BY HAZEL REID
Project Runway has made it’s way to New Zealand, hosted by supermodel Georgia Fowler and is about to put these fashionistas on the map.
14 fashion lovers from across the country join mentor Andreas Mikellis for weekly challenges that includes battling budgets, timeframe and getting the needed materials. Designers will have the chance to show their creations at the anonymous runway show (so the judges don’t know who’s design is which while deciding!). The group ranges in age from 22 to 40, they hail from all over the country, and their backgrounds range from lecturers to retail assistants.
International model Georgia Fowler who has walked for the likes of Yeezy, Chanel and Victoria’s Secret returns home (she’s a kiwi-born gal!) for the debut season of Project Runway New Zealand. Georgia has mentioned she loved the overall experience and it was a new challenge, this being is her first TV show. “It was incredible to be surrounded by such talented contestants, and judges alike. I feel very blessed.”
Georgia believes the viewers will be really impressed, ‘by the high level of talent amongst the designers’ while also entertained by the judges’ chat (including hers as she’s doubling as a judge and host!). Her TV partner-in-crime, Andreas Mikellis is currently a AUT University Senior Lecturer and he joined the show as he thought it was “critical that we share our knowledge”. Andreas’ wealth of knowledge from his start in the UK studying, and working in fashion up until now, will be invaluable to the future design stars of NZ.
Jumping into the judges in the hot seats, first up is WORLD designer and director Benny Castles. Benny’s backstory is likely one that many of the aspiring future designers dream about… He started as a retail assistant at WORLD when he was just 17 and now not only is he at the top of his game, but his designs have seen the light across the world, including in Sydney and Paris.
Benny has expressed that he hopes to see “joy, individuality, confidence [and] excitement” from the designers competing. “A show like this is asking for the contestants to challenge and excite the viewer, including the judges, and that is the concept of a runway show.” He also promises to bring interesting eyewear to the judging panel, so naturally I’m sold.
Joining Benny on the judging panel is Fashion Quarterly editor Sally-Ann Mullin – she has an fashion eye and she’s ready to share it, saying, “I’m hoping to bring supportive and constructive feedback that will help the designers refine their skills and get one step closer to realising their dream.”
We asked what fashion means to her personally… “Fashion is fun, it’s frivolous, and with so much to worry about in this insane world, it always makes me smile. It’s the way we express ourselves and says so much without us even opening our mouths. Sally-Ann’s chance encounter at a beauty event with her predecessor Fiona Hawtin lead her to start writing for Fashion Quarterly, becoming editor three years later.
Join Beau, Benjamin, Beth, Caitlin, Camille, Jess, Judy, Kerry, Lenon, Massey, Matt, Misty, Nicole and Peni each week for the rollercoaster ride of Project Runway NZ. The season debuts on TV2, 1st October at 7:30pm (and then will be available online).
From tour managing boybands to working massive events and interviewing international talent, HAZEL REID is in love with the craziness that is the entertainment industry.
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