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Rookie’s the one to watch at NZ Fashion Week

7 October 2004

Rookie’s the one to watch at NZ Fashion Week

New and vibrant emerging talent is behind the catwalk show “Rookie” being held by AUT fashion graduates at NZ Fashion Week this October.

The AUT show has secured a prominent position and the opportunity to showcase the range of young design talent from AUT at NZ Fashion Week.

“We’re Rookies on the fashion design scene and we felt the theme described where our students sit within the fashion world – newcomers starting out on their fashion career. Rookie is an energy, a young vibrant lively attitude which is what we feel describes our students and their work,” says AUT Fashion Design Programme Leader Mandy Smith.

Ms Smith says the show will be a kaleidoscope of pure, raw creativity. Forty-five Third Year Bachelor of Art and Design fashion major students will showcase apparel, knitwear, or costume designs from their final graduating collections. These have been selected out of the 63 graduating students.

This is the second show AUT graduates have held at NZ Fashion Week but the fourth year AUT fashion students have been involved. From the inaugural fashion week show in 2001, AUT has been the only fashion design course involved with this prestigious event.

As well as the Rookie show by third-year graduating students, AUT also has more than 100 students, working behind the scenes at NZ Fashion Week as dressers and ushers. Twelve AUT public relations students are also involved in NZFW, assisting in the media centre, assisting individual fashion labels such as Hugo Boss and Nom-D with event organisation, driving celebrities to shows, and receiving guests at venues.

Ms Smith says the opportunity for students to work behind the scenes on Fashion Week is a valuable experience and a huge dose of reality. It shows them the hard work the fashion industry puts into designing a range and showing it.

“It’s offers students a real, live situation to experience what it’s all about. They work really hard but they get a huge buzz from it – and it gives them the opportunity to put some of the education they receive at AUT into practise, context and perspective,” says Ms Smith. “The feedback each year from designers and people at NZ Fashion Week is how incredibly professional all of the students are, what an excellent job they do and how grateful designers are for the help they receive at a very stressful time of the Fashion calendar.”

Ms Smith says it also offers students the opportunity to begin networking with those in the industry and start building a good contact base.

The AUT Art and Design fashion major degree programme differs from all other NZ fashion courses because it offers costume and knitwear design as well as apparel fashion.

“Our graduates are eagerly snapped up. Last year two-thirds went directly into jobs and by Easter this year there were no graduates from 2003 left to employ. It’s already started for those graduating this year,” says Ms Smith.

Graduate roles in the fashion industry range from assistant designers, workroom assistants, retail managerial roles, to pattern and production roles reflecting the depth of applied learning and industry support for the AUT programme.

The hour long Rookie show is being held at the largest venue at NZ Fashion Week which enables two collections to be shown at the same time using a U-shaped catwalk.

“Fashion Week has been so supportive of AUT and the emerging talent of its “Rookie” designers. We’re incredibly grateful to have our own scheduled event in a prominent venue complete with catwalk. It provides a professional atmosphere for our show to take place in and reflects the work graduates have put into their designs,” says Ms Smith.

The Rookie show will be broadcast live on the NZ Fashion Week website, and also to screens in the Deutz Lounge at Fashion Week for those who miss out on tickets.

Models for the Rookie show are from Vanity Walk, music from Sugarlicks, choreography by Yasmin Farry and graphics from Paul Probine. AUT is also grateful to Rookie sponsors L’Oreal (hair and make-up) and Team McMillan Mini.

What: Rookie – the AUT Graduate Show Who: 45 of the best 2004 AUT fashion graduates present their collections When: Tuesday, 19 October 2004 Time: 8pm Where: Shed 2 & 3 (former Alinghi and Team NZ America’s Cup bases) 135 Halsey Street Viaduct Harbour Entry: By invitation only (no tickets for sale)


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