Miromoda’s Designers at New Zealand Fashion Week 2017.
The Miromoda show is an initiative run by the Indigenous Maori Fashion Apparel Board to showcase local talent. From year to year, the board decide on a theme which designers design a capsule collection around, and this year’s theme was the Tuatara reptile, from Maori this translates to ‘peaks on the back’, providing a great starting point of inspiration. In terms of the show itself, it’s a great showcase to watch, where emerging designers know no bounds and really get to explore their creativity.
Jacob Tamehana Coutie presented monochromatic looks for men and explored the balance of masculinity and femininity. Shirts were long and layered with raw finished hems and worn with pants or a long wrap skirt. His outfits were accented with an accessory of a long single white feather as an earring, necklace or pinned onto a jacket lapel.
Gienipha Tutaki cited famed avant garde designer Yohji Yamamoto as an inspiration for his collection and this was evident in the exaggerated silhouettes of his clothing. The colour palette was kept neutral in beige and khaki.
Nichola Te Kiri was inspired by Matariki, the Maori New Year and imagined giving personas for each of the nine stars. This translated to long dresses and jackets in shades of cobalt blue or black with beautiful placements of screen print art.
Christopher Huia Woods showed dresses utilising wonderful fabric manipulation skills. Looking to the past for inspiration, his designs featured strips of fabric weaved and twisted together as he wished to maintain a link to the past, the past bound to the future. Also a hair stylist, his model’s hair was adorned with large feathers in beautiful arrangements.
LDD by Lah Laufiso created a conceptual range based on the negative outcomes of the colonisation of New Zealand. She wanted to challenge the negative visions of Maori people, her models wore face masks and carried signs with powerful statements “some of my friends are black” “we’re not all dole bludging alcoholics” and “we’re not all uneducated”. Her designs were of a utilitarian nature (long turtle neck dresses and hooded jacket worn with pants), muted in colour and serving to simply clothe one’s body, while Laufiso used the catwalk to spread her message loud and clear.
MACK by Nicola Mackintosh showed wearable designs for a modern woman, this came by way of simple camisoles paired with shorts, ankle cut pants and a swing skirt, shift dresses and a cute playsuit in a colour palette of white, cream and baby blue.
The collection by Misty Ratima, whose label is TE KOHU actually won the Miromoda Fashion Design Competition. She was inspired by Matariki, the appearance of the Pleiades to signal Maori New Year, but more specifically Matariki the mother and her six daughters. Jackets featured these faces screen printed on the backs and her designs had a street wear sensibility to them.
JIMI by Jimmie MacKay showed a collection heavy on fashions favourite hue, he was inspired by a conservative use of clean lines, formal fabrics and subtle stitch detailing, and there were pops of pastels and a floral print in hats and t-shirts.
NZFW 2017 by Lavinia Mafi and Tala Bentham, this duo’s collection was easily the quirkiest, their looks consisted of mustard yellow and black and white polka dot pieces overlayed with grey ruffled tulle dresses. Their two final looks of oversized polka dot quilted jackets played with ideas of proportion well.
Beauty notes: The models had their temples highlighted with a golden strobe cream, and dotted with artfully placed foil pieces.
Soundtrack: A hip hop mix with songs by Frank Ocean, A$AP Ferg, Kid Cudi, Outkast and Santigold.
Images by Katherine Tuenter.