I’ve just been reading a rambling article in the New Zealand Herald by Bob Jones on his contempt for fashion. Clearly one can simply observe Bob’s wardrobe and infer this immediately. But just in case there was any confusion, he wrote a poorly architected 500 words about the perils and lack of thought that goes into anything fashionable, from tattoos, to brown shoes with blue suits, to left leaning political views about Putin and Pussy Riot.

Poor old Robert would be in an apoplexy of societal and sartorial angst at New Zealand Fashion Week, where the nation’s most fashionable people are on display to both Auckland and each other. From the middle aged women entirely draped in black roaming the rooms like small stellar collapses, to the painfully douchey hipsters in their incongruous costumes, it’s all there to be seen and enjoyed. Or not, if you’re Bob.

New Zealand Fashion Week is the highlight of New Zealand’s fashion calendar and after only an hour in the downstairs environment, with its white couches, bar and jewelry displays giving it almost the precise appearance of an airport departure lounge, it’s easy to see why. The energy is enormous and flows through the event as quickly as the ubiquitous champagne.

It turns out that fashion is a very serious business, with a lot of very serious, overly made up people involved.

The queue for seats into Cybele’s show stretches out the door and down the stairs, and I speculate that a full scale fight could erupt at any minute as the harried ushers desperately try to seat everyone. I blag my way past the door staff and into the media pit.

“What is ES?” I ask an exquisitely beautiful young woman who has this emblazoned on her microphone.

“The Erin Simpson Show,” she replies. She then explains to me that it’s a very popular kids television programme.

“You’d think I’d know that,” I tell her, somewhat chagrinned at my lack of currency.

“Not really,” she disdains, before recovering politely, “At the time it screens I’m sure you’re out doing much busier things.”

Returning my attention to the catwalk, I watch as Cybele’s models parade, not a smile among them as they sachet and pirouette for the audience. The view is atrocious and I can’t get any pictures without looking like a giraffe so I decamp for the bar.

“You don’t have the first idea what you’re doing,” a friend of mine working at the event tells me.

“No, but I look good doing it,” I reply hopefully.

It’s almost certainly untrue.

“Well, that’s the point, isn’t it,” she finishes. “Welcome to Fashion Week.”

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