Above Hayley Jewell. Below left Julia
HAS IT REALLY BEEN TEN YEARS? Massey
University’s The Tenth Edition fashion show last November
got us thinking back over the last decade and how Lucire
must have been there at the very first graduate show of its fashion
There have been on- and off-years, as any school knows.
In the off-years, there are still stand-out students, but the on-years—years
which saw Annie Ward, Christina Perriam and Kathryn Wilson graduate—had
such consistently high standards that it was hard to pick out who
was the best.
Massey seems to be heading back to those classic years,
with both 2008 and 2009 strong—to a point where it has become impossible,
once again, to say if there was a graduate whose star shone more
brightly than her (and in some rare cases his) peers.
Plenty of the seasoned fashion designers were in force:
Karen Walker (with husband Mikhail Gherman) had flown from Auckland,
while Deborah Sweeney (along with her husband, Niels Meyer-Westfeld)
attended while expecting her first child.
The Dip. Fashion graduates did well: we particularly
liked the work of Bex Henton, Sopo Nanai, Kirra O’Connor, Paula
Roberts, Nicole Schmidt, Jessica Duxfield, Kimberley Fitton, Amy
Lamb and Jodie Harvey. Lam’s Fling was fun and multi-coloured,
while Leah McGuire used a sense of irony with using black and white,
with red trim, for Los Colores de México. However,
the poorly designed programme did not help: each designer’s collection
name was one line off, while there were more than a few misspellings
Amy Gough’s Distorted Vision’s floral prints
and Emily George’s Coil—with her models giving the effect
of springs—were our highlights in the B.Des. (Textiles) segment.
B.Des. (Fashion) is still considered the highlight
of the evening, though that should not take anything away from the
other grads. Usually, this receives the attention due to size alone—with
the exception of one year in the 2000s, the B.Des. (Fashion) graduates
have traditionally been the biggest group at the end-of-year show.
Pre-intermission, Jasmine Persson showed complex leather
underwear, Philippa Lake’s Oblique Dimensions showed good
construction, especially on her coats, while Michelle Freeth’s One
Intimate Moment showed pleating on menswear and multiple collars
on one shirt. Perhaps cleverly for menswear, Freeth never made any
of her menswear feminine, always a tricky thing when
one begins involving techniques such as pleating.
Post-intermission, the students were back. Uma Lele
took inspiration from her Pune heritage for her The Silk Road
collection; Shuai Zhang showed a structural, futuristic style; while
Sheena Curtin probably showed the most memorable collection by having
two large dogs walk on stage with her first model, drawing attention
to her knits, nicely structured jacket and dresses. Pity, then,
that Curtin was at home with the cold that evening, and missed the
acclaim, though at least she was spared the programme typo.
Katherine Thomson, another victim of programme misspelling,
reminded us of jellyfish and anemone with The Dreamer Came,
while Gabriel Wong, one of the few male graduates, covered his models’
heads with his jackets and challenged our idea of the traditional
Brigitte Simmons reminded us of the huntress with her
animal motifs in her Boadicea collection. Amanda Joe gave
us nicely designed, high-waisted pants, and Zoë Knighton showed
tough, dark menswear, highlighted with a criss-cross front on her
As mentioned, virtually all the graduates produced
stand-out collections, so an omission from this article is usually
down to space reasons. We look forward to seeing them embark on
successful careers in fashion.
Disclosure: at the time of this show, both Curtin and
Thomson had served as interns at Lucire.
Above left Emma Seath. Above right
Left Moonhee Han.
Above left Michelle Freeth. Above right
Above left Paula Roberts. Above right