By Eli Orzessek Eli Orzessek is an NZME. News Service reporter.
Friday, 28 August 2015
The collection includes camisoles and bras, as well as normal-looking 'kinda cute' knickers. Asking for directions to the Confitex lingerie show at Fashion Week left me feeling somewhat sheepish - I actually lowered my voice and pointed at the name on the invite. See, Confitex isn't just any old brand of lingerie - they make incontinence knickers with a high fashion twist.
Designer Frantisek Riha-Scott says he hopes his product will help women feel good about themselves, despite having a somewhat embarrassing problem. Of course, those old ingrained attitudes can be hard to beat and that's evident in the amount of giggling in the audience as anticipation builds for Confitex's first ever Fashion Week show. The crowd is quite mixed in age and gender, but most don't look like they'd have any need for Confitex's products. However, appearances can be deceptive and that's really the whole point of this line.
Perhaps understanding the atmosphere in advance, the designers go for the wow-factor and send out the most extreme of all their styles - a tiny black g-string. The giggles increase a bit, but they're sounding slightly more awestruck as everyone wonders how on earth that skimpy little number could possibly contain an accident. And despite appearances, that's exactly what this lingerie collection can do. Riha-Scott and co-founder Mark Davey are both alpine ski racers and came up with the idea for Confitex after developing pants for athletes who didn't have time for toilet breaks. Confitex uses a special high-tech sports fabric to create absorbent, pad-free, waterproof undies that are machine washable, aimed at the one in three women worldwide with incontinence, and the one in 10 men.
There's a guy in the audience looking somewhat out of place, wearing a hoodie that boldly proclaims "He-Man" in big letters - he and his mate appear to be bordering hysteria as the show goes on. But luckily, Confitex have remembered the men - a male model hits the runway in a tight pair of purple briefs, sending the women behind me into a bit of a frenzy. It's unsure if the aforementioned gentleman will be picking up a pair though. However, the one older lady on the runway really stole the show. Grey-haired and striking, she looked fierce and completely captivated the audience.
The designs on show come in two colour palettes - demure pink and grey pastels and a more racy black and purple line. And with the amount of butt-cheek on display, these certainly aren't your everyday granny panties. Despite a few laughs, Confitex have definitely broken a down a few boundaries with their Fashion Week debut. By the end of the show, most had probably forgotten the whole incontinence angle completely - which would mean the designers achieved exactly what they set out to do.