Celebrating a decade of Resene Colour of Fashion, 25 Whitecliffe fashion technology students will presented their designs to the judges on Friday 11 August, each garment meticulously-crafted from silk twill which has been dyed in new Resene fashion colours.
The white walls of the studio, where judging and photography take place, will be strung with bunting hand-made out of coloured fabric from previous years. It's a nod to the legacy Resene and Whitecliffe have built in ten years, giving hundreds of graduating students a head-start in the industry.
And in another gesture to mark the project's 10th year, an archive of dresses from the project has been donated to a charity who gifts ball dresses to high schools.
Since its inception in 2014, Resene Colour of Fashion with Whitecliffe has seen hundreds of fashion students in their final year of a three-year Diploma of Fashion Technology get a taste of the exciting, rewarding and sometimes challenging world of fashion.
The designs chosen by the judges for the 2023 collection will open the Resene Designer Runway shows at New Zealand Fashion Week: Kahuria from 1 September, as the country's biggest fashion occasion returns to Auckland after three years of pandemic-affected postponement.
The theme for Resene Colour of Fashion in 2023 is: 'Let's celebrate!'
Students have found inspiration for their designs in their own experience of celebration and in their Resene colour, with names like Resene Amped, Resene
Skylight, Resene Temptation, Resene Boundless and Resene Sunbeam stirring up creative juices.
The sky, the ocean, flowers, coral, music, Samoan tatau (tattoo), the immigrant experience are some of the elements that feature in the design rationale students will outline to the judges on Friday.
Nerves, lights, cameras, models and a judging panel are all part of the experience these talented young people are in for on Judging Day. They will direct their own portfolio images from behind the camera, some will experience New Zealand Fashion Week: Kahuria, and all will show their designs at the Whitecliffe Graduate Showcase in Auckland and Wellington in November.
The winner of this year's Resene Colour of Fashion project will be announced at the Whitecliffe fashion show, receiving a cash prize of $1000 gifted by Resene.
Karen Warman of Resene says: "We are proud of this colourful project and we're thrilled to celebrate this ten year milestone with our valued partner Whitecliffe.
"Together we're bringing visibility to a generation of fashion's young talent, helping them learn how to use colour as a tool to bring their designs to life. I love seeing these creative students immerse themselves in the story of their Resene colour, creating colourful garments, and reminding us all of the joy, energy and meaning colour brings," she says.
Debra Denny of Whitecliffe has helped guide all ten Resene Colour of Fashion projects. This year she is one of the judges. She says for many students, this project is a life-defining moment.
"Our lecturers say their students learn how to trouble-shoot as they are producing their garments. They really enjoy and learn from the process. Their faces light up when they see their outfits on professional models for the first time. It's a surreal experience for them.
"For the students whose designs feature on New Zealand's biggest fashion stage, it's a life-long memory for them and their families. It's a moment they treasure, long after the lights fade and the Instagram photos have been posted," she says.
See the 2023 Resene Colour of Fashion collection at three Resene Designer Runway shows at New Zealand Fashion Week. Tickets are on sale now.
Before the models step onto the runway wearing the tenth Resene Colour of Fashion collection at the first of three public Resene Designer Runway shows, the garments will have been seen at the Resene Total Colour Awards 2023.
Resene's private runway show earlier in the week will give Resene's clients - architects, interior designers, DIYers and colour experts - a preview of some of the season's hottest paint colours. This time they won't be in swatches, charts or testpots, but they'll be fashioned into strikingly beautiful garments made by the fashion industry's newest recruits.
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