The sun has set on Fashion Week 2017. We’ve seen all the shows, drunk all the energy drinks, eaten all the complimentary macaroons and stuffed all the free tampons in our bags for later. As we’ve been going flat tack all week, this is the first opportunity I’ve had to reflect on my very first fashion week and decide what really stood out for me. After much coffee and careful consideration, I have to say I was most excited by the NZ Post Miromoda Showcase. The designs, The designers, the atmosphere, the philosophy and ethic behind the show… It all just worked.
There is far more to Miromoda than a traditional runway show. In the nine years the Indigenous Māori Fashion Apparel Board has been at Fashion Week, Miromoda has been dedicated to supporting, mentoring and showcasing Maori designers throughout their training and careers. The competition offers fashion designers of Māori decent the opportunity to compete in three categories, supreme, emerging and avant-garde. The winners of these categories go on to show their designs in the showcase aiming to raise the profile of Māori design in New Zealand.
Supreme winner, Misty Ratima, is the creative force behind Te Kohu. Hailing from Napier, her collection combines both feminine and masculine styles with cultural concepts and streetwear. A descendant of Ngāti Kahungunu, Rongowhakaata, Rongomaiwahine and Ngāti Hine, Misty incorporates strong cultural elements into her designs that reflect the importance of family and community. Her printed design jackets were her crowning pieces and I’m honestly prepared to sell a kidney to get my hands on one.
Emerging designer winner Jacob Coutie creates layered and highly wearable menswear inspired by the environment and lifestyle of Aotearoa. Musician Teeks made a cameo modelling appearance during the opening of Jacob’s show, walking down the runway to his own track ‘Wash Over Me’.
Avant-garde designer winner Christopher Huia-Woods first grabbed our attention in 2012 after designing Miss New Zealand’s dress for the Miss World finals in South Africa. So what has the former hairdresser been doing between then and now? Well instead of sitting down at a drawing board designing, Christopher has been learning the traditional knotting technique used by Maori men to make nests and traps. He uses this technique to tie material around mannequins, letting the designs take shape from there.
Scroll down for pictures of this incredible showcase.