by Harriet McDonald, photographs by Andrei Blidarean
Thursday night saw AUT University’s Rookie Show 2012 present twenty-nine outstanding collections from its final year fashion design students. It is fair to say that while expectations were high, they were greatly exceeded by a dazzling array of spectacular talent from these bright young things.
Every capsule collection was creatively unique in its own way, but with a couple of trends coming
through across the board. Voluminous pieces, cropped pants, juxtaposition of texture and fabulous knits appeared consistently throughout the show, albeit interpreted in each designer’s individual way. There was also a distinct emphasis on men’s clothing this year, with a number of them either designing solely for men or at least including a couple of looks for the lads.
The show opened with Joshua Fache’s gorgeous ‘50s inspired frocks, adorned with feather-fur stoles in burgundy – an altogether sophisticated way to kick off the evening. In direct contrast to this old world elegance came a collection from Bay Rawlinson that was far more avant-garde than high street. Structured cage-like creations that Gaga would be proud to wear cut a dramatic shape down the 99.5m runway, and Rawlinson snuck in a cheeky homage to The Beatles with John, Paul, George and Ringo’s names screened onto elements of the outfits.
Morgan Hollis-Ward impressed with a clean collection in monochromatic tones that was evocative of ethereal sleepwear; Paris Mitchell played with texture and prints using beautiful brights in satin, sheers and Asian-inspired brocades with the end result being an explosion of colour in playful cuts and shapes. Richard McCoy rocked out some totally wearable asymmetrical pieces in grey jersey knit with neon houndstooth sleeves, and topped it off with a crowd favourite, nana’s fluoro orange and purple knitting bag.
A real standout was from Honours student, Charlotte Cho, whose out-there knits were really something. Styled with these amazing jelly booties, the vivid colours and patterns of her cardigans, dresses and leggings all came together in a visual feast for the eyes and really told of the multitude of work that went into each look.
In spite of picking out a few here, all twenty-nine collections were stunning and impressive in their own way, and the quality in both the design and craftsmanship was to an extremely high standard. We can all breathe easy – the future of New Zealand fashion is in safe hands.