The Stolen Girlfriends Club 'Safer Than Heaven' collection - Photo credit: Jason Tran 

I went backstage at the NZFW Stolen Girlfriends Club show and I did NOT belong there

Fashion Week 01/09/2017

On Wednesday evening Stolen Girlfriends Club showcased their new ‘Safer Than Heaven’ collection to an audience of over 1,000 inside a Grey Lynn warehouse.

To be honest, there was nothing ‘safe’ about it.

But DAMN was it a time.

An empowering, punky, pouty, androgynous, leather, thigh high, metallic, simultaneously-90’s-nostalgic-AND-futuristic time that made me want to rip off my shirt, spray paint my tits silver and get my nipples pierced right there on the warehouse’s floor. 

Maybe add a Xena Warrior Princess scream in for good measure.

I resisted. Just.

Photographer - Jason Tran 

This was my very first New Zealand Fashion Week experience. In fact this was my very first fashion show. Ever.

Will they notice the spaghetti I spilt on my jeans at lunch?

Don’t get me wrong, I might not know a lot about it, but I like fashion and I like Stolen Girlfriends Club.

I rock one of those silver, Stolen, bow rings that every second girl in the country seems to own…

I actually got to TRY ON one of the staple Stolen Girlfriends Club leather biker jackets at a George photo shoot a while back, and it felt sooo good on my body. This crazy, badass-bitch flick turned on and I never, ever, ever wanted to take that jacket off… 

But boy, was I unprepared for Wednesday night. I have never been surrounded by so many high-end, fashun people in my entire life. 

Photographer - Jason Tran 

Why have I never been to a fashion show? To be honest, I don’t feel cool enough as a person to actually GO to these sorts of things. And let’s be honest, I’m probably not.

I was rubbing shoulders with every Kiwi, fashion-conscious, 'social media influencer' you have ever heard of.

Here are some of the thoughts that were darting around in my head as I stood outside and had an anxiety-durry before Sara (the George FM promo queen and Fashion Week Coordinator) turned up and told me where I was going:

- What the fuck do I talk about with these cool, fashion people?

- Seriously, could I brush my hair once in my life and not wear a beanie?

- Will they notice the spaghetti I spilt on my jeans at lunch?

- Speaking of jeans, is it awkward that they’re from K-Mart, my shoe laces are broken, there’s a hole in my shoe, and I stole this top out of the bottom of my flatmate’s car?

These are all very stressful thoughts, considering Sara immediately pointed out a blogger she’d seen three times that day, wearing a different outfit every time.

I was rubbing shoulders with every New Zealand-based fashion-conscious "social media influencer" you have ever heard of . Cassidy Morris - you know that sexy model who hangs out with Kylie Jenner, your boys Nick and Will from Sachi, Lily from The Bachelor, Loic Quedec, Malakai Fekitoa, Colin Mathura-Jeffree, the really, sizzling, hot George FM  DJs; Aroha, Erika Amoore and Mac Mylo, that AM Show babe; Verity Johnson, Kris Fox, Max Key… 

You get it, the “influencer” world was HYPED, their phones at the ready, Instagram game on FORM.

And with good reason. I mean even ol’ spaghetti-stained-K-mart-jeans me knows Stolen Girlfriends Club is the crème de la crème of sexy, edgy, high-end NZ designers.

Tickets were a $100 a pop. The venue was at capacity. And the Stolen Girlfriends team DELIVERED.

The atmosphere was electric.

From free cocktails with Sailor Jerry rum and passionfruit… um,  yum - Unfortunately, I didn’t realize the booze was free until about three minutes before the show started… otherwise, I’d have rinsed up large… next time - to a dark-wave Dunedin band called Death and the Maiden setting the vibe....

To the models erupting out of a slit in a giant, black, plastic cube, right in the centre of the room. Almost like they were being born again out of a freaky, bin liner. A metaphor for “heaven”? I’m not going to pretend like I know what was going on, but defo an arty and interesting experience to watch.

I made this gif out of some footage Aroha managed to capture on her Insta story.

Let’s rewind back a little. I’m outside, experiencing some anxious thoughts, not sure what to expect. Sara turns up, convinces the bouncer we’re legit and allowed backstage – backstage was in fact, an underground car park. Cool, grunge points immediately Stolen Girlfriends Club.

With a quick scan of the carpark, the first thing I noted wasn’t the clothes, or the makeup, or the hair. Not because they weren’t all amazing – BUT THE MODELS WERE EATING PIZZA.

This got me really excited, I suppose because seeing all these beautiful people chow down on pizza made my strict diet of Wicked Wings, Dominos and Mexicali tacos (on Taco Tuesday) feel validated for a second…

Daniel Gosling himself, one of Stolen Girlfriends co-founders found us, and lead us to Marc Moore, his business partner, fellow co-founder, and the head designer and creative director of the label - with whom I was allowed a five-minute interview with, once he’d finished up with Viva.

So, what were my hard hitting questions?

In a cage fight to the death who would win? Zambesi, Stolen Girlfriends Club, or Federation.

“In a cage fight to the death who would win? Zambesi, Stolen Girlfriends Club, or Federation, and what would be the order of execution?”

Stolen Girlfriends Club came out on top (of course) and Zambesi was a close second, because, “they’ve got a moody undertone, they’d sneak up on you.”

“Sorry Federation,” Marc added sheepishly.

Next question.

“Great name, Stolen Girlfriends Club. I've always wanted to know, whose girlfriend did you steal?”

Um... I've never really stolen someone's girlfriend, because you can't steal someone unless they want to be stolen, otherwise it's kidnapping and that's illegal.

"Um... I've never really stolen someone's girlfriend, because you can't steal someone unless they want to be stolen, otherwise it's kidnapping and that's illegal."  Fair call Marc. 

"But you haven't cucked someone? Cuck or be cucked? You know... slid in there, and charmed up someone else's girl and then found out they like you better?" 

"Yeah... nah..."

Right, okay, “So where did the name come from? Is there a story” 

It was about these guys who would go around stealing girlfriends away from shitty relationships.

"There is a long story... How long have we got?" Marc takes a breath, "Okay, so we had an art exhibition. The theme of the art exhibition was Stolen Girlfriends Club and it was about these guys who would go around stealing girlfriends away from shitty relationships. 

"Saving kind of stealing. Not kidnapping kind of stealing." I interject - because I have a problem where I don't stop talking.

They take them away and treat them really good.

"Yes, saving"

Marc continues, "and uh, they take them away and treat them really good. And that was it basically. That was a series of paintings, but people seemed to like the name almost more than the paintings, which was quite funny."

"Anyway, we ended up using the name."

And that's how Stolen Grlfriends Club came to be. Good yarn, Marc. 

Finally, I asked Marc to sum up the new ‘Safer In Heaven’ collection in three words.

Unfortunately, the recording cut out here and I was way too excited and nervous to be able to recall verbatim quotes, or even just three words as it turns out. Classic.

What I do remember is he discussed the label’s love for leather. And one of those three words was ‘punk’.

Plus, Marc also made mention of this collection’s collaboration with the eclectic band The Grateful Dead – which you’ll notice in their t-shirt designs.   


Photographer - Jason Tran 

Here’s a photo with Sara, Marc and I. 

He looks like he’s silently pleading for help.

But even if he low-key thought I smelt funny, he was super friendly, had a good sense of humour and didn't seem to mind my terrible line of questioning. 

Oh and, his collection slayed.

Personal highlights were:

- The leather jackets, of course. And seeing the Died in ’69 twins walking the runway.

Photographer - Jason Tran

- The 90’s tees.

Photographer - Jason Tran

-This silky, blush two-piece. Fuck, those pants look comfortable…

Photographer - Jason Tran

- And all the slinky, metallic transparent dresses and tops.

Photographer - Jason Tran 

Despite the silver tit/nipple piercing fantasies that were playing out in my head, in reality, I’m not quite risky and fashun enough to free the nip like the sexy ladies of the catwalk. And even if I was that risky, knowing my luck I’d get arrested for public indecency. But pop a sexy, Lonely bralette underneath and I’d be all about that look… 

Photographer - Jason Tran 

So, (if the fashion shows 12-year-old me use to put on with my best friend, our dress-up box and her Mum as our audience don’t count) Stolen Girlfriends Club took my fashion show v. plates. And it totally met the hype.

I definiely didn't belong there. But I didn’t even feel that weird or awkward.

Huge shout outs to the whole Stolen Girlfriends team for being so accommodating with us. And an apology to that excited woman who gesticulated at the wrong time and got half my Moth Bite (cocktail) spilt on her.

Roisin Kelly
(Ro the web girl)