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39 extraordinary works of silk

Six years ago the Resene NZ Fashion Tech Colour of Fashion project began. Since then it has given over 75 tertiary fashion students the chance to show their work at New Zealand Fashion Week; something that can take years of hard slog to achieve for those in the business.

The 2019 crop of fresh talent faced the judges in early June.

Judging Day saw 39 extraordinary works of silk paraded by models in this season’s palette of fashion colours from Resene. Crafted and nuanced by the students into contemporary fashion looks with intricate design rationale, bold creative expression and technical precision, the garments were put through their paces.

Picture a walk on the 1960s fashion wild-side in Resene Wild Thing; a hood morphing into a cape in Resene Code Red; a Frida Kahlo-inspired androgynous shirt and tie in Resene Harmony; a nod to Nina Garcia’s call for fashion versatility in Resene Fast Forward; and a hipster jumpsuit capturing the rebellion of a middle child in Resene FOMO.

It’s a project where Resene collaborates with NZ Fashion Tech giving undergrads in their final year of study at campuses in Auckland and Wellington a chance to be part of a professional fashion shoot, direct their own portfolio images from behind the camera and feature in a Resene on-line gallery.

Gallery of design...
See the range of stunning colourful fashion looks created by NZ Fashion Tech students inspired by Resene paint colours. Get inspired to bring fresh colour into your home and wardrobe. View gallery...

The 17 finalists in 2019 – ten from Auckland and seven from Wellington – will attend a glamorous opening night at New Zealand Fashion Week on 29 August where the Resene Designer Runway show will open with their designs – dresses, jumpsuits, shorts - in an explosion of vibrant colour.

Auckland finalists are:

  • Bryony Acraman (22)
  • Emily Verhaaren (20)
  • Eva Martin (28)
  • Janesa Boreham (23)
  • Josephine Williams (21)
  • Marina Khak (24)
  • Rolieta (Etta)
  • Pritchard (20)
  • Samantha Parr (20)
  • Simone Denham (26)
  • Terrell Henry (22)

Wellington finalists are:

  • Angelika Olsen (21)
  • Elle James-Monk (20)
  • Georgina Harmon-Hohua (20)
  • Helen Diaz Calisto (18)
  • Michael Barlow (19)
  • Michelle Israelson (50)
  • Shannon Owen (21)

Karen Warman of Resene says: “We are proud of this project. It showcases some of our newest fashion colours at New Zealand Fashion Week while bringing visibility to fashion’s exciting young talent. We love seeing these creative young people immerse themselves in their Resene colour and illustrate to audiences at Fashion Week how their colour tells a story.”

The winner of Resene NZ Fashion Tech Colour of Fashion 2019 was Bryony Acraman, who received a new industrial sewing machine, an engraved pair of shears of the highest quality, gifted by Resene, and her outfit opening the Resene Designer Runway show at NZ Fashion Week.

Before 2019’s first Resene Designer Runway show, this colour collection will have been seen first in India in July – see India Story below – and then at the 2019 Resene Total Colour Awards on 28 August. Resene’s private runway show will give the paint company’s clients - architects, interior designers and colour experts - a preview of some new-season paint colours - not in swatches, charts or test pots, but fashioned into strikingly beautiful garments made by young designers.

India story

Colours weave learning into an unforgettable experience in India

Every year since 2014 NZ Fashion Tech Diploma students have been asked to create a work of fashion from silk as part of the Resene NZ Fashion Tech Colour of Fashion project.

Once the original designs are created in New Zealand, patterns are taken to India by those NZ Fashion Tech students who are awarded Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia.

As part of six weeks of collaborative learning in India, the NZ Fashion Tech students re-create the garments from a locally-sourced silk sari for a glittering fashion show hosted by the Bannari Amman Institute of Technology at their university campus in Sathyamangalam.

In 2019, NZ Fashion Tech has been awarded 15 Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia bringing the total since 2014 to 89.

4 Finalists inspired by Mrs T at Massey High School:

Terrell Henry (22)

Inspired by 1970s fashion, Terrell’s jumpsuit with ruffled v-neck and flared pants in Resene FOMO has enabled him to eliminate any self-doubt about his ability to make it in fashion. Asked who he would imagine sitting front-row at the opening show alongside his family and tutors, he picked musicians Pharrell Williams, Tyler The Creator and Kanye West. A fan of raw fabric edges, Terrell also likes to wear colour. Orange, purple and mustard are among his favourites. Terrell says:

“Mrs T was a huge inspiration at high school. She taught me a lot about fashion. I will continue to credit her for a lot of my achievements throughout my studies. I'm sure others would say the same.”

Janesa Boreham (23)

When asked who she would imagine sitting in the front row as her flowing, layered dress in Resene Code Red stepped onto the runway, she said it would be her family alongside Kate Sylvester and Audrey Hepburn. Janesa has fond memories of Mrs T at Massey High School. She says:

“Miss T was one of my fabric teachers in high school. She would always urge us to make something unique and would stay with us for hours, even after school, to help us finish our projects.”

Janesa has come a long way since making an envelope holder in sewing class at intermediate school.

Rolieta Pritchard (20)

Vibrancy, romance, pure love, femininity and Paris were the themes Resene Pink Ribbon evoked for Rolieta (Etta) when designing her dress. She speaks fondly of Mrs T.

“My Fashion Academy teacher in high school Mrs Tumaru was a huge inspiration to me and was a great teacher who helped us a lot and was very good at her job and with her students. She taught us so many skills and tricks on sewing and had a lot of knowledge and experience about the industry itself,” says Rolieta. The first time the 20 year old sewed a stitch was in intermediate school. “At first it felt scary but I enjoyed it very much. The first thing I was able to make was a bag and I was very proud of it,” she says.

Samantha Parr (20)

“Two people played a big part in inspiring me to follow a fashion career. One of them was my grandma. Her dream was for at least one of her grandchildren to follow in her footsteps. She loved the clothing in the markets but could never afford to buy it. So she would buy fabric or find something laying around and she taught herself to sew by hand. As she got older she prayed that one of her grandchildren would have the passion that she had. But it’s sad how she passed away before I started to discover my passion for fashion. And that inspired me to do fashion and to make her dream come true,” says Samantha.

“And the second person that helped and inspired me was my tutor from high school named Mrs T. She was a lovely teacher and she saw something in me that I never noticed about my sewing. She was the reason I came to NZ Fashion Tech to become a designer. Where I am standing now; I would not have done it without her.” So, when the yellow 1960s dress with frills at the hem in Resene Wild Thing steps onto the runway in August, there are sure to be two special women in Samantha’s thoughts.


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Apparel article - Colour party

Fresh paint on the runway at New Zealand Fashion Week... The 2019 line-up of talent that faced the judges in June saw 39 extraordinary works of silk worn by models in this season’s palette of fashion colours from Resene.

Crafted and nuanced by the students into contemporary fashion looks, intricate design rationales, bold creative expression and technical precision, the garments were put through their paces at the judging.... more

Living colour articles / A sense of valour

Download Apparel article

Resene NZ Fashion Tech Colour of Fashion clothing - 2019

View fashion gallery

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