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.