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Creme of the Rookie crop
11 November 2010
With a change of venue this year, we went from two shows in St Paul’s reverent glamour last year, to one, held at Shed 12 at the Rhubarb Lane precinct in Auckland's Wellesley Street.
There were 35 students chosen from over fifty at the design school at AUT showing this year, in one big, loud show. All of them are in their final year and this show is what they have been working towards all year.
If last year's AUT ROOKIE SHOW was all about the draping and the knitwear, this year was all about linens and paper-bag waisted trousers. The accent colours were turquoise, fuchsia, lime and yellow.
And there was a heavy emphasis on loopy, over-sized knits and suede/leather, as pictured below.
Though obviously all the students have worked very hard toward this show, we are going to mention the eight or so that we thought were outstanding.
Louise Priestley’s collection married street with corporate style and we liked it; long tailored men’s suit jackets, overcoat length with simple detailing, venting at the back, and definite street styling with leggings and beanies.
Lucie Sutichunta used printed t-shirting to great advantage and was the night’s first burst of colour, with puff sleeves using orange and blue diamond patterning.
We particularly liked her over-sized dresses. The collection owes its inspiration to the spirit of Siam.
Kim Wigmore followed right on behind her with another fabulous burst of orange, greys and olives in stripes and patterns. Loved the leggings. She says it is a ‘mathematical approach to design’. It might be – but it is one with a lot of fun at the heart of it!
Ruri Ko Castillo used a crafty, colourful approach to her ‘interconnection’ collection. Amazingly stitched shapes in turquoise and yellows adding in fuchsia checks and lime green– this was a real standout. Loved the printed tights.
Yvia Magan also used strong colour to great effect with skirts and leggings in the same patterns with red, turquoise and purple.
Sonal Rambhai’s knitwear was influenced by the beat generation as seen through the eyes of Jack Kerouac in his novel ‘On the Road’. With large, loose knits in grey and navy, tension and texture were put to good use.
But the best knitwear of the night had to go to Emma Kilbride who took the large open hand knit to a whole new punk-esque level. She managed to make hand knits look sexy. No mean feat I can tell you. Simple styling with figure hugging rock and roll pants and hotpants with these large deconstructed knit pieces over the top. Loved the turquoise detail stitched into the work. And we especially loved the short top that had the long, floor-length arm detailing.
And the best was kept pretty much until last with Violet Howlett-Aitken’s body of work, which showed a lot of technical know-how but also just looked damned great. She is interested in ‘geometric depth’ with her work – both the rigid form and the contrast with the softer, collapsing form. This was also one of the few real ‘street wear’ collections of the evening – and it could have very easily looked at home nestled straight into an adidas by Stella McCartney range. The colours were eye popping with orange and turquoise greens used with nudes as a base. We loved the colour blocking as well as the construction detailing with points worked into the tailoring.
A perfect way to end the evening and ROOKIE at its very best.
Other highlights: Renuka Pana's tip-dyed shirts.
Pacific Island wooden motifs used in the designs of Carla Tuipulotu.
Menswear by Samuel Joseph.
By Anya Brighouse, 11 November 2010
Photography by Kevin Robinson.