Next Generation of Fashion Launched at AUT

11 Nov, 2011
One of Charlotte Cho's designs.

The local fashion industry will be out in force at Rookie 2011 tonight to see what the next generation of fashion design talent has to offer.

AUT’s fashion school end of year show features collections from 24 of its students, many of whom hope to follow in the footsteps of earlier Rookies who now work for some of New Zealand’s fashion greats.

The talent

Andreas Mikellis, acting head of department for fashion and textiles, says AUT consistently produces good fashion talent.

“Many of our graduates have gone on to work in top designer workrooms or even create their own brands. This year’s group is no different.”

The Rookie 2011 collections are “more playful within a commercial environment” says Mikellis.

Think 1950s shapes and rich colours as well as tropical-inspired prints featuring the designers own photographic images, by students Troy Garton and Keva Rands.

Leela Forde’s range of textiles and garments are inspired by aerial photography of the earth, while her knitwear utilises a bold graphic aspect contrasted with delicate and sheer textures.

Leela’s hand crafted garments are digitally printed at AUT University’s Textile and Design Laboratory.

Nicky Garden has created pieces from moulding latex liquid over knitted structures and Charlotte Cho has taken the idea of the Korean hanbok (traditional dress), but used unexpected colours when creating her collection.

Vihanga Sontam drew on her Indian heritage, with a brightly coloured collection using hand woven Indian silk sent by her family who still live in India.

The trends

The current trend, the lightening up of fashion, has been embraced by a number of graduates who have chosen to use colour as a big statement.

“They’re trying to make real clothes that are new and exciting, without having to resort to tricks. It has some design integrity to it,” says Mikellis.

Mikellis went on to say, “this year particularly, the students were focused on all the little details, the inside of the garment, the subtleties”.

Jane Mow has produced a very slick, all-black menswear range that features knit pieces with “spines” and see-through cut-outs, teamed with tailored jackets.

Menswear has also proven popular with graduates this year, possibly influenced in part by the success of one of AUT’s most recent graduates, Sam Hickey, now the menswear designer at Huffer.

“Menswear has become more ‘cool’, more fashionable. We’re getting more students interested in menswear, we’re also getting loads more students applying to the course who are male,” says Mikellis.

The details

Other AUT fashion graduates will display their end of year collections at AUT’s design school’s exhibition RAW, which runs until Saturday evening.

The fashion aspect will be based around the idea of a showroom space, allowing visitors to interact with the clothes.

For more details on this year’s Rookies and their work, go to Photographs from the show will be uploaded to the site by Monday 14 November, and available for media use.

AUT Rookie
November 11, 2011
Shed10, Queens Wharf

Georgina Hammond
Communications Manager, AUT University
09 921 9462 or 021 633 272

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