29 June 2012
INDIGENOUS NZ Fashion is all about brand
Miromoda is a combination of Maori and Italian languages, it could mean unpredictable because the entries in its annual fashion
competition are usually unpredictable, but no, that’s not what the word Miromoda means.
Miro is Maori for the traditional weaving term to twine fibres and moda is the Italian word for fashion. The brand was established in 2008; its genesis was always going to be Maori but the
Italian word was purposely included for the brand to be recognised internationally – something that Miromoda cofounder
Ata Te Kanawa says is happening in 2012.
Miromoda models await announcement
“We have received healthy interest from Europe, particularly Holland, Germany and France which poses an interesting,
exciting, and huge challenge for us,” says Te Kanawa.
Coincidentally, Miromoda also contains the words Maoridom and mod Maori – neither of which the creators realised at the time of the brand’s development.
Miromoda is now in its fourth year; last week’s competition in Wellington, which is open to aspiring Maori Fashion
Designers from throughout the country as well as internationally, saw 26 entries judged by an astute panel including
founding Director of NZ Fashion Week, Dame Pieter Stewart, Publisher Jack Yan, former European fashion buyer and
retailer, Anthony Morsinhof and Communications Executive and fashion enthusiast, Paula Collins.
Seeking winners and runners up from four categories, judges found themselves perplexed as to whom should earn a place in
the Miromoda Showcase at Auckland’s NZ Fashion Week in early September.
“The standard continues to step up each year, and the stories behind the concepts are incredible,” said Stewart, who had
just returned from Europe combining a holiday with attending international Fashion Weeks. In her absence she was
honoured with a Dame Companion of the NZ Order of Merit in the recent Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Organised as a closed off Project Runway-styled competition, each designer is assigned models – complete with catwalk makeup, hair and shoes – to present their
collection and must in no more than ten minutes explain their design concept, the materials used, the commercial
potential and target market to the judging panel.
With the largest number of entries thus far and a broad spectrum of quality collections, judges were forced to be
flexible in their selections to accommodate eleven designers, an increase on the usual eight collections, in the Miromoda Showcase at NZFW in September.
In awarding the winners and runners up, Stewart commended the Miromoda Showcase for cementing its deserved place at NZFW: “It [Miromoda] is popular with all media watchers and buyers,
especially the international representatives.”
Voted best show in its second year by Caroline Enting, former Fashion writer for the Dominion Post, the Miromoda Showcase caters for 800 seated and 200 standing. Last year’s overall winner Adrienne Whitewood, was interviewed by the Wall St Journal and attended the Melbourne Spring Fashion Week as a VIP invited guest. However, the Rotorua-based designer saw current
retail collections that prompted a surprising realisation:
“To be honest, the shows confirmed how edgy we are back home and that the Maori story is unique to the world; so our
prints and aesthetic definitely give us a global point of difference.”
Described as an astringent fashion competition, the Miromoda 2012 competition attracted a combination of previous entrants and new entrants, who were relieved to learn their fate
at the completion of the all-day competition when the following results were announced:
Emerging Designer Category:
Winner: Monique Lynch (Auckland)
Runner Up: Poto Morgan (Ngaruawahia)
Avant Guard Designer Category:
Winner: Dmonic Intent (Auckland)
Equal Runner Up: Marsh Ranginui (Whanganui)
Equal Runner Up: Shona Tawhiao (Auckland)
Third Place: Christopher Woods-Huia (Auckland)
Tee Shirt Placement Category:
Winner: Koia Gray (Wainuiomata High School)
Equal Runner Up: Hohepa Thompson (Victoria University Wellington)
Equal Runner Up: Olivia Edington (Wainuiomata High School)
Established Designer Category:
Winner: Sarah Jane Abraham & Esther Miro Bryant (Wellington) Surface Too Deep
Runner Up: Pia Naera (Auckland) Pia Boutique
2012 Miromoda Overall Winner:
Winner: Monique Lynch (Auckland)