City’s recent arrivals add to its tapestry
Palmerston North’s Manawatu Multicultural Centre provides many of the city’s new arrivals with friendships, an extended family environment and cultural connections.
In March as part of the city’s annual Festival of Cultures, the centre held a multicultural fashion parade in the Globe Theatre.
Among the clothing and accessories that stood out were creations by Booranee Roskruge from Thailand and Yoon Suh from South Korea. The pair’s work and their contribution at the centre is held in high regard.
Roskruge arrived in Palmerston North via Hamilton in 2006, and almost immediately signed on to a traditional flax weaving class at Te Wananga o Aotearoa.
‘‘I loved it, I just loved the class.’’
In Thailand, the former physical instructor with the Thai army had enjoyed crochet as a hobby, and still does.
It was her encounter with flax and Maori techniques for weaving and dyeing that proved to be inspirational.
‘‘I only discovered it when I came here. I saw a kete, and how the flax is nice and soft.’’
She wove a hieke or cape for her diploma graduation in 2010, and now also works with wool and jute, making capes, a range of kete, and even flax fascinators.
She also went to stained glass classes at QEC, and cooks. Roskruge turned up at the MCC for Friday art and craft classes in 2012, and has been involved ever since.
Suh has only been in the country for seven months. In Seoul, she had her own dressmaking label, Aria, designing, making patterns and sewing the garments with a children’s range, and dresses for new mums to wear at the traditional first birthday celebrations of their children.
With an extensive portfolio, her clients included Korean models and actors who she helped dress for advertising shoots.
Suh arrived in the city with her husband Vincent Woo during the preparations for the March fashion parade, and immediately offered her help.
‘‘The people [at the centre] are kind,’’ she said.
Adapting to her new life, Suh said she would one day like to start her label up again, but while she has has already met some local orders for children’s dresses, her priority is to become fluent in that tricky beast, the English language.
Booranee Roskruge shows off the parrot feathers she wove into a flax cape.