Nicole’s trip of a lifetime
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.