Miromoda 2013 : )
Miromoda – Miro is the Maori word used to describe the technique of extracting & prepping the Muka fibers inside the Harakeke (flax) Whenu (blade) for weaving. Moda is the Italian word for fashion.
Miromoda was established by the Indigenous Maori Fashion Apparel Board to encourage, promote and provide business opportunities for emerging and established Maori designers. They primarily achieve this with the annual Miromoda Maori fashion Design Awards. The winners and runner-ups get to showcase their collections at NZ Fashion Week – a rare opportunity for Maori Designers.
A friend of mine; Reremoana Sheridan, an emerging Maori designer herself had entered last years competition while completing her certificate in fashion design at Hawkes Bay’s EIT Campus. She knew i had an interest in fashion & after entering last years Cult Couture Fashion Show she suggested i enter. When i discovered that they had a tee shirt placement i jumped at the opportunity. Through the establishment of Ariaaariki, i already had the idea, a kaupapa (subject matter) & a strong design all i needed to do was print it on some tees. Any opportunity to promote my creative brand is worth taking the leap for.
To add some commercial appeal, i added some extra detailing on the front of my tees to create the illusion of accessorizing. Based on my signature design of four Niho Taniwha that represent my whakapapa & connection to Whangara (The Four Sails), it also individualized each tee from the other.
When i received confirmation that my entry had been accepted i was absolutely stoked. However, it meant travelling through to Wellington on the same weekend i had family arriving from Australia as well as a Whakatau (opening ceremony) in Rotoiti of an international weaving project that I’ve been involved in over the past couple of years. It required some serious multi-tasking & a bit of a travelling adventure. Never the less, i made it down to the event held at Pipitea Marae in Wellington – it was such a great experience. I got to meet & hang out with some of the top Maori fashion designers in the country – not to mention showcase my tee shirt collection along side them. I spent the whole day net working & promoting Ariaaariki – It was an awesome day!
After a day of deliberation from the judges, it was time for the award ceremony. Even though i was up against last year’s runner-up, there was only one other entrant so with two places to fill i was sure i was in with a good chance of placing. To my surprise though, they decided to cutout the runner-up award for our category, giving the winning award to last year’s runner-up, HORI. Although a deserved win, i was a little disheartened but really proud to be accepted to show case before the judges.
I met some wonderful people, made new friends, have the start of my own fashion apparel line & like the Make Me Up Comp, i put Ariaaariki on the platform for next year : ) Success = Moving Forward : )