Resene NZ Fashion Tech Colour of Fashion celebrates six years at NZFW

Designer Emily Verhaaren from Remuera with a model in her design for Resene NZ Fashion Tech Colour of Fashion. Image supplied.

The Resene NZ Fashion Tech Colour of Fashion project celebrates six years this year and in that time over 75 fashion students have been launched into the fashion industry. The competition celebrates creativity with each young designer creating looks from this season’s palette of fashion colours from Resene. The project sees Resene collaborate with NZ Fashion Tech undergrads in their final year of study at campuses in Auckland and Wellington. The students are given a chance to be part of a professional fashion shoot, direct their own portfolio images from behind the camera and feature in a Resene online gallery.

June saw 39 amazing creations face the judges for 2019 with a talented group of 17 finalists, ten from Auckland and seven from Wellington, chosen to attend attend the opening night at New Zealand Fashion Week on 29 August and have their vibrant garments be part of the Resene Designer Runway show.

“We are proud of this project. It showcases twenty of our newest fashion colours at New Zealand Fashion Week while bringing visibility to fashion’s exciting young talent,” says Karen Warman of Resene. “We love seeing these creative young people immerse themselves in their Resene colour and illustrate to audiences at Fashion Week how their colour tells a story.”

The outfits created are certainly spectacular. Picture a walk on the 1960s fashion wild-side in Resene Wild Thing; a hood morphing into a cape in Resene Code Red; a Frida Kahlo-inspired androgynous shirt and tie in Resene Harmony; a nod to Nina Garcia’s call for fashion versatility in Resene Fast Forward; and a hipster jumpsuit capturing the rebellion of a middle child in Resene FOMO.

The 17 finalists heading to NZ Fashion Week 2019 are:

Auckland:
Bryony Acraman (22)
Emily Verhaaren (20)
Eva Martin (28)
Janesa Boreham (23)
Josephine Williams (21)
Marina Khak (24)
Rolieta (Etta) Pritchard (20)
Samantha Parr (20)
Simone Denham (26)
Terrell Henry (22)

Wellington:
Angelika Olsen (21)
Elle James-Monk (20)
Georgina Harmon-Hohua (20)
Helen Diaz Calisto (18)
Michael Barlow (19)
Michelle Israelson (50)
Shannon Owen (21)

The winner of Resene NZ Fashion Tech Colour of Fashion 2019 will be announced at NZFW 2019 and will receive a new industrial sewing machine and an engraved pair of shears of the highest quality, gifted by Resene.

You can catch the Resene NZ Fashion Tech Colour of Fashion designs on the runway at three Resene Designer Runway shows with tickets available now on iTicket.

Before 2019’s first Resene Designer Runway show, this work will have been seen first in India in July. Once the original designs are created in New Zealand, patterns are taken to India by those NZ Fashion Tech students who are awarded Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia.

As part of six weeks of collaborative learning in India, the NZ Fashion Tech students re-create the garments from a locally-sourced silk sari for a glittering fashion show hosted by the Bannari Amman Institute of Technology at their university campus in Sathyamangalam.

In 2019, NZ Fashion Tech has been awarded 15 Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia bringing the total since 2014 to 89.

We caught up with several of the finalists to find out more about the project, their inspiration as designers and what they’re looking forward to at NZFW 2019.

Model wearing Emily Verhaaren’s design in Resene Kryptonite.

Emily Verhaaren (20) of Remuera, Auckland

Interpreting her colour Resene Kryptonite as ‘a glowing gem with the power to change reality’, Emily has created a 1920s-inspired backless gown designed to skim the female form with a woven detail at the hip. Kiera Knightley in Atonement would rock this dress!

Who would you like to be sitting in the front-row at your show, in your imagination?
I would love to have my family for support, New Zealand designers who have an eye for detail and beautiful aesthetic:  Mahsa Willis and Juliette Hogan and one of my favourite designers whose dresses are like dreams: Dries Van Noten.

Do you want to be a fashion designer or is there another part of the fashion world you are aiming for?
I would love to work alongside creative people in haute couture, sewing beautiful one-off pieces. It would be my dream to work for a European designer such as Dries van Noten or Iris Van Herpen.

Who was the person in your life who most inspired you to follow an education and career path in fashion?
My parents have always encouraged me to do what I love. I was originally going to study textiles because of my love for painting and textures. However life worked out differently and things fell into place when I started at NZ Fashion Tech. I discovered my artistic flair suited design and I enjoyed sewing fine fabrics. The whole process from design through to patternmaking and then sewing is so rewarding.

Do you wear colour?
Yes, I love colour and the way it can evoke emotions.  I love to wear a soft blush or raspberry colour, especially as jumpers in the winter to brighten up dull days.

How do you think the Resene NZ Fashion Tech Colour of Fashion project has changed you or helped you develop in your education/career?
The project has taught me a lot about the design process and how it can evolve and shape as you progress. I have developed more confidence within myself and my abilities, now that I see I am able to create a fashion forward garment in such a short time.

Model wearing Marina Khak’s design in Resene Submerge.

Marina Khak (24) factors current feminine themes of independence, strength, creativity, rebellion and freedom into her showstopper dress in Resene Submerge. Fine crystal pleats and full sleeves carry a subtext around submerging ourselves while looking for deeper meanings.

What does a chance to show at New Zealand Fashion Week mean for you?
It means the world! It still feels unreal. It’s a huge honour for my design to be seen by the fashion community. I’m super thankful. I hope that the Resene Project will inspire others to begin their journey.

Do you like the extra layer of theatre and glamour that comes with fashion shows at Fashion Weeks around the world?
How could I not?! So much work goes into the process of making a garment – designing, refining, pattern making, testing the fabric; there’s just so many stories behind each garment.

Who would you like to be sitting in the front-row at your show, in your imagination?
Not to state the obvious answer but probably my parents but beside them, if I let my imagination run wild I’d say Stanley Kubrick.

Who was the person in your life who most inspired you to follow an education and career path in fashion?
Probably my mum. I think she’s influenced my creativity a lot. She’s really creative and does quite a bit of hand sewing herself, mostly cross-stitching. They’re beautiful. I think they have inspired me to further my education subconsciously. THANKS MUM!

Model wearing Eva Martin’s design in Resene I Dare You.

Eva Martin (28) from Avondale in Auckland

Shaping the Taj Mahal archways into the bodice of her look in Resene I Dare You was a master-stroke for Eva. She heads to India in July on a Prime Minister’s Scholarship for Asia and will re-create this statement outfit, complete with multiple top stitches like the embroidery used in Indian tunics.

Who would you like to be sitting in the front-row at your show, in your imagination?
My family but I also love the eccentric 96 year old Iris Apfel, a fashion icon I aspire to be like when I am older!

When did you first sew a stitch? What was the first thing you made?
A green marge Simpson dress that I shoddily threw together for a Christmas work party; it also featured double-sided tape and staples.

What is the garment or outfit you loved to wear most as a child or teenager?
I had Barbie platform jandals I loved.

Who was the person in your life who most inspired you to follow an education and career path in fashion?
My Mum and Mamma (Grandmother) had style so it was always something I guess that was inherently there and the interest just grew into wanting to pursue it seriously.

Do you wear colour? What is your favourite colour to wear?
Do you like colour on walls of an interior or do you prefer neutrals? I love colour and my favourite colour is yellow so I was delighted when I got my Resene ‘I Dare You’ yellow silk! I like colour in outbursts or to accentuate different features.

How do you think the Resene NZ Fashion Tech Colour of Fashion project has changed you or helped you develop in your education/career?
This was the first project that we were able to see our garments come to life on models and in the photoshoot so it was a really exciting feeling and gives me more motivation to create garments for the runway.

Models wearing designs by Georgina Harmon-Hohua in Resene Irresistible (left), Eva Martin in Resene I Dare You (centre) and Helen Diaz Calisto in Resene Roadster (right).

Helen Diaz Calisto (18) of Upper Hutt

Helen Diaz Calisto (18) brings red roses and thoughts of love to her depiction of a dreamy dress in Resene Roadster. With large bows off each shoulder, corset-like bodice and criss-cross latticework at the hem of a ballerina skirt, glamour arrives.

What does a chance to show at New Zealand Fashion Week mean for you?
A chance to show in New Zealand fashion Week means a lot to me. It’s a huge opportunity for my future.

Who would you like to be sitting in the front-row at your show, in your imagination?
It would be a dream to sit next to Donatella Versace.

When did you first sew a stitch? What was the first thing you made?
I made a teddy bear at high school in 2015. That’s when I sewed my first stitch.

Who was the person in your life who most inspired you to follow an education and career path in fashion?
One person who told me to go for it was one of my teachers at Heretaunga College, Sam Davey. She was my soft materials teacher.

Do you wear colour?
I do wear colour. My favourite colour is mint green

Model wearing Georgina Harmon-Hohua’s design in Resene Irresistible.

Georgina Harmon Hohua (20) of Masterton

Georgina Harmon-Hohua (20) sees Resene Irresistible as ‘the red of ultimate desire, indelibly bright and impossible to ignore.’ Bringing those themes, cut-outs and asymmetry to her design, she is set to paint the runway bright.

Do you want to be a fashion designer or is there another part of the fashion world you are aiming for?
There are many fields in the fashion industry that I am interested in. I have a huge passion for textiles specifically in textile manufacturing. I want to investigate past traditions and future potential of a contemporary weave practitioner, as weaving is important to me personally and culturally. I want to excel in weaving as my goal is to create my own textiles using natural fibres and dyes, allowing me to create high quality garments for my future clothing brand. I intend on becoming a successful designer with a strong connection to my cultural ethnicity, bringing something new and fresh to the industry

When did you first sew a stitch? What was the first thing you made?
The first creation I constructed was a tote bag in college. My interest in fashion formed during high school. I went to Makoura College in Masterton. My textiles and design teacher Andrina Goodwin in college really inspired me and continues to inspire me, and taught me the basics of textiles and fashion design throughout my college years. She highly recommended me to attend NZ Fashion Tech in Wellington.

How do you think the Resene NZ Fashion Tech Colour of Fashion project has changed you or helped you develop in your education/career?
It has really developed my confidence in the design process and public speaking skills and has proven that I can achieve any challenging task that I put my mind to.

Images supplied.

Related Articles
Get the latest fashion news, advice, interviews and competitions to your inbox!

Pin It on Pinterest