Jen’s entry for Hawke’s Bay Racing’s Spring Carnival event has been created with the fashion-savvy race-goer in mind. The bejewelled cocktail dress is short, sassy and super sophisticated.
It’s also in the 20-year-old’s favourite colour.
“I love purple,” the Certificate in Fashion Apparel student enthuses. And her coloured hair doesn’t say it all. “My whole room is purple and it’s been like that since I was little.”
Jen and her classmates are all entered in the Fashion in the Field’s Young Designer section, giving locals a chance to see the ideaschool students’ work.
For programme coordinator and tutor Cheryl Downie, it’s also an opportunity to promote a further qualification being launched at EIT next year – the Level 5 New Zealand Diploma in Fashion.
Responding to the avant garde theme in the Young Designer category, Jen has tailored a fitted dress in cotton sateen. At the back, a fish-tail peplum falls from the waist and a fan of strips festooned with diamantes connect to a choker of fabric around the neck.
The wow factor is amped up at the front with a supersized bow, trimmed with a strip of diamantes and attached at the bust. Bows also trim a headpiece and the back of black high-heeled shoes.
She will model the dress for Fashion in the Field and says it’s one she’d also wear to a wedding or a casual ball, although probably toned down by removing the really big bow.
Jen lives handy to EIT, over the road in the student village.
Unsure about what she wanted to do when she left school, she took a gap year.
“I wondered what kind of design I wanted to do and realised during that time that fashion was what I most enjoyed studying at school.”
A friend, choosing to study at EIT after hearing it had one of New Zealand’s best nursing schools, tipped Jen off to ideaschool.
“She suggested I have a look at what was offered so I came to an open day and applied straight away. I came here to learn construction skills.”
Her plan is to progress to degree studies, majoring in fashion and with a minor in textile design.
“I feel the need to unleash my design talent,” she says, “to open my mind a little bit to the possibilities. And I like the idea of getting into bridal wear and maybe costume design.”