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Massey graduates to show at NZ fashion week

Kimberley Franklin

Kimberley Franklin with some of the garments in her collection.

Three emerging designers from Massey University’s Bachelor of Design Fashion programme have been selected to show at New Zealand Fashion Week.

Each year, a select number of graduates from universities around the country are chosen for Fashion Week’s Graduate Show, and Johani Louw, Kimberley Franklin and Kyra Thomson will represent Massey’s Bachelor of Design (Fashion).

Senior Lecturer and Major Coordinator of Fashion, Sue Prescott, says the three designers demonstrate the high-calibre of graduates that emerge from Massey’s fashion programme.

“Massey produces world-ready, work-ready fashion graduates and these three young designers demonstrate the high-standard of work, entrepreneurial acumen and capability shown by Massey graduates.

“The opportunity to show at fashion week gives these graduates the chance to show their work to a highly influential audience of industry insiders, and they gain invaluable experience by taking part in a professional fashion show,” she says.

It’s not the first professional show Kimberley Franklin has appeared in, after showing at Dunedin’s iD Fashion Week earlier this year. Ms Franklin was one of 30 emerging designers from New Zealand and around the world to exhibit their designs.

Her final year collection, I Am Human, produced for Massey’s Exposure fashion show in 2018, won her a coveted internship at iconic kiwi designer Kate Sylvester. She spent two months with the design team, and says she designed and worked on some of the current collection.

There are eight looks in the I Am Human collection she’ll show at the upcoming fashion week, with seven new looks she’s created this year. The collection is inspired by her interests in conspiracy theories, workwear, feminism and historical fashion.

“I’m inspired by human philosophy ­­– what it means to be human in our world today, how we can occupy our own spaces and how that impacts how we dress, which is a big factor in how we see ourselves,” she says.

Ms Franklin will continue to develop the ideas behind her collection with a Masters in Design next year.




Johani Louw

Johani Louw in the workroom.

Johani Louw’s collection, Salient, stretches in the other direction of emphasising the feminine. “It’s inspired by the idea of the feminine, which has historically been a used as a patriarchal tool to objectify women. I am interested in exploring that, finding what women find powerful and amplifying that.”

Her collection amplifies traditionally feminine colours like pink and purple, and plays with volume and texture. Ms Louw says she hopes her clothes can empower women and promote confidence and self-love.

22-year-old Lower Hutt designer Kyra Thomson’s Everywear collection, of four looks modelled on both male and female models, is also strongly influenced by ideas of gender identity and aims to highlight and disrupt traditional gender roles with a collection that transcends masculine and feminine binaries.

Ms Thomson designed and pattern-made all the looks in her collection in a petite fit derived from a female block, and a tall fit derived from a male block so either can be worn by anyone. "We as designers, manufacturers and retailers, can make a difference by refusing to perpetuate the gender binary and designing and marketing garments in a non-stereotypical way," she says.

Her collection won the prestigious Rembrandt Award of Excellence for outstanding design and construction at Massey’s Exposure 2018 fashion show.  She is now working for a locally-based internationally recognised design label.

All three designers are excited at the opportunity to take part in New Zealand fashion week. Ms Louw says she’s looking forward to meeting new people from the fashion industry, and is excited to see who else is showing.

The graduate show is on Wednesday 28th August at The Runway in Aotea Centre, Auckland, as part of New Zealand Fashion Week.

Kyra Thomson

Kyra Thomson.