NZFW's annual Maori fashion design showcase opened with an unexpectedly cute poi tribute to the polka dot, starring Rotorua's Marlena Martin.
Miromoda then snapped the audience to attention with avant garde styling (including great hair over one eye) and garments from Poto Morgan and Marsh Ranginui Tamihana. While designs were arguably more wearable art than commercial fashion, both designers gave great runway.
Pia Niera’s colourful digital print pieces were fresh and saleable (and we loved the curved, sculptural hair directed by Jamie Dryden that crowned her models). The following tee shirt section was very well styled and choreographed, holding our attention.
Christopher Huia-Woods’ "event dressing for the MTV generation” was a crowd favourite with people loving bold colour weaved in with avant garde looks. Shona Tawhiao’s geometric woven pieces were as striking as Tamihana’s from earlier in the show.
Dmonic Intent showed for the second time within the week – they had also been part of the New Generation show on Tuesday, underlining the fact that they can compete on both a specialised 'Maori designer' platform and a broader stage. Monique Lynch showed excellent proportioning that we would have loved to see in, say, a wool cashmere as opposed to the neoprene the garments appeared to be cut in.
But we couldn’t lie – our hearts already belonged to Surface Too Deep, even before we saw the Miromoda show. This is seriously good swimwear that fits well and mixes/matches to superb effect (kudos to whoever did the gorgeous big flowers in the models’ hair, too). The little taste at Miromoda left us hankering to see Surface Too Deep in a dedicated swimwear show complete with dedicated models.
Miromoda declared its intent as “advancing the quality status of Maori fashion design and rais(ing) its artistic and professional standards.” Founders Rex Turnbull and Ata Te Kanawa as well as long-time supporter Dame Pieter Stewart can be proud – like the New Generation section of NZFW, Miromoda is serving as a platform for designers to debut and continue to develop. We are sure we will see some of these designers progressing to Contemporary Salon (intimate, debut solo) shows in the future.
– Julie Roulston
Images: Giana Patel