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AUT Rookie Designers In Top Form At NZFW Catwalk

ROOKIE designers in top form in first runway show off NZFW’s catwalk

New Zealand’s fashion future is in safe hands judging by the design talent on display at AUT’s Rookie show last Friday night.

Twenty one young designers in their final year of AUT University’s Bachelor of Design (Fashion) were selected to show their debut collections in front of a packed fashion crowd at Auckland’s St Paul’s Church.

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The Rookie runway show was noticeably absent from this year’s Air New Zealand Fashion Week, where over the past five years it had gained a reputation for launching the next big names in fashion.

Jaeha Alex Kim was a Rookie before he became a NZ fashion staple, the Howie sisters were Rookies before Frances was selected as a designer for the house of Lanvin in Paris and Camille became design assistant for Beth Ellery, and Sherie Muys was a Rookie before her design label sherieyvonne was stocked in fashion boutiques across New Zealand, Australia and the US.

Standout collections in this year’s Rookie show included Nadeesha Godamunne’s hand-illustrated prints on shift dresses, which created the illusion of layers paired with elegant silhouettes.

Designer Jes Chang’s elegant black collection, which drew on the forms and silhouettes of Victorian mourning clothes, was striking and the draping and movement in Abby Foy’s debut collection would have been at home in the collection of designers with years of experience on the runway.

Surprises on the catwalk included eminently workable designs created from parachutes by Sueanne Ea and what could be next year’s must have accessory, Alicia Herrick’s streetwear backpacks-turned-jackets - a challenge for the models but one that drew an enthusiastic response from the 300-strong crowd.

ROOKIE designer running order for the show

Nadeesha Godamunne
Jill Tu
Sarah Kwok
Lillibet Bothma
Lili Cheung
Rachael Wilding
Sueanne Ea
Stacie Lee
Scott Page
Celine Chapman
Alysha Gover
Jade Smythe
Alicia Herrick
Juliet Stimpson
April Hazard
Urshila Soma
Felicity Speedy
Jessica Lee
Jes Chang
Glenn Yungnickel
Abby Foy

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