Miromoda Winners Heading to Fashion Week

Prior to announcing the winners at Saturday’s Miromoda Fashion Design Awards competition at Massey University’s Tea Gardens, NZ Fashion Week Brand co-ordinator and Miromoda head judge, Nikki Harmsen summarised the defining reasons for selecting seven Maori Fashion Designers to show at the 2010 NZ Fashion Week in September.

“We were blown away at the calibre of the winning entries and excited at the potential Miromoda has in the future, especially what Miromoda will be showing at NZ Fashion Week to national and international media.”

Equally supportive was Fashion Industry NZ (FINZ) Executive Officer and fellow judge Mapihi Opai. She said the winning designers in the emerging section in particular demonstrated a cultural subtlety in their very commercial designs that from an industry perspective is the critical factor. “We were so excited by one collection, we jumped up from our judging seats, grabbed a belt then twisted and shaped some of the pieces to form even more versions of a very clever and beautiful collection.”

Publisher of Lucire fashion magazine, Jack Yan and Wellington Mayoral candidate was also part of the judging panel and critiqued the entries from a magazine photo shoot perspective.

Miromoda’s Emerging Designer winner, Blair Archibald (Ngati Ruanui) also earned the status of Overall Winner for his nostalgic Menswear Collection. On top of showing at NZ Fashion Week, Archibald will receive return travel to Sydney and a VIP Front Row package to Sydney’s Rosemount Fashion Festival in August. The AUT graduate student who served his internship with Kate Sylvester last year said he didn’t expect to win, as he was aware a classmate whom he has huge respect for had also entered.

As it turns out, his classmate and close friend Adrienne Whitewood (Rongowhakata) was runner up in the same section and will also show at NZ Fashion Week.

Miromoda Emerging Designer Runner-up Adrienne Whitewood - Karla Steedman

“I didn’t expect to win because I thought Adrienne would with her amazing collection,” said Archibald then added, “I do feel blessed to have been recognized for my work and for incorporating my Grandfather’s wairua in my clothing. Being able to show at NZ Fashion Week is like being told you’ve reached the promised-land,” said Archibald.

For Whitewood, she is thrilled to be going to NZ Fashion week but also grateful for the networking at the Miromoda event and the constructive feedback she received from the judging panel.

“The judges gave me constructive critique about things I had never thought of before in terms of styling my collection. Next year I’m hoping to do my masters and really want to question and explore how I can push my collection into international markets.”

Miromoda Co Founder Rex Turnbull said the organisation was much easier than the debut competition last year, “the standard of entries was higher, and made more competitive by being presented on outstanding Maori models whose hair and makeup styling was simply stunning.”

A team from Wellington’s hair salon chain, getfunkd and headed by national judge, Warren Dion Smith, provided the hair and make up styling and will follow Miromoda to NZ Fashion Week. Likewise, national fashion shoe brand, Wild Pair.

Check out our gallery of established winner Aroha Wikotu’s collection!

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Official Results: Miromoda Maori Fashion Design Awards Competition – 26 June, 2010
Overall Winner: Blaire Archibald (Ngati Ruanui)
Established Winner: Aroha Wikotu (Whakatohea – Tuhoe)
Emerging Designer Winner: Blaire Archibald
Emerging Designer Runner-Up: Adrienne Whitewood (Rongowhakaata)
Haute Couture Winner: Ana Hau (Ngapuhi – Te Rarawa)
Haute Couture Runner-Up: Shona Tawhiao (Ngai Te Rangi)
Tee Shirt Placement Winner: Amber Bridgman (Kai Tahu, Ngati Mamoe and Waitaha)
Tee Shirt Placement Runner-Up: Kereama Taepa (Te Arawa – Te Ati Awa)

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