EIT’s final-year fashion students have been at full stretch over the past few weeks, adding the finishing touches to garments that will showcase in the upcoming Hokonui Fashion Design Awards.
In their 28th year, the awards are a well-established competitive platform for amateur designers nationwide.
Coordinator for ideaschool’s fashion programmes, Cheryl Downie says EIT is forwarding a strong field of entries in this year’s awards, to be staged in Gore in late July.
Emily Murdoch and Dan Tynan are among the talented fledgling designers who are hoping their outfits impress a judging panel which will include fashion designers Lela Jacobs, Annah Stretton and Jimmy D.
While Murdoch has always wanted to forge a career in fashion and studied textiles at Hastings Girls’ High School, she acted on her parents’ advice to gain a degree by studying for a Bachelor of Visual Arts and Design at EIT’s ideaschool.
Murdoch says it was good counsel. Awarded EIT’s Year 13 degree scholarship, she has also saved money by living at home. Her degree studies, which focused on sculpture, assemblages, fashion photography, installations and collage, have honed her research and creative skills, she says, and given her the confidence to pursue her fashion design ideas.
Her Hokonui entry was inspired by last year’s Dolce & Gabbana fashion collections. The visionary black lace gown, festooned with hand-coloured appliqué flowers and sparkling rhinestones was created with a non-traditional summer wedding in mind.
The appliqué flowers were sourced from emporiums, op shops and bridal salons as far away as Palmerston North, says the 23-year-old, who likes to individualise her fabrics.
Murdoch’s aim is to establish her own fashion design business, making dresses and selling them – “I also want to do plus sizes as part of a custom-design service based here in Hawke’s Bay.”
Leaving Central Hawke’s Bay College for Wellington, Tynan realised his initial study choices weren’t the best fits. However, he’s found his feet in fashion and is now firmly focused on a future designing for his own menswear label.
Entitled Tokyo Dusk till Dawn, his Hokonui entry was inspired by men’s high street fashion in Japan’s style-conscious capital city.
“The leggings and shorts combination has been emerging as a new style of streetwear in Tokyo,” he explains, and it’s a combination he expects will also break through the boundaries of New Zealand fashion.
Tynan has some experience with pushing the limits on what a Kiwi bloke might wear.
Returning from Wellington to his hometown of Waipawa, he found a fabric patterned with swans and roses which he used to make t-shirts that featured non-traditional sleeves and pockets. His first garment sold within 10 minutes of delivering it to a local store.
Tynan’s Hokonui entry layers two different fabrics for the shorts and t-shirt. The pea jacket, popular seamen’s wear, is de rigueur in Japan – “many Japanese men can be seen wearing this style of jacket around the streets”.
Having moved to Napier last year, Tynan anticipates launching his menswear business in Auckland.