Miromoda 2021 designers to showcase at NZ Fashion Week

By Jessica Tyson
The Overall and Emerging designer winner is Taylor Pumphrey.  Source / Miromoda

Nine designers to feature at the Miromoda showcase at New Zealand Fashion Week (NZFW) next month have been revealed.

They are Taylor Pumphrey, Taongahuia Maxwell, Jacob Coutie, Sosefina Masoe, Ravai Titifanue, Charleigh Te Peeti, Mitchell Manuel, Tessa Lont Bailey and Rosette Hailes- Paku.

The designers were chosen last weekend at the 11th annual Miromoda fashion design competition in Wellington. The competition typically chooses a group of between eight to 10 designers to take part in NZFW.

The stand-out Overall and Emerging designer winner went to Taylor Pumphrey of Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Toa and Ngāti Raukawa for her collection named Tangible.

She says her aim as a designer is to create with compassion and make garments that are valued for their entirety, from concept to creation.

Tangible is a collection influenced by the sense of touch and its relationship to our emotion,” says Pumphrey, who is a 2020 Bachelor of Fashion Design graduate.

Jacob Coutie is the winner of the Established Category. Source / Miromoda

The winner of the Established Category was Jacob Coutie, of Raukawa and Tainui, who has maintained his strong legacy-building aesthetic and commitment natural fibres and seasonal focus on repurposed bespoke materials in his menswear collection.

Taongahuia Maxwell, of Tainui and Maniapoto, presented an Avant-Garde collection named Kahu Tae. It explores the evolutionary journey of traditional Māori weaving into the 21st century in a fun, functional and vibrant way.

Taongahuia Maxwell presented an Avant-Garde collection named Kahu Tae. Source / Miromoda

Bringing Pacific panache to Miromoda 2021 are three Pacific entrants who took judges on what seemed like a voyage around the Pacific Islands with their design concepts.

Sosefina Masoe worked closely with her two sisters to present a collection that acknowledged their matriarchal line.

Ravai Titifanue, from the Rotuma Island, Fiji, used her grandmother’s unique weaving pattern to present a signature print for vivid and sophisticated corporate wear with a Pacifika statement.

In collaboration with his Ukraine business partner, Cook Islander Mitchell Manuel delivered some clever digitally manipulated prints based on a flower synonymous with Rarotonga.

Judges Sonia Sly, Simon Smuts-Kennedy and Ata Te Kanawa. Source: / Miromoda

This year Miromoda founder Ata Te Kanawa stepped into the judging panel seat alongside Lower Hutt milliner Simon Smuts-Kennedy of the legendary Hills Hats, and Radio New Zealand broadcaster and fashion commentator Sonia Sly.

“The designers this year were passionate about their work and the winners were very clear from the outset. The top award went to a designer whose collection was well conceived and very well executed in both construction and design as well as wearability,” says Sly.

"What I love about Miromoda is the diversity of stories that come from the designers and their connection to their identity and cultural roots. So, from a judging point of view, it's really important to look at how each story threads through the garments and the collection as a whole.”

Full list of winners:

  • Taylor Pumphrey - Emerging & Overall winner
  • Taongahuia Maxwell - Avant Garde & iWahine Winner
  • Jacob Coutie - Established Winner
  • Sosefina Masoe - Pacific Aotearoa – Lalanga Fou Winner
  • Ravai Titifanue - Pacific Aotearoa – Lalanga Fou Runner Up
  • Charleigh Te Peeti - Highly Commended
  • Mitchell Manuel - Highly Commended
  • Tessa Lont Bailey - Established Runner Up
  • Rosette Hailes- Paku - Emerging Runner Up
  • Pania Greenaway - Highly Commended *Due to unforeseen circumstances Pania had to withdraw