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Fashion In Lieu Of A Catwalk

21 May 2001

Auckland’s fashion centre in High St has a welcome addition to its bevy of boutiques bearing the chic and the stylish.

The old public toilets – previously a male-only domain – have given way to haute couture, being renovated with a fashion theme in deference to the streets’ new commercial face.

Two unisex cubicles are now proudly baring tiles inlaid with fabric in a diverse range of colours, some with miniature belts and zips.

Set against a background of lemon tiles, each fashion tile is complemented by a selection of colour tiles with some of the fabric artworks backlit to provide a visual focal point on the wall.

Auckland artist Catheryn Munro describes her work as “the use of clothing and notions of fashion as passing and retrospective and being site specific to the location of the toilets in High St.”

“Our intention with this concept is to sample from 60’s and 70’s clothing, visual moments that evoke the passing of time,” she says.

Exterior to the toilets are white enamel sheets are embellished with enlargements of pattern codings including button holes and pleating lines.

The refurbished toilets have wheelchair access, low pan placement, automatic toilet flushing and handwashing tap turn-on.

Councillor Kay McKelvie, who officially opened the refurbished toilets today (Monday 21st 5pm), says they are a fashion statement in themselves.

“It’s great to see another element of the city’s arts agenda coming to fruition,” says Councillor McKelvie.

“It shows that the council certainly has an holistic view of the arts being prepared to incorporate the works from the city’s artists in open spaces and buildings – even public toilets.”

Councillor McKelvie says artist Catheryn Munro has captured the essence of what High St now stands for as Auckland’s fashion centre.

“The detail that Catheryn has gone to is exquisite, some of the smaller belts and zips in the fabric are mini artworks in themselves.”

ENDS

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