Author Archives: Karin

Dunedin: public lecture on China’s wonder fibres: developments in wild silk, silk cocoon, bamboo

China’s wonder fibres: developments in wild silk, silk cocoon, bamboo

Thursday 10 July 2014 | 5.30pm
Barclay Theatre | Otago Museum
Professor Xungai Wang
Director Australian Future Fibres Research and Innovation Centre, Deakin University

Professor Wang is the Director of Australian Future Fibres Research and Innovation Centre (AFFRIC) and Deputy Director of Institute for Frontier Materials (IFM) at Deakin University.
IFM is Deakin’s largest multidisciplinary research group working on a range of materials.
Professor Wang’s research interests are primarily in fibre science and technology, as well as in the application of new materials and technologies to fibres and textiles.


More movies

Resene Architecture and Design Film Festival 2014

The Resene Architecture and Design Film Festival returns to Auckland, Wellington and Dunedin in May and June 2014, with some inviting looking movies on architecture, design history and movements, galleries and, of course, fashion. Just the one, but it looks like one which pulls out stops.

Versailles ’73: American Runway Revolution (director Deborah Riley Draper, 91 minutes)

“In an era known for protests and sit-ins, the 1973 Grand Divertissement at Versailles, made a statement of its own – a fashion statement that changed fashion history. The legendary event pitted the five lions of French couture (Givenchy, Dior, Ungaro, Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Cardin) against five American designers (Halston, Oscar de la Renta, Anne Klein, Stephen Burrows and Bill Blass) and became known as ready-to-wear’s iconic coming out party.”

Add to that the whole thing was a major jet set event, so lots of people-watching as well – performers included Liza Minelli, Josephine Baker, and Rudolf Nureyev. Very glam.

10 May @ 1:15pm
14 May @ 3:15pm;
18 May @ 8:00pm
31 May @ 3:00pm; 3 June @ 12:15pm;
7 June @ 1:00pm
14 June @ 2:45pm; 18 June @ 5:30pm;
20 June @ 10:15am
Note for Aucklanders and Wellingtonians – the most popular films in each of these centres will be replayed in the last three days of screenings, so if Versailles is well-attended, there’ll be a third chance there.

iD XV (Dunedin, April 2014)

Winning Emerging Designers entry by Mahshid Mahdian on the Railway Station catwalk.  Image iD Dunedin Fashion Inc.

Winning Emerging Designers entry by Mahshid Mahdian on the Railway Station catwalk.
Image iD Dunedin Fashion Inc.

iD’s over for another year but the fifteenth anniversary event more than lived up to expectations. The raving has ranged from the people you’d expect to rave to random comments on by young men dragged along by their girlfriends (they all say that, but the men in the audience never look bored). This year, there seemed to be a lot of satellite events, several of which involved local CTANZ members. All three of Dunedin’s public museums and galleries featured small fashion and costume exhibitions, with the Tanya Carlson wedding dresses at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery the main event. An informal talk between curator Jane Malthus and Tanya Carlson on the Saturday drew over 100 even before the week’s official launch.

The week involves lots of talking about fashion. There’s always a public session featuring a guest judge, this year World’s Francis Hooper. Midweek, a new initiative organised by Elaine Webster, the University of Otago’s Director of Continuing Education drew around 100 people to a panel discussion on shoes featuring Elaine, Jane Malthus, shoe designers Sarah Riley, and Angela Roper of Ziera, and the NZ Fashion Museum’s Doris de Pont. (Doris was back at the university the next day to talk to a small but enthusiastic group of fashion activists about the New Zealand Fashion Museum.)

Walk this Way

Walk this Way

The various surrounding events help build up excitement for the main events. The Railway Station runway show is the big one, but the one that the cogniscienti rave about is Emerging Designers, which never disappoints. This year it was at the recently refurbished Dunedin Town Hall (the new seats upstairs are very comfortable). Dunedin’s reputation for wearing black was rather compromised by a surprisingly colourful audience – lots of splashes of red, green, blue and turqoise particularly. Lots of that on the catwalk as well, in an evening that began with black leather and ended with red tartan and plush. As always there were various degrees of subtlety and crowd favourites (oversized teddy bears will do it every time); the winner this year student Mahshid Mahdian from Brera Academy, Italy with a Venetian inspired collection.

Emerging designer's showstopper ChinHauTay's BeWear Bear collection. Image iD Dunedin Fashion Inc.

Emerging designer’s showstopper ChinHauTay’s Bewear Bear collection.
Image iD Dunedin Fashion Inc.

Huge congratulations to Susie Staley and the iD team for organising another stellar week for locals and visitors alike. Check out the iD website and sign up for their updates and if you’ve never been, keep an eye out for next year.

More coverage and lots more pictures:

Funny Face from NZIFF

09Between film festivals and fashion events over March and April, we’ve had opportunities for another look at The September Issue (Auckland)  and DV: The Eye has to Travel (Dunedin), and the French Film Festival has included Mademoiselle C, the doco on Carine Roitfeld.

But fashion magazines and their editors have been at the movies since ages back. One of the earliest and most gorgeous portrayals was Stanley Donen’s Funny Face, getting an airing this autumn during the NZ International Film Festival’s Classic Movie Weekends.

Audrey Hepburn swanning around in Paris in Givenchy frocks, and dancing with Fred Astaire to music by Gershwin, on a big screen. S’wonderful, right?

Session Times

Auckland: Friday April 11 – 1:00pm; Sunday April 13 – 1:00pm
Dunedin: Saturday April 12 – 2:15pm
Wellington: Saturday April 19 – 6:00pm
Napier: Saturday April 26 – 2:15pm
Christchurch: Sunday May 18 – 2:15pm


Frock frenzies kicking off

It’s time to practice your air kissing, with fashion events coming up in Auckland, Dunedin and Wellington over the next six weeks.

Kicking off is Auckland’s new 10 Days of Fashion in the City event running 28 Feb – 9 March. There’s a run  of fashion films (The September Issue, Bill Cunningham NYC, Valentino: the Last Emperor and The Royal Tenenbaums ), a new NZ Fashion Museum popup featuring highlights of their first themed exhibitions, special displays at the Central City Library, talks about famous clothing in art, a children’s event (get them young, that’s right), and an array of launches, markets and the like.

At then end of March, it’s iDXV (30 March – 6 April). Yes, Dunedin has been doing this for a decade and a half now. Business as usual: Emerging Designers on Thursday night, then two nights of the show proper at the previously longest catwalk in New Zealand/southern hemisphere/world (depending on which year you’re reading about). Alongside: screenings of NHNZ’s new series LA Frock Stars, Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel, and Yves Saint Laurent 5 avenue Marceau 75116 Paris at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery; exhbitions and talks at Toitu and Otago Museum, Tanya Carlsson on wedding dresses, Francis Hooper on World, a panel discussion on shoes, launches, popups, shows, teas, cocktails. Oh, and the international guest designer is Martin Grant.

So far, there’s a solid tranche of shows and exhibitions for Wellington Fashion Week (9-13 April), but more events to be confirmed. If you’re in one of these places, bookmark the links. If you’re somewhere else, is it holiday time yet?

Meeting the frockers

The NZ summer is traditionally a time when the television networks conspire to have us turning off the box by showing, with a few exceptions, lots of repeats of programmes we never really cared about the first time. You’d think it were deliberate. So many of us ignore the box over the break, which could mean missing out on a new offering this year about dresses. Specifically, wedding dresses. Meet the Frockers is running on TV1(so can be watched online for those of you who gave up on normal tv over the course of last year) at 8pm on Wednesdays.

Yes, it’s reality tv, based around big dresses for the big day, with brides who know what they want, but thankfully it’s not – so far – a local version of Bridezillas. That was trainwreck viewing, but this is both kinder and sterner stuff. Primarily about the frocks: the first episode centred on the somewhat nerve-wracking task of remodelling an expensive strapless gown to give it shoulder coverage, and letting out the sides of another, model-tiny, gown, to allow an only-slightly-less-tiny bride to breathe on the dancefloor. Technical conversations about the deconstruction and reconstruction of metres and metres of gorgeous fabrics make it serious business, but it’s not overly taxing and it looks like it’s all going to be positive outcomes, so a warm and fuzzy diversion so far.

Miss Fisher in Melbourne – exhibition extended

Well here’s a surprise to the costume-fanciers who are watching the Phryne Fisher mysteries currently on tv in NZ. Due to popular demand, the exhibition at Ripponlea in Melbourne (which features in the series as Phryne’s aunt’s stately home) of costumes from the series based on the books by Kerry Greenwood has been extended until 1 December, so if you’re in Melbourne, there’s still a couple of weeks to get up close to those fabulous, fabulous frocks.


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