Gale-force of Designer Talent Storms the Runway in Otago

Kieran Higgins - Michael McQueenIt was an average cold, wet and windy Dunedin night on the 21st November 2009, but the real storm was whipping up at the Otago Polytechnic’s School of Fashion ‘Collections 09’. A gusty gale of talent blew through the Upper Level of the Wilson car park where this year’s ‘Collections 09’ was held and Charlotte Carr was there to review the best of the best.

Audience members were treated to a breath of fresh air from over seventy of the Fashion Schools students. Each year level participated in presenting their clothes, but in truth the night belonged to the year three’s and their graduate collections. The collections ranged from seductively sheer black lingerie to glam rock get ups of leather, latex and studs. Each designer really showed their true colours (warts and all) under the entertaining guise of fashion.

Abby Lowe - Michael Alexander Mcqueen Monica King - Michael Alexander Mcqueen

It seems that the day for designer sleeves and shoulders is back and in full swing amongst these up and coming designers. Almost every collection featured a newly manipulated sleeve or shoulder in some form or another.

The most theatrical was Anna Holmes-Libbis’ Dr Glam body armour styled shoulder pads equipped with chain links and gold studs which contrasted nicely with the tight silver latex body suit of Holmes-Libbis’ main man Dr Glam. All part of her glam rock inspired collection “Wham Glam and the Thankyou mams!

Anna Holmes-Libbis - Michael McQueen

Anna Holmes-Libbis

There was the most ironically glitzy leg of lamb sleeve on the Rump dress from Lorna Sokoney-Fraser’s collection “Meat?” These sleeves scored double points with me because not only were they deliciously blood-red and shining with rhinestones but they also helped pose the rhetorical question – Are woman still viewed as pieces of meat?

Lorna Sokoney-Fraser - Michael McQueen

Lorna Sokoney-Fraser

Bailey Meredith brought a real sense of high fashion to the sleeve game with what I would call tailored prism sleeve shoulders from her “Altered Ego“ collection. I especially love the cow hide jacket with pointed shoulders, the natural pattern on the hide softens the sharpness of the shape creating a strong yet sophisticated silhouette to bring out the ’dark woman’ within.

Bailey Meredith - Michael McQueen

Bailey Meredith

The graduate collections were all amazing but there definitely were some favourites but all for different reasons…

Diane Rohmets: “The Protrusionists”
Diane Rohmets modernist influenced collection “The Protrusionists” was a refreshing intellectual approach to deconstructing the female form. The works of artist Marcel Duchamp and his exploration of the relationships between speed and movement influenced Rohmets to explore how she could manipulate traditional tailoring techniques to depict a sense of movement of an angle throughout her collection. The result? A new way of deconstructing the traditions of the female form by simplifying colour ,shape, silhouette and manipulating traditionally male tailoring techniques and styles. I enjoyed seeing a new approach to deconstruction other than having raw edge hems and misplaced collars.

Diane Rohmets - Michael McQueen

Diane Rohmets

Diane Rohmets - Michael McQueen

Diane RohmetsDiane Rohmets

Melanie Child: “Manufactured”
Melanie Child turned trash into treasure with her “Manufactured” collection. Scavenged items such as zips, buttons, curtain hangers, aluminium can tear tabs and old records looked at home on the runway incorporated into Child’s stunning haute couture-meets-art garments. Child explored the way in which we consider certain items as valueless yet if they’re put into a context seen as valuable (such as fashion or art) the value of the item then increases, without the item physically changing.

Melanie Child - Michael McQueen

Melanie Child

Melanie Child - Michael McQueen

Melanie Child

Roxanna Zamani: “Incongrous”
Roxanna Zamani created one of the most aesthetically and architecturally beautiful collections of the night. Zamani aimed to capture the beauty of opposites in her collection “Incongrous”. My favourite piece was the high waisted dress with opaque bodice and layered silk skirt. The skirt looked like is was made from a pearly fluid as it floated down the runway, just magnificent. The contrast between the sheer structured top half of the dress to the literally hundreds of layers of silk in the skirt made it that much more captivating to watch.

Roxanna Zamani - Michael McQueen

Roxanna Zamani

Roxanna Zamani - Michael McQueen

Roxanna Zamani

Sophie Hardy: “Possession Obsession”
Last but not least in the favourites was the quirky yet so extremely well executed collection of Sophie Hardy’s “Possesion Obsession”. This collection was based on people who become so obsessed with collecting certain items that it becomes their whole life. The detailing of these garments was exquisite. The red stamp collector dress was made up of hundreds of pieces that have been laser cut into the shape of a stamp. The ruffles and high structured collar combined with top to toe solid reds created such a slick and marketable look.

Sophie Hardy - Michael McQueen

Sophie Hardy

Sophie Hardy - Michael McQueen

Sophie Hardy

All round the whole night was a success and there was not a token dud collection insight. It might’ve been your typical cloudy Dunedin night outside, but there were definitely some rising stars at the Otago Polytechnic Fashion School ‘Collections 09’.

Review: Charlotte Carr
Photography: Michael Alexander McQueen

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Michael McQueen, Michael McQueen. Michael McQueen said: Thanks Melody, Awesome RT @nzfashion: Gale-force of Designer Talent Storms the Runway at Otago Polytech Fashion Show. http://wp.me/psyHt-1vX […]

  2. […] art school and at the last-minute I thought I would give fashion a go! So I studied fashion at the Otago Polytechnic school of fashion – the rest is […]

  3. […] Otago polytechnic student Laura Marshall explored the fine line between feminine and masculine with her menswear […]



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