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Lucire: Fashion
the circuit

Left Deborah Columbus.

Top marks at Massey

Jack Yan sees that Massey University’s standards are rising again, in time for its 10th anniversary graduate show
photographed by Lisa Wilson/Lisa Wilson Photography


Above Hayley Jewell. Below left Julia Lumsden.



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 school.
   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 of names.
   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 silhouette.
   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 first jacket.
   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 Gabriel Wong.


Left Moonhee Han.


Above left Michelle Freeth. Above right Jasmine Persson.


Above left Paula Roberts. Above right Fritha Ross.


Left Jessica Kerr.


Vicki Matias


Zoë Knighton


Emily Stringfellow


Shuai Zhang


Anna Short


Sheena Curtin


Anna Sutherland


Gazel Wafa


Eleni Kristea


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