Idea turns re­al­ity for de­signer

Hastings Leader - - Front Page - BY BRENDA VOWDEN ■ Check out Jim­mie’s cloth­ing on In­sta­­ing or Face­­i­cloth­ing

Jim­mie MacKay’s day job brings out his com­pas­sion­ate side — by night and in his spare time, he gets creative.

Fu­neral di­rec­tor and fash­ion de­signer Jim­mie has had his lat­est JIMI col­lec­tion cho­sen for the sec­ond year run­ning in the Miro­moda sec­tion of this year’s New Zealand Fash­ion Week. I caught up with Jim­mie and asked him a bit about his world of fash­ion.

■ This is the sec­ond time you’ve been shown at Fash­ion Week?

Yes, I show­cased my first col­lec­tion in 2017. The first col­lec­tion was both men’s and women’s but this year I have fo­cused on cre­at­ing a uni­sex range which was all worn by male mod­els.

■ Can you tell us about Miro­moda?

Miro­moda and New Zealand Fash­ion Week founder Dame Pi­eter Ste­wart have cre­ated an en­dow­ment to sup­port the next gen­er­a­tion of Ma¯ ori fash­ion de­sign­ers. Miro­moda pri­mar­ily achieves this by or­gan­is­ing an an­nual Ma¯ ori Fash­ion De­sign Awards com­pe­ti­tion and a show­case at NZ Fash­ion Week (NZFW). I pre­sented my mini col­lec­tion at Pa¯ taka Art Mu­seum ear­lier this year and was se­lected by a panel to show­case at Fash­ion Week this year.

■ Tell me a bit about which clothes you en­tered and why?

I en­tered a line of menswear/ uni­sex wear. I cre­ated looks I thought would show well on the run­way. The clothes are su­per wear­able and they have a ca­su­al­ness about them. Men’s fash­ion of­ten gets pushed aside, and I think the younger gen­er­a­tions are em­brac­ing in­di­vid­u­al­ism a lot more.

■ Did you have a brief?

Not re­ally. There were three cat­e­gories — Emerg­ing, Es­tab­lished and Avant-garde.

■ What was your col­lec­tion called and what in­spired it?

925. The col­lec­tion was based around the idea of pack­ing for a hol­i­day. So, for me I like to have a bunch of em­pow­er­ing out­fits when I go away — hol­i­day clothes are a lit­tle more dar­ing. There are a ton of dif­fer­ent fabrics and colour­ways that are easy to wear. So the 925 col­lec­tion cov­ers ev­ery­thing you would need for a trip any­where.

■ Did you get to choose your mod­els and were you happy with them?

I didn’t choose the mod­els but I was re­ally pleased when it came to dress­ing. The mod­els were all dif­fer­ent races — per­fect — and fit­ted ev­ery­thing per­fectly.

■ How do you feel watch­ing your clothes on the run­way?

So glad to see them go down the run­way. It’s so cool see­ing a vi­sion come into fruition.

■ Are you re­ally crit­i­cal of your­self?

Su­per crit­i­cal. It’s some­thing I work on and I know that if I’m too crit­i­cal of my­self I lose the fun side of the process. So, I re­mind my­self to com­pli­ment my­self ev­ery now and then as well.

■ Did you see things you could have done dif­fer­ently as the mod­els walked by?

Over­all, I was re­ally happy with the out­come. As a creative there are al­ways things you could have done bet­ter. For me, I think I could have made more ac­ces­sories but with short time frames and an al­ready busy sched­ule that isn’t al­ways pos­si­ble. I was up­set at first but once I saw my vi­sion on the mod­els I knew the looks were run­way ready.

■ What was the feed­back from judges?

The judges’ feed­back was mostly de­liv­ered in Welling­ton, how­ever I made a few more out­fits the panel had not seen, and the re­cep­tion was over­whelm­ingly good. I man­aged to meet new clients who I am cur­rently cre­at­ing cus­tom out­fits for so stay tuned.

■ Where to from here?

I will con­tinue to ex­pand and cre­ate my product line lo­cally. Once I have built up the brand I will ven­ture fur­ther out. I be­lieve that good crafts­man­ship doesn’t go un­no­ticed and I think that over time peo­ple will see that the work put into ev­ery gar­ment/ac­ces­sory has been to max­imise the product’s dura­bil­ity. I love gar­ments that wear into some­thing un­ex­pected you can’t just toss out.

My vi­sion is for JIMI be­com­ing a sta­ple NZ la­bel. I’d love to see my cre­ation on bill­boards in ma­jor cities and trav­el­ling for photo shoots has al­ways been a dream.

■ Most re­ward­ing parts of the over­all ex­pe­ri­ence?

Do­ing Fash­ion Week for a sec­ond time I have re­alised how much I love work­ing with fabrics. I think I will al­ways be a cre­ator. One of the most re­ward­ing things was work­ing with skilled lo­cal peo­ple. The knowl­edge and pa­tience th­ese peo­ple have has been hum­bling. JIMI is a brand tran­si­tioned from an idea into a re­al­ity. The con­fi­dence in my abil­ity to cre­ate has been amaz­ing. From two years ago to now, the ed­u­ca­tion I have gained has led me to be­lieve that in the com­ing years this will be­come some­thing much big­ger.

Mod­els wear­ing JIMI at New Zealand Fash­ion Week.

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