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Kate Sylvester is one of New Zealands leading fashion designers. Her clothes are stocked in exclusive boutiques and department stores around the globe. Six beautiful, aristocratic and eccentric sisters, whose lives, loves and politics filled the society columns and gossip pages of England in the 1930s and 40s, provided the inspiration for Kate Sylvesters Winter 05 collection.
The mad, mad Mitfords were born into a world of draughty castles, debutante balls and hunting parties. The Mitford sisters lived in a world where sophistication and decadence lived alongside the nave charms and traditions of the English landed gentry.
For Winter 05 Kate Sylvester draws on this world, presenting an eccentric and unique take on hunting tweeds, tea dresses, overcoats and ball gowns. The collection features masculine elements of military and hunting copper studs, metal mesh and rugged tweedy knits - sitting alongside ultra-feminine lingerie and tea rose silks. Sophisticated and decadent velvets and satins hang next to stitched cotton frocks and painted buttons. The colour palette encompasses the same elements. Brittle, sophisticated shades of jade, leopard and nude are set amongst earthy tones of moss, evergreen, walnut and fawn, and a nave palette of primrose, mauve and coral.
Love in a Cold Climate conjures up images of true love in her delicate floral dress cocooned against the cold in her heavy tweed coat.
Sylvester, Kate Sylvesters naughty little sister, has been getting into all sorts of bother again this winter. Friday night she was running wild in her rocker boyfriends phoenix print sweats, Saturday afternoon saw her at Biba shoplifting psychedelic prints and bias cut stripes, that evening she came over all mod at a Hives gig in her nylon parker and printed corduroy, and by Sunday morning she was attending her Aunts Sunday School class, demure in ruffles, lacey knits and ribbon trimmed floral prints. She can never stop for long in one place, so her preferred silhouettes are simple, unstructured, easy pieces she can throw on the run. Sylvester constantly contradicts herself. She is at once both innocence and rebelliousness, naughty and nice, mod yet rock. But above all else she is impossible to pin down!
Sylvester was launched in summer 2002. The label continually acts as a naughty little sister alongside the coolly sophisticated Kate Sylvester label. The launch of a second collection has expanded Kate Sylvesters appeal across a wider market. Sylvester has proven to be a huge hit with media and customers alike.
Kate Sylvester collections have a quirky sense of humour that belies the garments' simplicity of form. Yet above all else Kate Sylvester garments are infinitely practical. Her clean, minimalist approach to tailoring, coupled with careful fabric considerations ensure that these are clothes that surpass seasons, age and fleeting notions of fashion.
Fans of Kate Sylvester include Cate Blanchett, Wallpaper* magazines Jen Ford and CNNs Elsa Klensch.
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