New Zealand Fashion Week 2013 Opening Ceremony Highlights (SEE PHOTOS)

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By Reissa Su | September 3, 2013 11:43 AM EST

The New Zealand Fashion Week 2013 has officially begun at Viaduct Events Centre at Auckland on the night of Sept 2 with Prime Minister John Key in attendance. New Zealand's leader said it was a great opportunity for the country to showcase local fashion designs and innovation.

In his address, he told the audience in attendance that the fashion industry can be "extremely creative" and made a reference to his daughter Stephanie Key's rather controversial take on food. The prime minister said he thought sushi and McDonald's food were just something people ate but his daughter's photos showed you can also wear them "rather sparsely."

— John Key (@johnkeypm) September 2, 2013

John Key was wearing a suit created by RJB Design and said he was looking forward to see the designs of Trelise Cooper. He said his wife Bronagh was wearing a dress designed by Trelise Cooper for the New Zealand Fashion Week 2013.

On Sept 3, the talented design duo from Wellington, Twenty Seven Names, will be opening a series of fashion shows for the rest of New Zealand Fashion Week to present their autumn/winter 2014 collection. More than 50 local and international designers including Zambesi and Coop by Trelise Cooper will be joining the biggest fashion event in New Zealand.

Natalie Cantell, presenter for channel Fashion One, showed up in the opening ceremony wearing a Hailwood dress. Ms Cantell said she can't wait to ask the designers backstage some questions that other interviewers don't usually ask.

Performer Mika arrived wearing his own jewellery collection and a Maori-inspired ensemble designed by Lela Jacobs. He will be expected to perform at the New York Couture Week.

Other local and international personalities, including bloggers and fashion reporters were also in attendance to cover the opening ceremony of New Zealand Fashion Week 2013.

After Twenty Seven Names' design showcase, crowd favorites Trelise Cooper, Zambesi, Stolen Girlfriends Club and Salasai will follow suit for the rest of the week. Lela Jacobs will make her first New Zealand Fashion Week appearance despite having a small label. The local fashion industry already expects big things from this promising designer who was initially offering seasonal collections the past few years.

While the fashion shows over the next three days will remain off-limits to the public, the rest of the world can see the highlights of New Zealand's biggest fashion event during the weekend. Stay tuned.

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