The Dominion Post
Fashion Week high for student designers
Up-and-coming Wellington student fashion designers are embracing colour as they prepare to make a splash at New Zealand Fashion Week.
Among them is Michael Barlow, 19, who has drawn on his Ma¯ ori heritage as inspiration for his entry into the Resene NZ Fashion Tech Colour of Fashion project.
Now in its sixth year, the project gives students in their final year of study at New Zealand Fashion Tech in Auckland and Wellington the opportunity to showcase their garments in a professional fashion shoot.
Whittled down from 39 entrants, 17 finalists
– 10 from Auckland and seven from Wellington – will be able to rub shoulders with some of the Kiwi fashion scene’s movers and shakers at New Zealand Fashion Week’s opening night on August 29. Using Resene’s 20 latest offerings as their colour palette, the aspiring designers also direct their own photo shoot for their portfolios and have their work featured in an online gallery. For Barlow, who describes himself as a ‘‘man caught in a black trap’’, experimenting with colour has been a relatively new experience. The Wadestown resident’s tailored look, which headlines a shade of blue called Moana, draws attention to the problem of overfishing, with shapes of long tail stingray, sharks and netting.
‘‘Never in a million years did I dream that I could create a piece like Tikapa Moana . . . and get the result I did.
‘‘We do not give ourselves enough credit,’’ Barlow says.
Nature and the detrimental impact humans are having on the environment was the inspiration behind Elle JamesMonk’s creation. In a bold call to her generation to take better care of the planet, the Waikanae 20-year-old’s bright green design, using a colour called FOMO, has a strong military aesthetic.
She says the project gives students a ‘‘wonderful insight’’ into all facets of the fashion industry, ranging from designing a garment, through to photo shoots and navigating the hectic backstage atmosphere.
While mint green is her favourite hue, 18-year-old Helen Diaz Calisto has gone to the other end of the colour spectrum by making red the hero in her love-inspired design.
With red bows embellishing the shoulders, a corset-like bodice and a ballerina skirt for her design, Calisto has come a long way from her first foray into sewing. ‘‘I made a teddy bear at high school in 2015. That’s when I sewed my first stitch,’’ she explains.
This year’s project winner will receive a new industrial sewing machine and an engraved pair of shears.