A blazer is a politician's fashionable best friend, especially while campaigning for a general election. The classic political dress code, smart tailoring communicates professionalism, leadership, knowledge, authority, trust, power - all of the things politicians want voters to think and see.
They're worn on the campaign trail and on TV for a leaders' debate; they're the go-to for election night appearances (winner or loser), and for the classic smiling election hoarding photo.
Those signs and billboards have taken over public spaces and fences throughout New Zealand for the 2020 election campaign, with their unique array of slogans, logos...and blazers. Drive around and you'll see Jacinda in a red lapel-less jacket (past-season Juliette Hogan, also worn at the Newshub leaders’ debate; repeat, rewear, recycle, very chic); Judith in baby blue (the same outfit she wore on her book cover and to the National campaign launch; repeat, rewear, recycle, very chic); Winston in the classic blazer, shirt and tie (not sure if this one is a repeat, but if so, very chic).
Inspired by classic political power dressing and the subtle beauty of election hoardings, we asked five politically-engaged women, who also happen to be models, to showcase some billboard-worthy blazers from local designers - with their own election-esque slogan.
It’s tongue-in-cheek, but with an important message. We hope it inspires you to do your research on policy in the lead-up to election day, and no matter your political leanings, vote in both the general election and cannabis legislation and control and End of Life Choice referendums.
Are you ready to vote? Advance voting opens this Saturday, October 3, and if you’re a Kiwi living overseas, you can vote right now. But you need to be registered.
89% of New Zealanders are enrolled to vote, but the numbers get a bit more depressing when you look closer: only 68.92% of those aged 18-24 are registered, but they are the second biggest - and therefore second most influential - age bracket behind those 70+. (The numbers are better, above 90%, for the 40+)
All of that comes back to this: if you aren’t registered, or someone you know isn’t registered, it’s not too late. You can enrol up to and on election day; you'll just have to do a special vote.
Rewa Harker (Ngāti Kahungunu) recently completed a Bachelor of Arts in Māori Development, and now works in the research department at Te Whānau o Waipareira Trust. Here, she wears a jacket, $1995, and skirt, $1295, both by local fashion icon Liz Mitchell. The Chrysanthemum brooch is vintage, and from Painted Bird.
Jessica Lim is the research and newsletter coordinator for People Against Prisons Aotearoa, and last year wrote her thesis titled The Death of Innocence. She wears a fetching Kate Sylvester jacket, $699, shirt, $389, and tie, $89.
Cait Kneller is a school librarian, and is also working towards a Masters of Creative Writing at the University of Auckland. Here, she wears a Wynn Hamlyn blazer dress, $895, which features an artistic belt buckle made by jeweller Hera-Saabi. The shirt underneath is by Kowtow, similar available here.
Roxie Mohebbi is an actor (she features in the new season of Netflix's The New Legends of Monkey) and has also trained as a nurse - recently, she's been working with Healthline to help give advice during lockdowns. She wears a bold, one-off Kate Sylvester jacket, $549, with matching pants, $429. Vintage shirt, stylist's own.
Crystal Lim wears a fabulously tailored jacket by Adrienne Winkelmann, $1199, made with tussah silk, teamed with a Twenty-seven Names pussy bow blouse, $380. She recently graduated from a fashion design course, with plans to further her study by learning coding.
Photography: Lula Cucchiara
Styling: Dan Ahwa
Makeup: Kiekie Stanners for M.A.C
Hair: Sophy Phillips at Common People using Oway
Photographer's assistant: Terrease McComb
Stylist's assistant: Lofa Totua
Design: Imogen Temm
Creative direction: Zoe Walker Ahwa
Models: Crystal from N Model Management, Rewa from Silver Fox, Jessica from Unique, Roxie from N Model Management, Cait from Super Management