There was a hive of poised composure early this month at New Zealand Fashion Week, but the weekend brought something quite different.
A regular fixture of past Fashion Weeks, the YMCA Walk the Line Show injected just the right amount of positive energy needed to kick off NZ Fashion Weekend 2012 on a Saturday morning.
Organised by the North Shore crew of YMCA’s Raise Up n Represent programme, it gave 50 aspiring designers (13-18 years old) and their friends to showcase what they were made of.
Instead of the blasé gaze of fashion’s ‘it’ crowd, there was the anticipant glow of supportive family and friends all anxious to see the finished products of their loved ones hit the runway.
Also adding to the heady excitement were special guests and judges from cult fashion blog FOUREYES, set to pick pick the cream of the crop from each of the four categories: Cultural, Wearable Arts, High Fashion and Open Design
One of the ‘FOUREYES’, Alex Blanco, said: “We were looking for creativity, innovation and how well it was all put together and executed.”
The cultural category was certainly a great outlet for the criteria as tentative teens happily twirled at the end of the runway in ethnic prints and vibrant Maori, Chinese, Indian, Japanese, English and African themed outfits.
Next up was the Wearable Arts category, beginning with an elaborate, white, tent-like outfit followed by some structured pieces with science fiction elements.
During a brief interlude dance duo Maddy and Shannon took to the floor dressed in camouflage print and kept the audience transfixed with their contemporary moves accompanied by Rihanna’s Where Have You Been and Carly Rae Jepsen’s hugely popular Call Me Maybe.
Interlude over, it was time for High Fashion. Proving to be the most widely interpreted category, garments ranged from elaborate evening gowns to chic, wearable frocks and grungy outfits.
Finally, Open Design, and along with it came some much expected renditions of streetwear – hoodies, denim, and futuristic metallic fabrics.
One particularly fun ensemble – Bunny in Wonderland – was the exact embodiment of its name with pastel pink print of the Queen of Hearts, a frivolously frilly skirt and thigh-high stockings.
Unanimous in their decisions, the FOUREYES team dished out four highly commended awards.
The first was awarded to the cleverly executed, End of the World creation by Joei Chung – a stunning pale moss-coloured sweetheart dress with plenty of ruffled texture plus matching hoop skirt and shoes.
The second highly commended award went to a gorgeous fur coat and satin dress pairing aptly titled, Return to Glamour by Danielle Power-Silk, while the third and fourth went to Open Design entries: Porcelain Girl by Zosia Lis and Floral Fantasy by Maika Nguyen.
In the Cultural category, winner Jessica Greetham’s creation was a flowing canary yellow, Indian-inspired outfit with a blood red hem – a graceful and elegant piece that showed plenty of finesse.
Brendon Lee’s High Fashion entry, a youthful and trendy, grey and white collared shirt paired with fitted knee length shorts, saw him trump the more mature designs in this category.
And in Open Design, Hannah Schwartfeger’s winning design wowed the audiences with its floating, two-toned taupe hem and bright crimson floral bandeau top.
Wearable Arts winner Andrew Abrau’s complex gold metallic creation entitled Galatea’s Post-Havoc Dress also crowned him the Supreme Winner of the show.
Alex says FOUREYES were really excited about this judging opportunity. “It’s an amazing thing to be involved with because they’re so young and creative and have so many different ideas. I’m sure many will go on to great futures in fashion and design.”
Winners went home encouraged with prizes from Canon, Skinny Mobile and Revlon. A few wobbles and skids here by the brave novice models, but otherwise a fun experience for all.
– Natalie Tan