Interview: Colin Mathura-Jeffree
With decades of modelling and industry experience, Colin Mathura-Jeffree is pretty much New Zealand's answer to fashion royalty. Guest hosting on America's Next Top Model, heading up the panel on NZ's answer to the show and handing out awards on behalf of BNKR to NZFW's best dressed on the street, we take five with the ever-stylish gent.
BNKR: Being an ambassador for NZFW is an important role. How do you use your position to inspire the new generation of fashionistas?
Colin: My job as ambassador is obviously to support our local industry. To remind people of why we are here, and also to make sure that the international guests are happy. Often that just takes a smile, a wink, a knowing look and a flute of champagne. Being a little famous here in NZ means I'm also asked for photographs - selfies are the new autograph. I enjoy my job and was honoured to open New Zealand Fashion Week 2015.
What were your highlights of NZFW 2015?
To be asked to open the event was huge. Thus is a postion that has been only for elite designers and the Prime Ministers of New Zealand. Other than that I love the creativity. The Miramoda show was exceptional.
Weddings are always a highlight too. I enjoy seeing the men in suits come down the runway, and Natalie Chan did a very elegant collection. My favorite was Sean Kelly - very provocative.
What do you think makes great street style?
Individuality. You can be influenced by many things but the style is yours alone.
What influences your personal everyday style?
I love structure. I have grown through many styles of fashion and have a strong sense of how I want to look. I love fashion and high fashion but also military formality and jewellery like weaponry. I also love the easy and relaxed yet sexy look. I'm a walking contradiction.
Do you have any pieces in your wardrobe with sentimental value? Why are they so special to you?
I have jewellery that means a lot to me. Stories hidden in the experiences I've had while wearing them...
Your three steps to simple, street style…
1. Keep it understandable and not a multiple marriage of colour, design, pattern.
2. Dress to fit and dress for yourself. To try and wear something to prove popularity is a joke. Otherwise hire a Pixar Minion suit and you'll be the most photographed person on any given day.
3. Fashion is the first line of communication. Be comfortable and clean. Make sure it fits and when you look great, you feel amazing and everyone knows it.
Your trend forecast for this season?
We are heading to summer here in the Southern Hemisphere and my idea is safari looks - breezy and sexy. Masculine shirts loosely tied on beautiful ladies, with smiles and tousled hair. Easy relaxed sensuality.