NZFW: Why Havilah Koledoye is bringing 'OTT' colour to the catwalk

Havilah fashion show
Don't expect to see neutrals here. Photo credit: Getty.

The lead-up to New Zealand Fashion Week is hectic for every designer, but for Havilah Koledoye, juggling it with full-time study means a very special type of stress. 

The Wellington-based designer says it was all developmental planning until two weeks ago - "then it was chaos". 

But for someone under pressure, she's not letting her smile slip - something that would be hard to do surrounded all day by her brightly patterned clothing. Those coming to her show, shouldn't expect to see a skerrick of conservative neutral. 

"Quite a lot of colour," is how Koledoye describes her collection, but a brief glimpse at the Havilah Instagram reveals brightly coloured prints, intricate pleating and details - a schooling in OTT fun. 

The more bright and beautiful the better - something Koledoye says Kiwis are "just getting more comfortable with". 

"A lot of my clientele are bustier women so many times don't [typically] go for colour," she reveals. 

"It's lovely to see how excited they feel. Women are expected to hide their curves - I'm the opposite, I'm like you've got the curves, show it all off!

"I love the feeling of seeing women in my stuff and seeing the way people feel putting it on. It can be quite hard to pick up an outfit out of your comfort zone, but seeing women feel empowered is amazing."

You might choose to "show it all off"  in Koledoye's favourite piece of fashion - the classic slip dress.

"I love a slip dress, you can dress it up dress it down, wear it to bed, go out in it - where it everywhere," he enthuses. 

And the 'trendy' fashion piece you'll never see her in? (Mine, I tell her, is those tiny sunglasses.) 

"Oh yeah, the tiny sunglasses, and maybe those bike shorts that everyone is wearing? I just can't do those, I just can't."

Don't expect to see them on the runway, fashion fans.