By Sammy Salsa
"Miro" being the Maori term for twining muka fabrics together traditionally and "Moda" being the Italian word for fashion, this year Miromoda, which is an Indigenous Maori Fashion Apparel Board based in Wellington, brought us a showcase of indigenous designs and designers from New Zealand.
By general observation of the crowd here at the show it was safe to say that this was definitely a cultural mix of observers ready to witness a culturally explosive runway show. Opening up the event, the models strutted down the catwalk with traditional maori pois flicking them around, still trying maintain her fierce runway strutt.
Designers featured were talents like Poto Morgan, Monique Lynch, Surface Too Deep, Dmonic Intent and Pia Boutique. Pias patterns on her fabrics were similar to tie dye prints which gave her clothing a real retro look. Also the way the dresses were cut and laid out made them look real Mod like 70s style. One of my favs from her collection are the high waisted pants with the colour print on them. Mixing in a variety of upper class chic to the more elegant facade.
Another standout for me would have to be the creations of Shona Tawhiao. What a crazy beautiful mind this lady has! If I could crawl into this designers head with my canon cam I would! Her designs were big, bold, edgy and dangerous! Taking the use of traditional methods and material i.e.; the flax and weaving them into demonic like clothing is pure genius and great craftsmanship.
Her architectural pieces stood tall and proud on the runway and the best way I can describe her segment is it was like watching a high fashion, editorial version of the Mad Max movies, so daring and severe and in your face. My favourite from her collection was the outfit the male model was rocking which was a flax woven shoulder and chest piece that looked like it had been dyed black.
Another standout was the genius looks of Christopher Woods-Huia who used a lot of burnt orange sheer materials mixed in with black. The ruffles dress stood out as well as the amazing black mini dress that looked like a volcano had erupted on it, great technique and great use of color!
As the designers came out in all their glory at the end of their range the crowds cheered as if they were at a rugby match. It was clear to see that these indigenous inspired designers had the full support of their fellow peers, people from their own communities and culture and its great that NZFW has a platform for them to showcase their creations to Aotearoa.