A Riot of Colour & Ideas at Massey 10th Edition
A kaleidoscope of colour ruled the catwalk at this year’s Massey University student showcase.
The fashion show, celebrating its tenth edition this year, was a testament to the creativity of its students who largely ignored the confines of commercialism in favour of theatrical and artistic pursuits.
Apart from a few minor mishaps like exposed ‘chicken fillets’ and a couple of bedazzled Irish Setters that took a turn on the catwalk, the show was a polished, slick affair that both students and tutors should be proud of.
Final-year student Rochelle Manos foraged in Tokyo’s famed Harajuku district for inspiration for her whimsical collection. Accessorised with oversized candy necklaces and giant bunnies, the collection eschewed commercial vagaries.
The standout collection was also a favourite of designer Karen Walker who took front seat at the show.
Rochelle says that her wish was to “create happiness” through her playful rendering of the strange fruit of the Harajuku.
By contrast, Emily Stringfellow explored a subtler aesthetic with her collection, ‘The Princess and the Shedhand’. She was inspired by a picture she found of the young Queen Elizabeth meeting some farmers on a royal visit to New Zealand.
Her tight collection was both wearable and covetable. Separates in soft fabrics and hues were coupled with brown ankle boots, referencing both the practicality of farmwear and the luxuriousness of a royal wardrobe.
The generous scoops of the colour cream were a nice touch, suggestive of the sweet treats the farmers’ wives would surely have served up to please the Queen.
Amy Gough explored the impact of visual disorders on the work of artists. Her flowing silk dresses were a riot of colour and exploding flowers, conjuring images of the work of Monet.
The French artist was himself affected by problems with his sight. His eyesight diminished over his lifetime due to cataracts and, as a result, his approach to colour and form completely changed.
Traversing to the other side of the world, Sylvia Whiting was influenced by the traditional costumes of Mexico.
She created a layered black and white dress reminiscent of Valentino’s divine concoctions. Tiers of cotton and lace were cinched in at the waist by an embroidered belt, a nod to Mexican artisans.
Traditional embroidery and weaving in Mexico is slowly disappearing thanks to Western influences, so it was a gratifying to see this old art form reinterpreted in a contemporary way.
What was remarkable about the show in its entirety was the diversity of ideas. No corner of the world was left untouched by these young explorers.
The students spend countless hours poring over their designs or teaching themselves old world techniques in an effort to rise above the masses. This is surely the biggest challenge in an industry where so many compete for such a limited number of places and spaces.
We wish these students luck in their pursuit of perfection and aestheticism. In such a serious world, we all need these sartorial inventors to treat us to a few luxurious moments where the eyes reign supreme.