Winning paper dress design set to go to the highest bidder, re-made in cloth

After winning the title of New Zealand’s favourite little-white-paper-dress, Kapi Fonua’s Kleenex Cottonelle paper dress design is now being offered on Trade Me. The dress will be re-made in fabric by the team at NZ Fashion Tech in the winning bidder’s choice of colour and dress size. The auction is LIVE for one week from 16 September – CLICK HERE to view auction.


New Zealand’s favourite Kleenex® Cottonelle® Paper Dress by Kapi Fonua
Model: Grace Owen, 62 Models   Photos: Marissa Findlay

It will be nineteen year old Kapi’s first commission. All proceeds from the sale of the cloth replica will go to the young designer whose dress is known for its exquisite pohutukawa leaf lace.
At New Zealand Fashion Week and Fashion Weekend Kapi’s dress brought audible whispers of delight from the crowd, requests for autographs, and a sea of camera flashes each time it stepped onto the runway. Kapi was sitting in the front row when the three Paper Dresses made their runway debut, and his parents, aunties, sister, tutors, and former teacher from Aorere College witnessed that moment too.
Born in Tonga, Kapi Fonua remembers the lace in the white dresses he saw at church. After moving with his family to New Zealand as an 11 year old, one of his fondest memories is going to the beach at Christmas where he would climb among the pohutukawa trees. Both memories are stitched into his work of fashion art, which took 12 rolls of toilet paper and 4 weeks of unwavering focus to plump and plume into shape.
Kapi’s dress was also chosen by Kimberly-Clark NZ to star in a television commercial, and that New Zealand-made ad also debuts on Sunday 16th September.
The Paper Dresses Challenge is a collaboration between New Zealand Fashion Week, NZ Fashion Tech and Kimberly-Clark New Zealand, the makers of Kleenex Cottonelle toilet paper, designed to springboard three young fashion careers.

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