Nicole’s trip of a life­time

Central Leader - - Front Page - By Jo­ce­lyn Rein

FOR MANY young fash­ion­istas, join­ing Karen Walker back­stage at New York Fash­ion Week is the stuff dreams are made of.

But for Nicole Wes­sel­ing it will be a re­al­ity next year as she hits the Big Ap­ple on the trip of a life­time.

The 16-year-old Marist Col­lege stu­dent is this year’s win­ner of the New­mar­ket Young Fash­ion De­signer Award, run by the New­mar­ket Busi­ness As­so­ci­a­tion.

Nicole says the chance to be part of the thrill and back­stage pres­sure of an event like New York Fash­ion Week will be a price­less ex­pe­ri­ence.

“I’d al­ways dreamed of do­ing run­way fash­ion,” she says.

“It’s just the kind of thing I like, be­ing stressed and work­ing un­der pres­sure.”

She’ll be joined on the trip by her two older sis­ters and will also have $1000 spending money.

She’s ex­cited to join Kiwi fash­ion icon Walker, whom she says she has al­ways ad­mired.

“She’s into the pretty lace and flo­rals and that’s what I’m like as well,” says Nicole. “I hope we’ll get along.” Her African and mil­i­tary in­spired dress and jacket won her the supreme award out of al­most 70 en­trants na­tion­wide.

She says the de­ci­sion to en­ter the awards was a close call.

Ini­tially put off by the 18th cen­tury theme re­quired, she says she had made up her mind not to en­ter right up un­til a cou­ple days be­fore the dead­line.

She was sud­denly in­spired by a school project for her tex­tiles and fab­ric class, re­search­ing slav­ery in Africa at the time of the Xhosa Wars.

Her out­fit com­bines African tribal colours and pat­terns with 18th cen­tury Euro­pean fash­ion.

Her last minute de­ci­sion has paid off in spades, also help­ing with a de­ci­sion on her fu­ture.

The sec­ond part of her prize is a cov­eted 12-month schol­ar­ship at White­cliffe Col­lege of Arts and De­sign to com­plete its Cer­tifi­cate of Arts and De­sign pro­gramme.

Nicole, who had been strug­gling to de­cide be­tween study at three uni­ver­si­ties, says the de­ci­sion is now a lot clearer.

She plans to com­plete her year 13 stud­ies at Marist next year and will at­tend White­cliffe in 2011.

Award or­gan­iser and busi­ness as­so­ci­a­tion mar­ket­ing man­ager Lea Worth says the judges were blown away by the de­tail and crafts­man­ship of Nicole’s de­sign.

“It’s an amaz­ing achieve­ment given the tal­ent from the 68 ini­tial en­trants from around the coun­try,” says Ms Worth.

“Her trip to New York Fash­ion Week will be truly life chang­ing.”


Winning de­sign: Nicole Wes­sel­ing’s African-in­spired de­sign has won her a back­stage pass to New York Fash­ion Week.

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