill, dedication and beauty in real-life wearers of tattoos; in fact it’s only in the last few years that I have definitely decided not to get one!” Stretton says.
In Japan, the Koi is a “living jewel” and one of the most popular of tattoo symbols as it represents courage, the ability to attain high goals, and overcome life's difficulties.
Alongside is the Chrysanthemum - symbolizing not only a long life but a complete and happy one as well.
It’s a cleaner and more graphic collection from Stretton, given her history of fabric mixing, although texture and print still abound: petals cluster along necklines and bodices, while long liquid fin like ruffles fall away along the body on closely fitted dresses.
Full-blown Irezumi interpretation appears in the use of printed tulle body suits, worn under dresses, mimicking the tattoo effect.
As always, the Annah Stretton collection tells a distinct story, inspiring and enabling the wearer to create her own personal interpretation for the season ahead.
features eye-catching dresses: a fish scale-look dress, a pretty lavender maxi, a Prussian-blue tulle knit mini and an electric blue mini with red detailing. Most of them were worn over a rather fetching Galliano-inspired full-body tattoo body suit...
Runway Reporter 18/09/08
by Fiona Hawtin
Stretton reigned...when it came to her choice of makeup ... with a retro Japanese kind of look" with bright orange flicked out geisha eyes ... colour that was a rich as the clothes themselves ...The hair had a kind of bohemian vibe ... the antithesis of the polished Japanese faces ... this crazy juxtaposition worked a treat on the catwalk.
NZ Herald 18/9/08