Bri­dal style win­ner


A child­hood in­ter­est in sewing is turn­ing into an award-win­ning ca­reer op­tion for a young woman, for­merly of Porirua.

Christina Hig­gins won the supreme ward at an an­nual fash­ion con­test in Porirua re­cently, held in con­junc­tion with a bri­dal expo.

She won the cre­ative de­signer of the year award.

Ms Hig­gins, who now re­sides in Up­per Hutt, joined the teen par­ent school in Master­ton, ex­celling in art, af­ter the birth of her daugh­ter Claire, now five.

When Ms Hig­gins looks back at her art port­fo­lios, there is a def­i­nite fash­ion theme.

She won awards in Wairarapa in­ter-school wear­able arts con­tests, in­clud­ing the X-fac­tor prize, four years in a row.

Ms Hig­gins has spent the past two years do­ing a di­ploma in fash­ion tech­nol­ogy at the New Zealand In­sti­tute of Fash­ion Tech­nol­ogy in Welling­ton.

She made three black dresses for her grad­u­a­tion show.

One dress had head­gear fash­ioned around a bird’s skull she found on the beach.

The dresses fea­ture tightly fit­ting bodices and frilly skirts with hun­dreds of rec­tan­gles of thin lin­ing fab­ric sewn in rows on the full cir­cle skirts.

Mak­ing the dresses took her three weeks.

One dress fea­tured tiny peacock feath­ers on the bodice. Its full skirt was shorter in the front and had a built-in train. As the model was walk­ing, air en­ter­ing at the front made the dress ap­pear to float.

Ms Hig­gins en­tered this dress in the re­cent award, along with a white wed­ding dress made from the same pat­tern but with 50 me­tres of fine ma­te­rial cut into lengths and gath­ered be­fore be­ing stitched to the poly­cot­ton skirt. Jewels were hand-stitched around the V-neck of the duchess satin bodice.

The third dress in her en­try was a co­ral-in­spired hon­ey­comb tech­nique over a short black satin wired skirt.

All three were in the glam­our cat­e­gory’s top five en­tries.

The black peacock-feath­ered dress won her the de­signer award and the white wed­ding dress was placed sec­ond.

The win gives her en­try into the West­field Paci­fica con­test.

Ms Hig­gins plans to start her own busi­ness mak­ing dresses for school balls, 21sts, and wed­dings.

‘‘When I was at school there was a lack of dresses and I al­ways wanted some­thing dif­fer­ent,’’ she said.

Corinthian win­ner: Christina Hig­gins with the dress which won her the cre­ative de­signer award in Porirua.

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