Rotorua Weekender

Recyled garments hit runway

Designers take on challenge for a good cause

- Shauni James

Recycled items were given a new lease of life and were paraded down the runway in the form of garments by local designers and dressmaker­s, all for a local cause.

Judges had a tough job, but Julie Voss was the designer who won the Dress for Success Bay of Plenty Recycle the Runway 2022 supreme award.

Recycle the Runway is a community fundraiser event for Dress For Success Bay of Plenty.

Local designers and dressmaker­s took up the challenge of creating bespoke one-off garments using preloved and recycled items.

The garments were then showcased on the catwalk in a lightand-sound event curated by local designer Kharl Wirepa.

The event was held last Friday and Saturday at Rydges Hotel.

Dress for Success Bay of Plenty president Michelle Pleydell says both nights went very well and were sold out.

“It was very well received by people and we got fantastic feedback.

“The designers had done an amazing job. The recycled items were all used in such a way that you would not have known they had been recycled. The garments all looked so fresh and well conceived.

“It was absolutely fabulous and people were saying to me it was so wonderful to see what people were able to imagine. I was blown away by the quality.”

The four judges — Tania Tapsell, Mercia-dawn Yates, Jo-anne La Grouw and Leonie Barlow — had a tough job but really enjoyed themselves, she says.

The fashion categories were street wear, avant-garde, bridal and evening. There was also a Landfill Challenge sponsored by Vanish, which involved designers creating garments out of rubbish or waste that had been cleaned using Vanish products.

Julie Voss was the winner in the avant garde category and runner-up in street wear. She was also the supreme winner of Recycle the Runway 2022.

She says she felt overwhelme­d with the results and was not expecting it.

Four of her designs were all made out of denim, backed with bed sheets. She says she used about 200 pairs of jeans and cut them up and pieced them together into the designs.

Julie says friends and family gave her old jeans that were ripped or not being used, and she found some in rubbish, op shops and on Trade Me.

Her design for the Landfill Challenge involved material that had gone mouldy, and she used Vanish products to clean it and turn it into a necklace and bracelet set.

“I like making things. It makes me whole and is my happy place where I can be myself.”

She says she has done volunteer work for Dress for Success in the past and thought that Recycle the Runway would be a good goal to work towards while helping them to raise money.

As part of her prize for supreme winner, Julie will get the opportunit­y to showcase her designs in store at the Classic Couture Pre-loved Fashion shop.

“The whole thing was a fabulous experience. It was such a neat hive of activity backstage.”

Michelle Pleydell says Dress for Success Bay of Plenty are looking at this event being an ongoing fundraiser for their services, as well as an ongoing opportunit­y for new designers to showcase what they do.

She thanks everyone involved.

 ?? Photo / A Gifted View Photograph­y ?? One of the designs by supreme winner Julie Voss.
Photo / A Gifted View Photograph­y One of the designs by supreme winner Julie Voss.
 ?? Photo / A Gifted View Photograph­y ?? Julie Voss and some of her designs during the awards.
Photo / A Gifted View Photograph­y Julie Voss and some of her designs during the awards.

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