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June 1, 2014 | by  | in Features |
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Styli Māori

We continue to watch the rising talent, Adrienne Whitewood (Rongowhaakata), a young Māori designer from Rotorua who is inspired by Māori art, history and tikanga. Adrienne studied at Auckland University of Technology (AUT) in 2009, graduating with a degree in Fashion. She continued studying Ngā Mahi Whakaairo and Tikanga Māori at Waiariki in Rotorua.

Her standout collection, Te Aho Tapu (‘the sacred thread’) made our heads turn when it hit the catwalk at the Miromoda Fashion Awards in 2011. Miromoda challenges established and emerging Māori tertiary designers to submit pieces, which look “beyond conforming to trends and business restraints in order to advance the ‘art’ form. Design and concept of the collection is the primary consideration in this award”. The 2014 competition closes on 30 May 2014 at 5 pm.

In 2012, Adrienne’s collection was one of 120 entries submitted to the Cult Couture Supreme Awards. This event, part of Manukau’s Southside Arts Festival, showcases original cutting-edge design. Taniko, inspired by Lady Gaga and Māori design, won the streetwear section. The multi-coloured hand-woven dress, featuring geometric patterns similar to traditional taniko, went on to win the Supreme title, which also featured established high-profile designers.

Late last year, Adrienne opened Ahu Boutique, featuring her own unique fashion designs, weaving and other arts. The term ‘Ahu’ means ‘to inspire, uplift and celebrate’, one used for Māori fashion. The store is located on Eruera St, in central Rotorua.

www.adriennewhitewood.com

 

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