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Source: Eastern Institute of Technology – Tairāwhiti

11 mins ago

NZ Diploma in Fashion [Level 5] student Stella Vivian had her collection ‘Like a Lady’ modelled on the catwalk.

Students at EIT | Te Pūkenga IDEAschool flaunted their fashion flair, pattern-making prowess and tailoring talents as part of the annual end of year Fashion Show.  

The Fashion Show was the third of four events to be held as part of End of Year Celebrations for IDEAschool, with a runway staged in the Trades Block on the Hawke’s Bay Campus in Taradale on Thursday, 24 November.  

IDEAschool’s Fashion Discipline Leader Cheryl Downie, who oversaw the fashion show, says the guests were blown away by the diverse range of designs modelled on the catwalk.

While the fashion show is an annual event, it was the first time garments produced by fashion diploma and degree students were presented together.

“It’s been an amazing year. The students have all been really enthusiastic and given it their all,” Cheryl says.

“They work towards this all year, and we get them to really think about how they are going to present their work so that they feel extremely proud of what they put on the catwalk, and they blow us away every year.”

NZ Diploma in Fashion [Level 5] students Ruby Powell, Mikayla Ellery, Stella Vivian, Kaiwhata Mahanga Kemp and Morkort (Jade) Keo showcased two outfits each.   

Bachelor of Creative Practice (Fashion) [Level 6] students Amber Libby-Allison, Tina Watts, Keryn Olsen, Aiaikitekura Kavana, Pam Bicknell and Joanne Beswick had three outfits.

While Wiremu Robin, Ashford Thompson, Letesha Willis, Ehiri Donnelly and Alice Tasker, all in their final year of the Bachelor of Creative Practice (Fashion) [Level 7], presented five outfits each.

Kaiwhata (Ngāti Kahungunu, Muaūpoko and Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga) says he has loved the experience and is looking forward to continuing on to the degree.

His collection: Ki te whaiao, ki te ao mārama (The Emergence from the Darkness to the World of  Light) used the colours of the Tino Rangatiratanga flag; black, white and red, with nude colours to represent the many different tones of skin colour of Māori today.

Jessica Gordon (left), Connor Hirst and Eoin Parke modelled Bachelor of Creative Practice (Fashion) [Level 6] student Keryn Olsen’s collection ‘Kisah Cinta’.

“Being my first collection, I found it only right that my starting point in fashion highlight our creation story, which resonates with every aspect of my life.”

His friends, Tash Hau and Harlem-Cruz Atarangi Ihaia who was  Miss Universe NZ 2017, modelled his two outfits.

“I chose my models because not only are they gorgeous, furthermore they both work for our people by way of holding spaces that elevate us and our culture,” Kaiwhata says.

He dedicated his collection to his aunty, Haeata Climie, who recently passed away, to celebrate her achievements in campaigning against the inequities faced by Māori in the health system.

“Her whole ethos was being unapologetically Māori. I carry the same passion for our people and hope to transfer those qualities over to my designs by way of telling our stories through the language of garments.”

The 30-year-old works as a forklift driver, but this year decided to follow his long-held dream of pursuing a career as a fashion designer.

Last year Letesha Willis was not able to walk the runway alongside her designs, as she was giving birth to her first child, Isaiah Scott.

So, it was only fitting, almost a year to the date, she made the runway, with her partner Ty Scott and baby boy in tow. 

“It’s been an absolutely lifechanging experience and gotten me one step closer to my dream career,” the 20-year-old says.

“The tutors are so lovely and have been so supportive. This year I’ve had to go through finishing my degree while learning how to raise a baby. I couldn’t have done it without the support system around me.”

Now that she has finished her degree, Letesha plans on working in the industry to gain further experience before launching her own brand, Endless Flow.

Bachelor of Creative Practice (Fashion) [Level 6] student Aiaikitekura Kavana (second right) proudly displays her three-piece collection titled ‘Colonisation’.

Wiremu’s (Ngāti Kahungunu and Ngāti Pāhauwera) five piece streetwear collection ‘Love in Action’, as part of his label; We Are The Future, featured 12 individual garments with 65 pockets and two bags.   

It is inspired by World War II uniforms, battledress, and infantry equipment, which is conveyed through progressive and forward-thinking streetwear silhouettes.

It was the 31-year-old’s third and final fashion show as part of his degree. He will forever be grateful for what the programme, and the tutors in particular, have done for him.

“The tutors have made the difference for me. Like there were moments when I thought I wasn’t going to make it, but they literally give you so much support and aroha that it’s overwhelming.”

The Acting Head of IDEAschool, Cherie Freeman, says: Congratulations to our students and staff on the end of year Fashion celebration.  The event really showcased the students design and technical capability.  All of these garments would have been suitable for the TV series ‘Project Runway’.  Great to see local talent on display.”