Young designers take centre stage at NZ Fashion Week

Saturday, September 7, saw talented teens from various high schools around Auckland’s North Shore show at NZ Fashion Week in YMCA’s Walk The Line event.

Facilitated, produced, directed and run by YMCA Auckland’s Youth Development Programme, Raise Up, in association with NZ Fashion Week, Walk The Line treated guests to dance, music and fashion all rolled into one entertaining and beautiful catwalk show.

Following on from YMCA Auckland Raise Up’s ethos of providing safe and positive environments for youth to relax, socialise and achieve their goals, Walk The Line is a special platform where young designers are able to put their creations on a world stage. Past Walk the Line designers have gone on to pursue a successful career in fashion design.

This year, over 50 budding fashion designers, from across 13 high schools answered the call to design a fashion garment fitting under one of four categories: ‘Twilight in Paris’, ‘Rockin’ the Paper Frock’, ‘High Fashion’ and ‘Open Design’.

Every garment shown at YMCA’s Walk the Line was designed, sewn and styled by North Shore high school students, many of whom had been working on their creations for much of the year.

Street style bloggers, FourEyes judged the entries and awarded a winner for each of the categories, as well as an overall show winner.

For 2013, the overall winner was 17 year old Tanya Kerr, from Carmel College. Her model, Evelyn Rose featured in several designer shows throughout the week, but looked stunning on Saturday in Tanya’s creation, which featured a combination of laser-cut triangle wooden tiles glued to a fabric base skirt, with braces, chest piece and large wooden ruff (as per popular European fashion, circa mid 16th to mid 17th century.)

Overall winner Tanya Kerr with, Ben Rogers (left) and Peter Fergusson (right), CEO of YMCA

Topping the other categories were:
Bernadette Boland: Twilight in Paris, with a printed pantsuit and contrast jacket.
Emma Sinclair: Rockin’ The Paper Frock, with her stunning cocktail dress with red roses.
Michelle Yong: High Fashion, with tailored pants, vest and chiffon ruffle back blouse.
Tanya Kerr: Open Design, with the overall winning wooden creation.

Also achieving a ‘Highly Commended’ mention was Lily Lassen, Danika Glenn, Amy Gailer, Georgia Habgood and Simone Hofland.

Ben Rogers, Education and Raise Up Coordinator at YMCA North Shore said: “The highlights for me were being able to sit in the audience and watch the youth crew run the whole show, from presenting, tech assisting, performing, ushering and running backstage. It is gratifying to be able to teach event management to a group of teenagers, and see them step up.”

In a proud moment, Ben also adds: “We had feedback that it was the most organised show at Fashion Week, which was fabulous to hear. The designers and garments were deemed to be up there with some of the best of the week too. It’s incredible to have such a prestigious, event on our calendar for these talented teens.”

This was the fifth year for YMCA Auckland’s Walk The Line show, and the fourth year since the crew had been invited to incorporate the event with NZ Fashion Week.

Watch out for this incredible showcase of Auckland’s youngest, up and coming designers in 2014. Plans are already in place to lift the show’s “wow factor” even further.

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