2013 Bernina Northland Fashion Awards

Johanna Short was on stage throughout the evening with a few quick outfit changes as runner and assistant prize presenter. Behind the scenes the numerous students who spent months creating a wide variety of garments prepared by either themselves or their models for the cat walk. It was heart warming to see the girls’ integrity as they shared their hair and makeup tips with their competitors as well as moral support.

A group of girls who are passionate about wearable arts have worked with Hayley Clark at her Quarry Art Centre studio. They created impressive and innovative 3D works of art that came to life on stage. The Student Wearable Art section had a definite WOW factor, this section was won by Chloe King, her magnificent sea themed ‘I’ve Got the Paua’ defied gravity and her months of planning and construction were evident in her outcome. Second place was gained by Meg Lyon’s ‘Consider Yourself Inked’ giant squid and Briah Petersen was awarded third place for her labour intensive pompom coated sculptural gown ‘We Will Flock You’. The Illuminescent section was equally amazing, Sarah Barnes lit up the stage with her iridescent peacock with full shimmering plumage and Megan King placed second with her encasing spiderweb covered with toxic looking giant spiders.

As part of the senior Textiles and Fashion Technology curriculum, students are required to research, design and develop an outcome for an identified issue or need. These range from clothes to wear while travelling to a unique and perfect fitting gown for the school ball. All senior students are encouraged to include the Bernina Awards as a secondary need for their outcome and they are increasingly taking up this challenge. Chenae Sketchley won the Student Evening Wear section for the second year in a row, her mint green chiffon gown was made up of no less than 92 pattern pieces, the bodice featured intricate panel work which appears to be a deep silver fabric, until it is hit by direct light revealing its 3M reflective glory. Looking every bit the femme fatale from a Hollywood movie, Mollie Bransby gained second place in her long black gown which featured a deeply draped back and sheer panel in the skirt. Briah Petersen contrasted black and cream silk velvet in her cocktail length teardrop hemline dress, this simple, yet highly elegant dress was awarded third place. This is the second year that a Student Streetwear section has run allowing students to showcase garments they would normally wear. Lily Mehrtens tailored an exquisite cape in camel wool flannel and an authentic looking faux sable, the quality of her workmanship and her final styling gained her a well deserved first place. Briah Petersen collected another third placing with her long line hoody and leggings. These were also impeccably well made and featured lacy screen prints and her logo.

This year I was encouraged by the students to enter the competition, so I signed up as well. I put together a mini collection of clothes I can mix and match with my existing wardrobe. The collection was inspired by ‘football’ from the shoulder pads of American Football to the old woollen uniforms of the All Blacks. I was awarded third place in the open fashion section and look forward to wearing the garments to school.

All of the girls that entered can be commended on their efforts, and we are all grateful to the other students that gave up their time to come out and model for us and help with styling. Everybody looked great on stage and I am continually impressed by how proud the girls are of their work.

We will be having a fashion show at the Art and Design show towards the end of the year which you are all warmly invited to attended.

Rachael Pedersen