By MELANIE SALUNI.

On Saturday morning NZ Fashion week took its youthful supplement of vibrancy and flair with the 2015 YMCA Walk the Line Show. The annual event offers a chance for young Kiwi designers aged 13-18 years to showcase their creations on a world stage, and this year it was bigger than ever.

Managed solely by the YMCA North Shore Raise Up Crew, the extravaganza is an opportunity of a lifetime. With an audience buzzing with family and friends eager to see the finished products of their loved ones, the stage was set for action.

Judging the garments that strut down the runway was no easy task, placed in the capable hands of fashion editor Sarah Mitchel and designer Danielle Power Silk. Danielle, who had previously competed in the show three times, credits Walk the Line for helping her launch her brand.

“The show is amazing to be a part of and is great experience for young and upcoming designers,” she said. Picking the best of the bunch from each of the four categories: High Fashion, Recyclable, Open Design and Cultural/Carnival, the judges eyes were set on the creativity, innovation and execution of each garment. More than 45 designers entered this year’s competition, ready to show off their unique masterpieces.

Antoine-walktheline-020915-twaAntoine Ogilvie

First to hit the runway was the Revlon High Fashion category, including garments ranging from grungy turtle necks, to chic high waisted pants and long gothic overcoats. Emerging from this category was Antoine Ogilvie from Northcote College, who took out the High Fashion prize. His edgy two piece outfit with a messy bun and geometric makeup wooed the crowd and made for a grand opening of the event.
Pictured: Antoine and his model wearing his designs.

Recyclable-walktheline-020915-twaNiamh Clarkson

Next up was the Beatnik Recyclable category, filled with elaborate outfits made from drawer liners, recycled denim jeans, dad’s old t-shirts and even plastic bags! The creativity and innovation of the designers overflowed onto the runway, with models flaunting the message that recyclable clothing has never been cooler. Niamh Clarkson from Long Bay College took out the category, creating a pinafore dress out of coffee bags!
Pictured: A model wearing Niamh’s creation.

isaiah-walktheline-2-020915-twaIsaiah Stowers

NZ Fashion Tech Open Design had the most garments, with 19 entries twirling in the spotlight. Ranging in style, cut and colour, each garment was unpredictable and fun. A mash-up of streetwear, hoodies and bright colours flooded the floor, creating a truly spectacular display. Stealing the show was Isaiah Stowers (pictured) from Rosmini College who designed and modelled his own outfit, including pants, jacket and stylish turtle neck.

Group-walktheline-020915-twaFinally, it was time for the Auckland Council Cultural/Carnival category. This was the ultimate highlight of the show, with wacky and wonderful designs fusing reality and fantasy. A show stopping design by Zoe Beck, who won the judges special award for outstanding design, creativity and presentation, definitely “took the cake” with her model flaunting an array of treats around her hips (seen on far right). Winning the category was Jorden Clifton from Carmel College, with her garment influenced by her family links to the Iroquois tribe in Canada (seen on far left).

And who was the fairest of them all? None other than Antoine Ogilvie, who was crowned the supreme winner of Walk the Line after taking out the High Fashion Category. All winners went home with a Revlon goodie bag.

 

After the show I managed to catch up with two designers who caught my attention. Take a look:

 

Jorden Clifton (designer and winner of Cultural/Carnival Category)

What have you learnt through this experience of designing and creating your entry?

I’ve learnt the importance of time management! About being prepared and knowing what you want to accomplish before you start.

How has Walk the Line influenced your view on a career in fashion?

I want to be a fashion photographer but I’ve really loved the whole experience and it was amazing to see the whole show come together. Walk the Line has helped to confirm my love for the fashion industry.

What are your main inspirations and how did they influence what you made?

I got the inspiration from my great grandmother who is from a Native Indian tribe in Canada called Iroquois. She inspired me because I was interested in that part of my family history and how their way of life has influenced the cultural dress. For example, their use of animal skin and bone is so no part of the animal goes to waste, or how each feather of a head dress has to be earned!

 

Samantha Macdonald (designer in Open Design)

What are you most proud of about your design?

I reckon I’m proud that my garment came together how I envisioned it at the beginning. Also the fact that people have complimented it makes me feel proud because a lot of work and experimenting went into it. It’s always a good feeling when you complete something on your own that you’re happy with!

How did you come up with your design and what were you influenced by?

I’m inspired by designers who express their personality through their work and always make the most amazing and inspiring designs. I entered Walk the Line because I love the atmosphere and environment of a fashion show and it’s always good seeing your own design amongst the action too! I like the opportunity they give to young designers to show their work on a professional stage.

So are you thinking about pursuing fashion as a career?

Yes, I am definitely interested in a career in fashion. My aim is to study fashion design next year when I leave school, get some good experience in the industry and get noticed!

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