All On K Road: Designer Profiles


Showing at NZ Fashion Weekend 2pm Saturday 29 August 2015

A.O.K. All on K Road is a showcase for four innovative designers from this creative precinct involving garments, jewellery, contemporary craft and sound. Designers Jason Lingard, Jimmy D, Lela Jacobs and jeweller Nick Von K will each create a unique immersive experience. Expect darkness, wry humour, androgynous silhouettes and the mystical. Renowned hair stylist and trend influencer Lauren Gunn for Vada, will add sensational editorial work. Translating the zeitgeist into imagery is illustrator Sean Cai, with his limited edition prints on premium seats.

Jimmy D, Jason Lingard, Lela Jacobs, Nick Von K + Lauren Gunn, Sean Cai

Jason Lingard

Newcomer to the industry Jason Lingard describes his fashion aesthetic as dark, complex and layered. His debut NZ Fashion Weekend runway show promises statement pieces which take inspiration from time spent living in Korea. “'Uju' will have a 'futuristic meets traditional feel," he says.

What is the name of your label? Jason Lingard

How long have you had your label? About 9 months! My label is still a baby! It will turn one at Fashion Week this year.

What's been your career high so far? My label is so new; I only launched it in September last year… so I'd have to say that the launch was definitely the high. I didn't have an official launch, but I was invited to show as part of the UNDERGROUND show at NZ Fashion Week. It was an amazing show, not your typical runway show but more of an art/fashion installation consisting of six different designers. It was held inside six giant disused concrete silos on the Auckland waterfront. I was so happy to debut pieces from my collection at such a great event.

Whereabouts on K Road are you based? I launched my label out of Tür at 486 K Road. It's a great open studio/retail store. I used to live upstairs and work downstairs with two awesome makers; weaver Christopher Duncan and fashion designer Joe Yen who does a label called Thyen. I've since out-grown the space, but still stock it in the store and hold events there. The boys are really active in the creative scene and hold amazing art, music and fashion events in the space.

Tell us about your SS15 collection: It's called “Uju" which is the Korean word for cosmos or universe. The collection was inspired by time living in Korea. It was a pretty crazy and inspiring time. I've taken inspiration from a convergence of sources; from traditional Korean costume, to modern silhouettes I saw on the streets of Seoul, and then I've coupled this with the feeling of being an outsider trying to integrate into a foreign culture and land.

What can we expect from your section in the A.O.K show? Some K-Pop music! haha. It'll have a futuristic meets traditional feel. A fellow expat in Seoul said to me once that Korea has the technology of 2050 and the values of 1850. I really loved that strange juxtaposition, so that will come through in the show. I also want it to be quite unisex, androgynous and uncomfortable.

Where are your favourite K Road hang outs? I love St Kevin's Arcade of course. I think of it as the epicentre of K Road. I know I'll have my flagship store in there one day! I've worked at two stores in the arcade, I also did an internship at Maaike and I now stock my label in their store Maaike + Co in the arcade, so I'm pretty intrinsically linked to that place.

I really feel the other end of K Road is blossoming too; with Tür and The Keep being two of my favourite shops. I love that merging of art and fashion that K Road does so well.

What do you love most about K Road? You never know what to expect. Every day is different and inspiring. And of course I love the people. The support system for young designers on K Road is unparallelled in Auckland; whereas Ponsonby and Britomart are cut-throat, K Road designers all help each other out, they're mates and they encourage each other's creativity and success.

What makes you feel A.O.K? The creativity that oozes from K Road.

James Dobson

His designs, described variously as dark, deconstructed and characterized by over-sized silhouettes, have achieved recognition in Vogue Japan and Taiwan and been selected for permanent installation at the country's national museum Te Papa. James Dobson of Jimmy D talks about what we can expect to see in his Fashion Weekend summer 2015 collection and what draws him to K' Road.

What is the name of your label? Jimmy D

How long have you had your label? We just celebrated the 10th Birthday of my label in March.

What's been your career high so far? So many highs! Being included in the book 'New Zealand Fashion Design' published by Te Papa as well as 'Fashion – Australian and New Zealand Designers' by Thames and Hudson. Having two full outfits in Te Papa's permanent collection. Having Lorde wear Jimmy D at her first official concert. And my label's 10th Birthday party was a pretty proud moment…

Whereabouts on K Road are you based? In the La Gonda Building – we have floor to ceiling windows to watch all the happenings… never a dull moment on K Road.

Tell us about your SS15 collection: SS15 was inspired by a fictional town in the mid west of the US called “Whereverville", we've collaborated with local artist Dirk Peterson who created a custom fabric comprised of dripping chicken wings. The unisex collection also features diner-inspired pleated detailing, seams that appear to drip down garments, voluminous sack dresses, and printed sauce splat detailing. It's all still very dark but with a darkly humorous edge.

What can we expect from your section in the A.O.K show? I love doing runway shows, so I'll be treating it as if it was our own solo fashion week show. Expect killer music, great models, and a strong, dark show with whimsical moments…

Where are your favourite K Road hang outs? You can't beat Peach Pit or Coco's Cantina for the best service and food 'n drinks around. Eighthirty or Johnny Feedback for Coffee and Alleluya 'cos it's a K Road institution.

What do you love most about K Road? There's lots of owner operated businesses doing their own thing and a real sense of community. I can have a whole week where I don't leave K road, it has everything I need.

What makes you feel A.O.K? A day off, scrambled eggs, good coffee and hangs with my besties.

Lela Jacobs

Lela Jacob's collections are characterized by strong design, innovation and androgynous appeal. She talks about what's new for summer ahead of her big reveal at Fashion Weekend 2015 and what attracts her to K' Road.

What is the name of your label? Lela Jacobs

How long have you had your label? I'm now in the process of designing my 15th collection.

Whereabouts on K Road are you based? The Keep …. 504 …….. the west end.

Tell us about your SS15 collection: The collection is called “A Fine Line". Working in silk, cotton-linen and linen. We wanted to create a collection that was exactly what you needed and wanted to wear in the hot summer months. Focusing on pleat detailing and one of my all time favorite prints.

Where are your favourite K Road hang outs? The Keep, 504 K' Road. I mean it! …… my place of work is my favourite hangout in winter or anywhere with an open fire, or bed, but come summer it's the beach as much as possible.

What do you love most about K Road? The craving it has for community and the fact that so many cultures and professions need to work together to make this happen. ....... And Barbara.

What makes you feel A.O.K? Red wine, cheese, fires, saunas and sunshine ………… and making!

Image: John Troy Sullivan

Nick von K

Nick von K, an avant-garde jeweller who takes inspiration from 'a collection of strange and wonderful things' including animal skulls, mammoth ivory and exotic butterflies, refuses to be 'boxed in' as a designer. He's not revealing any detail about his Fashion Weekend 2015 show, but is promising it will go one better than last year's stand-out parade of over-sized pieces displayed on a blank canvas of models wrapped from top-to-toe in white fabric.

What is the name of your label? Nick von K
How long have you had your label? 5 years

What's been your career high so far? Making 100 castle rings for Bam Margera's wedding in Iceland.

Whereabouts on K Road are you based? La Gonda Arcade

Tell us about your SS15 collection: At this stage its top secret – but I can tell you that it will have some quite different elements to anything we have done before. For me the best part of this job is being creative – so I'm always playing with new ideas and trying out new things, and this season will really reflect that.

What can we expect from your section in the A.O.K show? Last year we really set a huge precedent for a pretty avant garde show… so we will just have to rise to the challenge and outdo what we did last year!!!

Where are your favourite K Road hang outs? Alleluya Café, they do the best scrambled eggs and a mean beetroot salad.

What do you love most about K Road? The fact that it's very close to town yet the rent is cheap, therefore its where all the underground creative types work and hang out.

What makes you feel A.O.K? Hot milk at Alleluya.

Lauren Gunn

Hairstylist and make-up artist Lauren Gunn, currently resident at Vada, has more than 15 years' fashion industry experience under her belt. Equally at home working with designers, photographers, musicians or film-makers, she applies her creative skills across a range of media including advertising campaigns, runway shows, video clips and editorial features. She talks about what's hot for hair this year, her career high to date and what she's planning for K' Road's AOK NZ Fashion Weekend show (maybe).

Artistic Name: Lauren Gunn

Company/Creative Group name: Vada

How long have you been with Vada? 12 months

What's been your career high so far? Most recently, shooting with five NZ supermodels for the cover of FQ. I have known all these girls since they were 14 or 15 and it's really cool to see them at the top of their game and kicking it internationally.

Whereabouts on K Road are you based? We have a beautiful spot on the corner of Pitt Street and Beresford Street, just off the K.

Tell us about your SS15 direction for hair Heavily textured bangs in long hair is cool as well as shaggy mid-length styles and short boyish bobs. I am using a lot of wigs and hairpieces in my fashion work at the moment. I feel like we are emerging from a fairly conservative period in fashion and hair into something more exquisite and exciting for both men and women. Hair colour trends are swaying every which way from clean Nordic blondes to painting inky blacks into burnished golden hair. Things are about to get fresh.

Can you reveal any clues about styles we can expect to see at K' Road's A.O.K show at NZ Fashion Weekend? I don't want to give anything away!

Where are your favourite K Road hang outs? Haha, my favourite haunts are mostly food and drink and related. I love Uncle Mann's for a lunchtime Laksa, Coco's Cantina on a Friday night, Whammy Bar for its intimate gigs and flowing wine. F/O records just opened up which is becoming a regular distraction for me and I've been making a few unscheduled stops at the Army Surplus store lately too.

What do you love most about K Road? K Road has a special energy. It's tricky to break it down but I think it's about the diversity of the people and the creative industries packed into this little district. We are all really proud to be part of it and that's what I love the most.

What makes you feel A.O.K? Good people, good food, good wine and good music, and making great hair happen.

Sean Cai

Newcomer to the fashion industry Sean Cai has a number of strings to his bow. With experience in fashion design and pattern making, he's recently added the art of fashion illustration to his list of skills.

What is your Company/Artistic name? SEANCAI-ILLUSTRATIONS / This is also my instagram account name.

How long have you been with Zambesi and what is your role there? I've been with Zambesi for nearly 4 years. I mainly work between stores. Recently I was asked to do technical drawings for their upcoming Spring/Summer collection.

How long have you been working as an illustrator? Not long at all, just a couple of months, but I 've been doing fashion illustrations since I was little.

What's been your career high so far? Having my own exhibition has definitely been my career high as a fashion illustrator so far. The amount of love and support that I received was overwhelming.

What's your association with K' Road? I've spent many nights out around K'road area, I've found the creative vibe and colourful diversity of this place have been an inspiration for me on many occasions.

What can we expect to see in the five limited edition illustrations you'll be producing for K' Road's A.O.K show at NZ Fashion Weekend? For the five limited edition illustrations, I tried to channel the dark aesthetic characteristic of the four designers: Lela Jacobs, Jimmy-D, Jason Lingard and Nick Von K. Rather than full body illustration, I focused on the face – accentuating strength through a tribal, goddess-like image designed to reflect the individual strength of each designer in a subtle, elegant way.

Where are your favourite K Road hang outs? Alleluya Café & TUR of course.

What do you love most about K Road? What I love most about K Road is the diverstiy of this place and the people. From contemporary art and live music to vintage stores, you name it K Road has it.

What makes you feel A.O.K? Haha, cold nights, red wine, cheese and crackers, old movies and my sketch pad and I am A.O.K. J