In the lead-up to New Zealand Fashion Week: Kahuria, anyone who asked us what show we were most excited for got the same response — "Campbell Luke!" After a hugely moving 2019 solo show, we were all eagerly awaiting his Tuesday afternoon show.
Designer Bobby Cambell Luke did not disappoint, as the show kicked off, huge blankets (by Noa Blanket Co) dramatically descended from above and models began filing out in dreamy ensembles made from repurposed fabrics. Billowy shirts, lace dresses and huge frilly collars accessorised with woven kete and a muka bralette made by Ahi Nyx.
Dedicating the show to moments captured of him & his brother — the importance of whānau was clearly a driving force for the collection — along with his Mum.
"I am a product of her teaching. And that is to acknowledge where you come from and remember the shoulders we stand on."
Before the show began we popped backstage to take a look at the collection up close — peep all the images above, then get to know Bobby and watch the full stream of the show below.
You collaborated with some amazing creatives and brands to bring your vision to life, what does community mean to you?
Without community, there is no purpose. It is very Māori to bring more than the individual on the journey. Creating relationships with like-minded people & communities for the purpose of the betterment of a new generation. Kiri Nathan and Ata Te Kanawa, have been that example for me in the industry alongside Kim Fraser my lecturer from AUT and of course my whānau.
You often use motion to communicate a narrative for your collections, what was the thinking behind the film this season?
There were three films this year, each one with a narrative. Carlida Te awhe, my niece who is in the film acts as a catalyst to the maternal upbringing I have had with my mum Alison. She represents a matriarchal lineage. In the films, we can see her being immersed in nature and the different elements that encompass a symbiotic relationship with natural elements. This was shot by Jamie Brown from Aotea.
The last film was a special film, shot by Bill Bycroft we used a Chinon 723 classic retro, super 8 film. It was difficult to shoot as we could only get about 2 minutes worth of footage per film. But it was special, it brought nostalgia to the show, I think of our family photograph album in the lounge. Particularly old photos of my brother and I, which the show is dedicated to.
We loved the sweet accessories included in the show, like the woven kete. For our Australian and international audiences who may not be familiar with traditional Māori art forms could you tell us a bit about these pieces.
There were a few Taonga (treasures) used as accessories. Our beautiful Ahi Nyx wove these beautiful treasures and also the beautiful muka bralette in our first look.
There is a lot of nostalgia intertwined in your work, what draws you to the past?
My Mum Alison, I am a product of her teaching. And that is to acknowledge where you come from and remember the shoulders we stand on.
And what is to come for the future of Campbell Luke?
Continue to indigenise, hold space and refine our understanding of how interchangeability can be used as a tool to co-exist with colonial institutes and systems.
We would also like to see ourselves grow and develop our business and refine the way we sell and make our products.
Photos & Feature: Chloe Hill