“It’s a bit mental,” the 25-year-old concedes of her response to the 10 October event’s avant garde theme.
The spring-like mint green and pink colours caught Tori’s eye on a trip made by EIT’s first-year fashion certificate students to Auckland earlier this year. Visiting a fabric warehouse, she spotted the psychedelic-patterned, spongy-like material, manufactured with trendy training shoes in mind.
Tori’s taken the material to a whole new level in designing and making a two-piece outfit she agrees is “very dressy”. The short-sleeved crop top with its raised neckline sets off a flirty skirt that has deep diamond shaped gathers, like those used for smocking but on a bigger scale, forming a band around the hips.
Entrants in the Young Designer section of the Spring Carnival fashion event model the garments themselves, although Tori isn’t convinced it’s the kind of outfit she’d normally wear herself.
“I’ve gone very matchy,” she says. “I don’t usually do matchy matchy.”
Even the accessories coordinate, with a clutch and “serious heels” featuring the same eye-catching fabric.
Programme coordinator and tutor Cheryl Downie says the competition is a chance for locals to see the high standards achieved by the Certificate in Fashion Apparel students. Students will be able to progress to even better things next year, she points out, when EIT adds the Level 5 New Zealand Diploma in Fashion to its programme offerings.
While Tori lives in Hastings, she grew up in Tauranga, moving to Hawke’s Bay two years ago to join her boyfriend.
After school, she didn’t have much idea about what she wanted to do in life but left the Bay of Plenty for university because her friends were also heading off. She graduated with a Bachelor of Design and, after moving to Hawke’s Bay, was employed as a counter manager for a leading cosmetics brand at a Havelock North beauty therapy clinic.
“After two years I knew that wasn’t what I wanted to do. My degree probably wasn’t as practical as I would have liked and I wanted to get into creating things.”
That led her to EIT ideaschool’s Certificate in Fashion Apparel. Tori dovetails study with a part-time job working as a fashion saleswoman for Kilt.
“I’ve always been interested in working in anything fashion-based,” she says. And although still to determine her future direction, she would like to draw on her screen-printing skills and is attracted to the costume side of fashion – “to the showpiece designs rather than streetwear”.