Virtual Fashion Competition Uses Earthquakes As Inspiration
Media Release – Otago Polytechnic
For immediate release, Tuesday March 5
Virtual Fashion Competition Uses Earthquakes As
Otago Polytechnic Fashion graduate Emily Scott and Malaysian fashion student Christine Kong Peoi Yi have teamed up to compete in the Virtual Re-Start Fashion Competition; working virtually to create a fashion line using the theme ‘Restart’, which focuses on the recovery of Christchurch after the 2011 earthquakes.
The competition, created by Education New Zealand to showcase the quality of fashion and design programmes in New Zealand, involves ten teams working virtually with one Malaysian and one New Zealand participant per team. The challenge is to create an integrated collection of four individual ‘looks’ that will be showcased at a fashion parade at the New Zealand Week Gala Event on March 11 in Kuala Lumpur.
Emily has been collaborating with Christine, who is studying at Tunka Abdul Rahman College, since December last year. The designer will fly over on the 7th of March to join her teammate and showcase their earthquake-inspired collection, Before Birth: Fall 2013.
“Our designs are inspired by the Gothic revival of the Christchurch Cathedral and the controversy of the transitional Cardboard Cathedral (designed by architecture Shigeru Ban),” says Emily. “It recognises the connection between life and afterlife while celebrating the journey to the restart of Christchurch. Playing with strong silhouettes and proportions, we aim to intrigue the viewer and spark a sense of curiosity.”
Each team has been given $1000 NZD, split evenly between the two countries and distributed to the designer through their tertiary institution. Designers can produce a variety of looks from street-wear to more formal attire, with one item suitable for a cocktail event.
“We will commence the runway show with moody blue and black leathers, brought to life with bronze accents, and then transition to pearly cream leather pieces. This supports the idea of the journey from the earthquakes to where the city is today.”
Time constraints and language barriers have proven to be some of the biggest challenges of collaborating virtually. “Marrying two designers’ aesthetics and running every design decision by my partner, down to the last stitch on a fully pleated silk chiffon jumpsuit, is time consuming and requires a lot of patience. But the positives definitely outweigh any negatives!”
Emily has received support from local businesses including a donation of leather hides from New Zealand Light Leathers, a fabric sponsorship from Cooper Watkinson Textiles and Global Fabrics. “The support from local businesses has been incredible, as well as the backing from Otago Polytechnic staff. It is so humbling.”
Otago Polytechnic’s Academic Leader – Fashion, Margo Barton, says the collaboration not only showcases the high caliber of students coming out of the Design (Fashion) degree, but provides an opportunity for young designers to challenge themselves.
“This type of collaboration requires a
huge amount of stamina,” says Margo. “It is very testing
to work in an environment where you can’t work in the same
room, bounce ideas off each other or see the end result
physically. It will be a fantastic learning curve for Emily
and that’s so pivotal to the growth and development of a
Emily won the inaugural Australian Graduates Fashion Week held at Carriageworks in Sydney in November 2012, which took out a $10,000 prize. She beat 31 others from New Zealand and Australia thanks to her colourful and progressive collection.
The collections will be assessed by a group of celebrity judges at the Gala Event and first prize winners will be awarded $10,000 NZD.
New Zealand Week brings together Malaysian and New Zealand businesses, universities, and government departments to nurture the two countries’ rich history of cooperation in education and science.
2012 – Emily Scott
Models by Ali McD, photos by Seen in Dunedin