fashion | 15 december 2016
They’re the ones testing boundaries of colour and prints, structure, gender, and handmade processes – now that deadlines are over, we caught up with five stand-out young designers worth keeping your eye on
words: lara daly
photographs: rob burrowes
styling: nahrin zaya
hair: kate russell
make up: lara daly
photographer's assistant: ethan james
models: ch'lita at clyne model management & eva wyles at kirsty bunny management
It’s been a crazy few months for Massey University’s sleep-deprived fashion graduates. While this time of year keeps me busy doing the makeup for many student’s photoshoots, I can’t quite relate to the pressure they’re under to wrap up an entire degree in one collection to send down the Massey Exposure runway. After spending endless hours looking at, reworking, and for some even showering with their garments, it’s no wonder seeing their clothes come to life in a context outside of university feels so rewarding.
Jarrod Reid – ‘But I Don’t Want To Take Off My Earrings’
Those lucky enough to score a seat at Massey Exposure will remember seeing Jarrod’s collection ‘But I Don’t Want To Take Off My Earrings.’ His insane creations include oversized yellow vinyl shorts and jackets, pleated pants and tops printed with stripes and checkers, all completed of course, with some fabulous earrings.
Focusing on issues of hyper masculinity and internalized homophobia within the gay community, Jarrod’s inspiration came from the Castro clones of the 80s, “where gay men would wear lumberjack styles of clothing that overcompensated for a more ‘masculine’ way of dressing. With my collection I took this and turned it into something more effeminate while still keeping masculine design features.”
There were some memorable moments of panic along the way; “literally a day before 'hand in' I made some drastic changes… the colours were fighting each other so I scrapped the orange garments altogether and whipped up another top from scraps of pleated fabric” – It was a crazy 24 hours but Jarrod got there in the end thanks to “coffee, crying, and a lot of napping.”
Thankfully we wont have to wait too long to see more of Jarrod’s creations. He’s currently working on a collection in collaboration with Megan Stewart, and we can’t wait to see it all come together.
Yoshino Maruyama – ‘Kiru’
Over blatantly oriental or Japanese garments with shiny satin and dragon motifs, Yoshino wanted to create a collection that resonated elements of the kimono “without being too obvious”. Applying her cultural connection to the kimono in a contemporary context resulted in ‘Kiru’, a collection of striking, abstract silhouettes with a focus on rituals of layering and tying.
Yoshi was inspired to create a small fashion film for her finished collection; “As a visual person I really enjoy seeing garments in movement.” Turning to the local creative talents around her, photographer and friend Josiah Watson filmed and edited the video while her boyfriend Isaac Laughton made the soundtrack, and artist Isabella Loudon’s beautiful work provided the background.
Yoshi won the Kate Sylvester internship award, which she’s excited to start next year. “Then hopefully going to Japan at the end of the year, seeing family and checking out the creative scene!”
Dom Burton – ‘The Mother of all Messes’
Inspired by Dr Seuss’s Cat in the Hat and 70’s interior design and furniture, it’s not surprising Dom’s bold collection won him The Fabric Store’s Best Use of Colour Award. Dom carefully refers to his collection as “not a literal mess, but an organized colliding of print and colour on distorted garments and large scale shapes.”
Hailing from the Hawkes Bay, Dom adopted his “more adventurous” Wellingtonian style from a young age, experimenting with outrageous second-hand finds and reworking them. “16 year old Dom was kinda a mess… I would buy pants from op shops and go round to my auntie’s house, where she could teach me how to alter them.”
Making the most out of the creative outlets he has now, Dom collaborated with friend and interior design student Chan Frankston and photographer Megan Alexander when it was time to shoot; “when Meg took the first photo and showed me I literally screamed. I was so happy.”
Dom’s sticking around in Wellington next year but isn’t ruling out plans for a potential overseas move; “I want to continue designing, making clothes and pushing myself. Where I do that is unknown at this point.”
Melina Askew – Sorrel Pace
Melina Askew – Millie to most – bravely took on two roles as a textile and fashion designer, creating her collection ‘Sorrel Pace’. Choosing probably the most labour-intensive way to construct her garments, Millie was on a mission to make her collection entirely from locally produced materials like NZ wool.
“I wanted to maximise the natural creamy colour wool has but mix it up with some fun colours that are common within New Zealand landscapes. I hand- dyed each colour using brown and red onion skins at my flat, usually late into the night.” Millie’s Instagram feed is filled with photos of hand-spun wool hanging off various objects around her house like giant bundles of spaghetti. “I became pretty close to the dyed wool, literally showering with it at some points. I couldn't really tell you exactly how long it took.”
We love her ingenious use of what NZ has to offer, including some cute sandals she made from New Zealand Flax, wood and recycled rubber to complete her final collection look. “I’m quite proud of this as not many people are able to say "this is my collection and I made every single aspect of it from scratch."
Shannen Young – Allusion/Illusion.
Shannen Young’s collection ‘Allusion Illusion’ explores alternative pattern methods to deconstruct western garments and ideals of beauty. Shannon became fixated on the concept of ‘flatness’ in the pattern-making to create her garments, resulting in an incredible collection that’s almost flat-pack high fashion. “The asymmetric red striped top was the first toile I made following the concept of flatness and it became a base for designing some of the other garments.”
The inspiration behind Shannen’s amazing use of print and colour – like the blue and red stripes – came from surprisingly everyday things. “The printed coat was inspired by Vogel's fruit bread.”
Receiving all the positive feedback from friends, family and others while completing her collection kept Shannen sane during stressful times and rewarded the heavy workload. “Being in an environment with friends going through the same thing helped. We all just supported each other and joked around which helped create a really positive working environment for us all.”
Shannen is dedicated to working on personal projects next year, but hopes to squeeze in a well-deserved travel break, “I'd love to visit Japan or New York!!”
designer: jarrod reid: (@jarrod_reid)
designer: yoshino maruyama: (@yosh_ino)
designer: melina askew: (@melinaaskew)
designer: dom burton (@dquebrtn)
designer: shannen young: (@shannen_young)
photographer: rob burrowes (@robburrowes)
styling: nahrin zaya (@nahrinz)
hair: kate russell (@katerussellstylist)
make-up: lara daly (@lara.daly)
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