A pop-up boutique, “shwop” (shop + swap) and style event and online contests are some of the fun goodies to accompany New Zealand’s (NZ) first ever eco-fashion runway show, ‘Exposed’, on Saturday, September 21. While the country hosts three other fashion weeks, this will be opening night for ten sustainable designers as they come together to present original looks made completely from organic and upcycled materials.
Fellow designer and the show’s co-founder Denise Anglesey and her husband Vinnie hope the day will be a significant step towards establishing a platform for designers, buyers and fashionistas to access ethically-produced and fair trade materials, manufacturing options and trend-setting styles. The couple also envisions ‘Exposed’ growing into a full eco fashion week and a hub for industry leaders to network, host workshops and seminars for educational purposes and assist in developing an international export market.
In the midst of completing on a long list of preparations for her collection’s debut, Denise took a few moments to share with me the inside scoop about the day’s events and why she thinks New Zealanders are ready for more sustainable apparel in their wardrobes’.
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- A small island known for having more sheep than people, NZ is popular for its wool. All organic cotton or silks must be imported in or sourced directly via Fair Trade avenues for environmentally-conscious designers.
- ‘Exposed’ will be held at a performing arts center in the island’s capital city of Wellington. The 180,000 residents who call it home nicknamed it ‘Windy Wellington’ for its extremely windy days.
- Four of the ten presenting designers, Heke Design, Señorita AweSUMO, Dear Prudence and Denise H, are using reclaimed fabrics from thrift stores or discarded factory waste to create their collections. Denise, for instance, worked the design of her looks around salvaging 50 pairs of jeans from going into the landfill.
- ‘Sustainable Style’ Model, Hannah Pasene, is native of Wainuiomata, NZ and enjoys singing and dancing, as stated on the show’s blog. She’s pictured in the images accompanying this posting.
- Several special guests are expected to attend the inaugural runway, including Stansborough, the creator of the textiles for The Hobbit (film series), Miss Humanity International New Zealand, Sarah Brodrick, and international designer, Karishma of Karishma Design.
- A new generation of designers from a couple of local high schools was inspired to create upcycled looks from old sweatshirts and jeans and will share their designs at the event.
- Personal stylist and self-proclaimed “fashion junkie” Nora Swann from Kila’s Style will be available throughout the “shwop” event to teach fashionistas how to create low cost, chic looks using only second-hand finds. Take a look at her video to see how Nora transforms a guy’s threads in under two minutes.
- Share your design skills by joining the Exposed Thrift Store Challenge until September 21; the only requirements for participation are you must love fashion and like to have fun.
- You can take home your favorite runway looks by shopping the designers’ online store (coming soon).
- Denise said, “Many people say to me they would prefer to purchase eco-fashions but don’t know where to consistently purchase them. I believe this runway event will help to highlight these buying option and show there is really no end to the concept of sustainability if we are committed enough to make it happen.” I think Denise’s Facebook posting sums it up well, “Eco is the IN thing!”
Image Credits: The images were provided to me by the show’s director, Denise Anglesey.
NEW ZEALAND ECO FASHION EXPOSED ‘SUSTAINABLE STYLE’ MODEL 2013 – Hannah Pasene