Island Life by David Slack

It'd Look Good on Eva Too

Devonport speech writer David Slack looked a picture of health when he modelled this 23 year old sweatshirt in his home for Air New Zealand Fashion Week yesterday.

Slack, who survived a life-threatening heart attack 17 years ago, broke a rib earlier this month and has a head cold he contracted on an Air New Zealand flight from Wellington last week, was selected to model the garment as he was the only person in the house at the time.

Slack's show was followed by a 40 minute run in the sweatshirt around the perimeter of Devonport, accompanied by music on his MP3 player in a moody and at times breathless performance involving artists as diverse as 16 Horsepower, Uncle Tupelo, the Rolling Stones and Big&Rich.

The one-piece collection epitomises the modern middle-aged man's approach to fashion that is best described as a collision.

The sweatshirt features 75% of the fabric of which it was initially composed. The body is a dark navy blue as specified by the J Walter Thompson advertising agency in the early 1980s. The logo of the agency is incorporated in a deftly applied screen-print in pure white by Muzzy T Shirts of Petone. Although aspects of its provenance are uncertain, Slack believes to the best of his recollection that the production was coordinated by Mr Nick Mangos, who probably took delivery of the consignment on his way in to work from Wainuiomata one morning.

Slack had no idea how many of the other sweatshirts might still be in existence today but suggested that most of the employees at Thompson Advertising seemed a bit more hooked into the fashion cycle and "would probably have ditched them by about 1984."

So why does he still own one 23 years later?

"It's still a perfectly good sweat shirt," he said.

"Also, I like the idea of having something to wear that's older than some of the fashion week designers and probably most of the models."

Asked if he thought it wasn't a bit tragic wallowing in his advancing age and deficiency in fashion sense, Slack said it was time for a bloody run.

No photographer trailed him in the hope of capturing a reprise of his recent rib-crushing failure to scale a small chain across a footpath.

Slack's finale was a startling sprint home before it rained, in the process of which small fragments of navy blue fibre detached themselves in the spring breeze, falling softly to the footpath.

The show of some other designers will be run today at various times, and likewise tomorrow and so on throughout the week, if you can't get enough of this stuff.