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Sunday, 20 April 2014 09:18 pm

Designer showcases NZ fashion talent in Kuala Lumpur

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WELLINGTON designer Hannah Shand shared the spotlight with Jimmy Choo at a fashion design competition in Kuala Lumpur.

Ms Shand, above right, won $3000 with her design collaborator ‘Moto’ KEEK Wen Han, left, when they placed third in the Virtual Re-Start Competition.

The competition showcased creative talent during NZ Week, an education promotional event hosted by New Zealand in Malaysia.

Choo, the international shoe designer, presented the awards.

Graduates from New Zealand fashion institutes were paired up with Malaysian counterparts to create a runway collection from scratch.

STAINED SILK: Hannah Shand with her handpainted silk designs with the effect of stained glass shards.

They had less than a month from final design submissions to create four original designs – with the added complication of working with a collaborator on a different continent.

Teams were tasked with making fashion design stand for a ‘restart’, reflecting the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake.

“I was really lucky as my design partner Moto and I were able to work well together and blend our strengths like his talent for tailoring and the artistic concepts I sometimes explore in my work,” said Ms Shand.

The collaboration between Ms Shand and Mr Keek, titled Whakahou, was so successful, it later featured in a fashion show at the Pavillion, one of Kuala Lumpur’s busiest shopping attractions.

She says her Malaysian collaborator suggested the Maori word ‘Whakahou’ for the title – meaning ‘rebuild’ or ‘update’.

“Moto saw my final year degree work which I handpainted fabric for. He loved that so using the technique to show the theme of stained glass panels was a key element we incorporated.”

Beauty in falling shards of stained glass and scattered rubble, structures, window silhouettes and light were some of the ideas expressed in their design brief.

They took inspiration from the structures of Christchurch Cathedral, and striking themes of both the iconic landmark and the new ‘transitional’ church.

THROWING LIGHT: Garments were inspired by cathedral structures, light and silhouettes among other themes.

Ms Shand says the ‘virtual’ part of the competitionbecame invaluable as they used mobile conference calling and a social media group page to keep updated.

The planning included everything from budgeting and sourcing material to music.

An allowance was provided, but expensive silk chiffon and days of hand-sewing beads left no room for error during the design process.

“The cost of materials was so much more expensive over here, and as budgeting was one of the things we were judged on, we had to plan everything really well,” she said.

Her contribution to the designs included hand painted silk illustrations and leatherwork.

Ms Shand, a Massey University graduate, likes to combine her talent for different creative arts into her collections.

“I feel it is a point of difference in my work and what I have to offer, that I have handcrafted my design details,” said Ms Shand.

Ms Shand has an interest in furthering her experience with bridal or costume design because of the focus on handcrafted skills.

Front page image: Michelle Davies

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