The Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design Fashion Design Department has been awarded the Prime Minister’s Scholarship for Asia (PMSA). Fourteen Whitecliffe Fashion Design students have been selected to travel to India for an extensive six week-long trip to research ethical and sustainable fashion practices and partake in various craft & artisan workshops and collaborative student fashion projects around the country. The scholarship is supported by Education New Zealand and “is designed to encourage New Zealand students to study in Asian countries and experience the benefits of international education for themselves.”
“This is a full craft immersion journey and an incredible opportunity for students to gain an appreciation of the Indian textile culture and visit artisan crafts people, some who produce work that is unique to their family only,” says Belinda Watt, Head of Department, Fashion Design.
Whitecliffe students Aaron Marshall, Tannaz Barkhordari, Benjamin Farry, Anya Baranova, Georgia Rahui, Harriet Lewis, Wade O’Brien, Bridie McCree, Michelle Kim, Sophie Scally, Catherine Balle, Jessica Jay, Bianca Jones and Sally Oh, including HOD Fashion Design Belinda Watt, will travel to numerous locales to take in historical and cultural sites. The trip itinerary include visits to Ahmedabad and surrounding villages to meet with artisans, weavers and natural dyers; Jaipur to meet students from Pearl Academy, travel to local destinations and learn more about block printing, hand-crafted textile making, silk weaving, metal embroidery and more. During the trip, Whitecliffe students will also present on “Fashion Designs from New Zealand” to students at Pearl Academy in Jaipur and collaborate on a sustainable design project with Pearl Academy students in both Jaipur and New Delhi.
Fashion and Sustainability have long been a focus of the Whitecliffe Fashion Design Department. The Whitecliffe Fashion Design Department was initially awarded the 2014/15 PMSA for students to travel to India to develop their knowledge in organic cotton farming and production, weaving and natural dyeing project, as part of Project Matatika, a sustainable fashion project that seeks to bring more awareness of ethical and sustainable practices into Fashion Design education. Whitecliffe also launched a stream of the Master of Fine Arts degree specialising in Fashion and Sustainability in 2015.
Whitecliffe is pleased to be a part of this exciting project and would like to thank the New Zealand Government and Education NZ for this much-valued opportunity. Whitecliffe congratulates the selected students embarking shortly on their journey to India.