Speaker by Various Artists

Thoughts from the sofa

by Jennifer Jones

In Remuera things are pretty much back to normal. The sideshow acts have packed up, the jewellery's gone back to the vault, the velour tracksuit (Jay Jays and the best thing in my wardrobe this past winter) is back on and the Rugby World Cup's finally starting to get interesting.

So before they get mushed in with rugby, cricket and gardening (and spat out again with my weekend Tai Chi cleanout) here are some random impressions from the past week spent deep undercover in the heady world of international fashion.

The TV coverage was excellent. It rocked. Every day was uploaded promptly and came well edited and not overlaid with too much froth or advertising (unlike some other new channels I could mention). Fashion TV might be dead and gone but this week at my house Sky TV Channel 9 has provided the same background ambience that FTV used to and it's been so great.

The celebrity model thing really only worked when it was either a real model like Nikki or Cindy (despite her well-documented woes she was professional and walked well), or when the wow factor was so great you didn't care they couldn't do the model walk and grinned their faces off – which is SO un-modelly (World and their aged beauties glamming it up in gold lame).

The music was strange and mostly didn't work for me. I don't know what most of the designers were thinking. That synthy 80's pop is edgy perhaps. Or easy to walk to? I spent the whole week waiting for Nickelback or something modern. The White Stripes at Insidious Fix was as good as it got. And the King. MC Mr Overstayer, rockin'the mic for his own show, first up on Monday morning. That worked a treat. Bill Urale is a national treasure. We need to buy his work and keep him in business.

The clothes for Winter 2004 were full of fishtails. It came to me late last week that this would be the case and I'm glad my fashion intuition's still working. The knitwear was fantastic. A lot of designers I'd never previously heard of will most certainly become household names if they can hold it together in the fickle world of the rag trade. Sakaguchi, IDXU, Helen Talbot and Sharon Ng. These four stood out for me.

Probably my favourite show though was for Ngati Babe and came right at the end of the week. The designer Te Kaihou Ngarotata is only 13 and comes from Central Hawkes Bay. Her show felt authentic and full of reality. The inspiration came from her forestry worker Dad and his passion for the bush and the sea. Kids with purple chin moko slopped around the stage in ugg boots and Whakatu gumboots. The practical hardwearing clothes provided a nice counterbalance to the peacock silks, satins and beaded creations we'd seen all week. Best of all Te Kaihou led the haka at the end with a confidence and poise not too many 13 year olds back in my teen years could have mustered.

I love progress.