Shanghai Fashion Week event attracts top designers, media and buyers from all over the world and this year six fashion design students from Otago Polytechnic have been selected to show their creations whilst also undertaking a collaborative photography project with Shanghai fashion students.
Third-year Bachelor of Design (Fashion) students Hortense Rothery, Carolyn Taylor, Olivia Bloxham, Rakel Blomsberg, Sam Ralph and Soohee Moon will showcase garments from their final year collections.
The School of Design’s Fashion department was invited to select students to participate in Shanghai Fashion Week by the International Fashion Academy (IFA) Paris, based in Shanghai. The only stipulation was that each contribution had to be inspired by the theme, ‘green’.
“Each of the students has interpreted the green theme slightly differently, which means there’s a sense of collective diversity among our contributions,” explains Otago Polytechnic’s Academic Leader – Fashion, Margo Barton, who is one of three staff members accompanying the students on the trip.
While in Shanghai, the students will also embark on a cultural collaboration with fashion students from the IFA (Paris) Shanghai campus.
The Dunedin students’ outfits will be worn by models and photographed in some of Shanghai’s most interesting and iconic locales. IFA Paris students will be coming to Dunedin in November to show as part of Otago Polytechnic’s end-of-year fashion show, Collections 12. During this time, their garments will be worn and photographed around Dunedin, and the images from the sister cities will be compiled into a book. The project will also form the basis of an academic paper.
“We have a great partnership with IFA Paris in Shanghai, which opens doors for our respective students and staff to explore different cultural outlooks,” says Margo Barton. “This collaboration is an exciting one which has considerable scope from both academic and fashion perspectives.”
One of the participating students, Sam Ralph, says the trip presents some fantastic opportunities.
“This is such an exciting adventure for us. Shanghai Fashion Week is an amazing platform for exposure for a young designer. It’ll be a lot of fun, a lot of hard work, and absolutely worth it.”
Sam is also looking forward to the photography project. “The resulting images will be so valuable for our portfolios. Some of the other designers are planning to shoot their garments amongst Shanghai cityscapes, and I’m hoping to find a setting with traditional Chinese buildings and gardens.”
The Otago Polytechnic designers leave Dunedin for Shanghai on Monday 15 October, returning on Wednesday 24 October.