Teenage de­si­igner on run­way

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A Ro­torua teenager is ex­hibit­ing with some of the best Ma¯ ori fash­ion de­sign­ers from around the coun­try at the Tiki A¯ hua fash­ion show.

Ro­torua Girls’ High School head girl Te Ririu Wil­liams, 18, says she is ex­cited but it has not sunk in yet.

“On the night it will be pretty over­whelm­ing be­cause my work will be up with some top de­sign­ers. It’s been a lot of week­ends taken away and time pre­par­ing.”

She will be show­ing two ac­ces­sories on the Tiki A¯ hua cat­walk — a pa¯ke¯ (cape), and a ta¯tua (belt) at­tached to a maro (short skirt).

Her ac­ces­sories are made out of harakeke flax us­ing the tra­di­tional art of raranga (weav­ing). She says in­cor­po­rat­ing raranga into fash­ion and ev­ery­day life was a goal.

“It’s [raranga] def­i­nitely a pas­sion of mine.” She would like to teach raranga to oth­ers so the tra­di­tional skills of her an­ces­tors can be car­ried on.

She has been do­ing raranga for about six years.

She says her fash­ion teacher at Ro­torua Girls’ High School was asked by Tiki A¯ hua if there were any stu­dents who could en­ter the Emerg­ing De­signer cat­e­gory.

Te Ririu says she has been try­ing to get door­ways open and con­nect­ing with oth­ers, so Tiki A¯ hua will be a great op­por­tu­nity to get some con­tacts.

She is look­ing for­ward to see­ing her items on a model on a run­way.

Te Ririu says what she en­joys about de­sign is cre­at­ing and com­ing up with new ideas, and learn­ing dif­fer­ent tech­niques.

Te Puia sales and mar­ket­ing gen­eral man­ager Kiri Atkin­son-crean says Tiki A¯ hua pro­vides an im­por­tant plat­form for both es­tab­lished and emerg­ing de­sign­ers, “show­cas­ing the cre­ativ­ity of our peo­ple”.

“It pro­vides an op­por­tu­nity to merge our tra­di­tional Ma¯ ori arts and crafts — which we are man­dated to pre­serve — with con­tem­po­rary art, giv­ing both the op­por­tu­nity to shine.

“It is fan­tas­tic to be able to of­fer young de­sign­ers the plat­form to show­case their works on the run­way along­side those who have forged a ca­reer in fash­ion.”

Kiri says Tiki A¯ hua al­lows the best of Ma¯ ori arts, de­sign and mu­sic to be shown, and that it is great to be able to sup­port de­sign­ers, both lo­cally and fur­ther afield.

“We have a vi­sion to even­tu­ally grow Tiki A¯ hua into a week-long fes­ti­val pulling to­gether emerg­ing and es­tab­lished de­sign­ers along with in­dus­try lead­ers, to col­lab­o­rate across work­shops, meet­ings and in re­tail and trade events.”

The fash­ion show is on to­mor­row night at Te Puia.

Tiki A¯ hua fuses con­tem­po­rary fash­ion with tra­di­tional Ma¯ ori arts for an evening of fash­ion, de­sign, mu­sic and dance.

The run­way event will be fol­lowed by a con­cert head­lined by LAB, the band founded by the Kora brothers and fea­tur­ing mu­si­cians from Katchafire.

Photo / Stephen Parker

Te Ririu Wil­liams will have items shown in the Emerg­ing De­signer cat­e­gory at Tiki A¯ hua.

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