New Zealand Fashion Week 2009 - Envy
“I will never forget walking in and there was Freda Stark sitting across the room.
Her eyes twinkled at me in that saucy way she had ... she looked absolutely wonderful.”
- Harold Robinson
Freda Stark was the epitome of sexual freedom.
Her life mirrored that of a Shakespearean sonnet – riddled with forbidden love, exotic displays of ferocity and murder.
During the Second World War, Freda sustained a double life. A clerical worker at the Colonial Ammunition Company by day but at night, she was a woman of pure sexuality.
Often clad only in a feather headdress, g-string and gold bodypaint, Freda was bestowed the title ‘Fever of the Fleet’ by the American troops she entertained at Auckland’s Wintergarden.
She reigned as a magnate of the sexual revolution – a pioneer in an era when women were at last released from the roles they were forced to uphold and the shortages that they endured; finally free to embrace their figures again with all their feminine attributes supercharged. The promiscuous icon led by example, as women re-discovered their place in a war-torn world.
For too long, women had hungered for luxury; to feel beautiful, to entice attraction, to adorn their bodies in lavish clothes.
Envy, the winter 2010 collection from Annah Stretton depicts this late 40s breakaway from the bleak war conditions to a time when promiscuity prevailed.
Envy is a collection that contains dramatic pieces to herald the gutsy performances for which Freda was famous.
Beautiful garments with provocative undertones, a hint of luxury and very wearable; deeply cut garments showcasing all of a woman’s assets. Divine frocks embracing all shapes and superbly cut jackets add the icing layer to this delicious cake.
Evocative sexuality rules in the Envy winter 2010 collection from Annah Stretton.