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Winning entry Monique Lynch’s flame-bonded foam swimwear was praised for its quality and design

Miromoda 2012’s unique stories

In his third year judging Miromoda, publisher Jack Yan reports on the 2012 winners who will go on to New Zealand Fashion Week, at the awards’ ceremony at Te Puni Kōkiri in Wellington
photographed by Nikita Brown

 

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Above At the awards’ ceremony for Miromoda at Te Puni Kokōri in Wellington.


Above The author gives a mihi on behalf of the judges and praises the entries’ standards.


Above Surface too Deep won the established designers’ category with retro swimwear, citing Marilyn Monroe as an inspiration. Below Shots from backstage.

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Miromoda’s 2012 competition saw the highest standard in the five years it has run. Joining me on the judging panel this year (my third at this competition) were Dame Pieter Stewart, Anthony Morsinhoff and Paula Collins, with each of us looking at the 26 entries through different eyes to choose the supreme winner.

Open to entrants who identify themselves as Māori, Miromoda has traditionally been one of the most talked-about shows at New Zealand Fashion Week. Ata Te Kanawa, one of the initiators of the event, told me that she had checked the whakapapa of the entrants and jokingly added that we judges didn’t have to determine eligibility.

The winners of the competition get to show their designs at the annual event, in the presence of international buyers and media.

Last year’s supreme winner, Adrienne Whitewood, was interviewed by The Wall Street Journal and attended the Melbourne Fashion Festival as a VIP guest. She said, ‘The [Melbourne] shows confirmed how edgy we are back home and that the Māori story is unique to the world; so our prints and æsthetic definitely give us a global point of difference.’

Monique Lynch took the emerging designer category with a sportswear collection in flame-bonded foam, which would have been at home in the avant-garde section, too. Poto Morgan was second, with a collection that blended tradition with a modern æsthetic.

In the avant-garde section, Dmonic Intent, returning for a second year, won with designs from a collection called Heaven Bleeds Black, a commentary on the fashion industry and some of its more controversial aspects. Runners-up in the largest category (by entrant numbers) were Marsh Ranginui, Shona Tawhiao and Christopher Woods-Huia.

No one ventured into augmented reality with the T-shirts this year, but the designers competently created works that all had deep stories. Koia Gray, one of the youngest entrants in the competition’s history, and a student at Wainuiomata High School, created designs that blended Māori and Japanese elements, including a geisha with a moko. Hōhepa Thompson and Olivia Edington, with very personal narratives, were second equal.

Surface Too Deep’s retro-inspired swimwear won the established designers’ category, while Pia Boutique’s kaleidoscope-inspired collection came second.

Monique Lynch was the stand-out among the winners, and was awarded the top prize. The judges remarked on the design integrity and the high quality of construction. I am happy to say that after the event, all parties were delighted with the results, and we look forward to seeing them at New Zealand Fashion Week in a few months’ time. •

 


Jack Yan is publisher of Lucire.

 

 

 

‘The [Melbourne] shows confirmed how edgy we are back home and that the Māori story is unique to the world; so our prints and æsthetic definitely give us a global point of difference’
—Adrienne Whitewood, 2011 winner

 

 

 

 

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