Fashion Week spot for Maori Fashion Design winner

First time model, Kahu Stewart from Upper Hutt College models Wiremu Barriball’s winning TUAKE range :Photography by Lisa Wilson.
The overall winner of the inaugural Miromoda Maori Fashion Design Award, Wiremu Barriball, has wo

Share

The overall winner of the inaugural Miromoda Maori Fashion Design Award, Wiremu Barriball, has won a showcase spot at this year’s Air New Zealand Fashion Week in September.

The overall winner of the inaugural Miromoda Maori Fashion Design Award, Wiremu Barriball, has won a showcase spot at this year’s Air New Zealand Fashion Week in September.

Hosted in the Tearooms at Massey University’s Grand Hall on Saturday, a total of 21 Maori Fashion designers in four categories vied for the opportunity to show at ANZFW and cash prizes. A travel and accommodation prize package to show at an indigenous fashion show at Planet IndigenUS Festival in Toronto in August was also up for grabs for the overall winner.

Wiremu Barriball, a shoe, sunglasses and pressure sportswear designer from Titahi Bay was delighted to pick up the Established section winner but was later completely surprised to be named as the recipient of the Toronto prize package.

“I was so worried about my latest stock arriving in time for the established category entry, that I didn’t even read the website properly because I knew nothing about the overall prize, so I’m rapt as!”

Like other competing designers, Wiremu described being questioned by head judge, Pieter Stewart, during his 10-minute presentation as, “Amazing! She asked some straight up questions, that showed she really knows her stuff, I was just glad I was able to answer her.”

Joining Stewart on the judging panel was Min Georgina te Heuheu, Liz Mellish, Dr Khyla Russell and Simon Wi Rutene.

Sydney based Miromoda Co-cordinator, Rex Turnbull said the downsizing of the initial gala fashion show was mostly governed by the difficulty in being a newbie on the block and securing sponsorship during a recession, “but hey, we can do Project Runway stylz,” says Turnbull.

Because ANZFW Founding Director, Pieter Stewart had already offered the new entity a showcase event at NZ’s premiere fashion event, ANZFW in September, cancellation was never considered says Turnbull.

“Essentially, we had to firstly find the designers, then organise a competition event that would realise at least six Maori fashion designers to showcase at ANZFW.”

Turnbull says with the first competition over, there is no doubt entries in the future will grow significantly, with most if not all, design finalists in the inaugural competition stating they are already committed to next year’s event.
Finding suitable Maori models proved challenging for logistics organiser, Jenna Dudley who resorted to putting a call out to Secondary Schools after Wellington Model agency, the Agencie ‘ had only limited Maori models available.

Eventually using just two professional models and eight secondary school students, mostly from Upper Hutt College, Dudley says they were keen and proved their worth by really enjoying the day. “One young model told me it had been the best day in her entire life.”

Miromoda Maori Fashion Design Awards Results:

1. Established Designer and Miromoda Overall Winner:
Wiremu Barriball (Titahi Bay); Runner up Kirsha Whitcher (Hastings).

2. Emerging Designer Winner: Kiri Nathan (Auckland); Runner up Samara Vercoe (Nelson).

3. Haute Couture Designer Winner: Keri Wanoa & Hemi Sungren (Waitara); Tutina Pasene (Otaki).

4. Tee Shirt Placement Winner: Shane Hansen (Auckland); Runner up Bianca Walford-Collier (Wellington).

Written by

The Big Idea Editor

30 Jun 2009

The Big Idea Editor Cathy Aronson is a journalist, photo journalist and digital editor.

Story / Management & Admin, Screen & Sound
So you want to get your band noticed or even on a festival bill. How do you do it?
Story / Management & Admin
A new free online tool for businesses is shining a light on the creative sector with accessible and understandable data.
Scott MacLachlan
Story / Management & Admin, Screen & Sound
Scott Maclachlan is known for managing some of NZ’s biggest recent musical talent.