i-D

wellington's fashion graduates

Meet eight ones to watch from New Zealand's esteemed College of Creative Arts.

i-D Staff

i-D Staff

Photography Russell Kleyn

Massey University College of Creative Arts in Wellington, New Zealand is considered one of the best art and design schools in the country. With an incredible roster of past students who've gone on to have successful careers including Collette Dinnigan and Kate Sylvester, the bar has been set high. Last month saw the final-year fashion students graduate and photographer Russell Kleyn caught up with eight designers from the class of 2015 who are definite ones to watch. 

Millie Meadowcroft dress, stylists own long sleeve, Matt Hickmott shorts, Nike sneakers. Rug by Muskhane Homewares.

Milly Meadowcroft 

What's the best thing you've learned since beginning your course?
COCA gave me a sense of freedom and taught me how to make the most of it. 

How would you describe the clothes you make and look forward to making in the future?
My clothing stands to improve the wellbeing of the further user, maker and earth rather than fostering empty consumerism. I hope that it is clothing to be thought about rather than just worn.

How do you motivate yourself creatively?
By thinking, reading, and talking about systems that could work in a sustainable world. Design that is beautiful and thoughtful is worth keeping around.

If you could dress anyone, who would it be?
Grace Coddington at the Met Gala.

What's one thing about you and your label that sets you apart from the rest? 
I grew some fabric.

@millymeadowcroft

Zoey Radford-Scott jumper, Millie Meadowcroft pants, Rug by Muskhane Homewares.

Zoey Radford-Scott 

How would you describe the clothes you make and look forward to making in the future?
Menswear inspired, casual, and fun!

How would you describe this particular collection? 
A gang of four, influenced by the hip hop aesthetic and Viviane Sassen's photography, which captures people of Africa highlighting vivid colours and strong contrasts of light and dark.

What kind of themes tend to pop up in your work?
Boys clothes on girls.

What's the most exciting thing about fashion in New Zealand right now?
All my talented friends graduating! So much innovation and excitement! New Zealand's very lucky :)

zoeyradfordscott.com

Holly Meyers skirt, Matt Hickmott boobtube, Zoey Radford Scott-Jeans, Nike Sneakers. Cushions by Muskhane Homewares.

Hilary Ng 

What's the best thing you've learned since beginning your course?
COCA fashion has given me the ability to elevate my designs and clothing from homemade and crafty to a commercial and professional standard through both design and technically. 

How would you describe the clothes you make and look forward to making in the future?
A clean, controlled and harmonious aesthetic that touches on experimental pattern making ideas.

How would you describe this particular collection?
This editorial shoot is the combined talent of our friends' graduate collections. It is a good representation of a range of graduate designer's work, and it shows our mutual appreciation for each other's process. My collection is more conceptual than usual, exploring the creation and control of shape and volume through line that wraps around the body.

If you could dress anyone, who would it be?
Friends and family.

What's one thing about you and your label that sets you apart from the rest? 
I appreciate and enjoy the process of making clothes and figuring out more experimental pattern based projects.

@hilaryjayneng

Hilary Ng dress, George Carey turtle neck, Matt Hickmott Jeans, Margiela Shoes. Rug by Muskhane Homewares.

Matt Hickmott

What's the best thing you've learned since beginning your course? 
What I really learnt from the COCA fashion school was to go with your gut feeling, whatever you want to do, don't let people try to convince you to change your mind. A few teachers told me to go with what I felt was the right thing to do. If you have an idea, just do it!

How would you describe the clothes you make and look forward to making in the future?
Hard question, I would say I like to make clothes for naughty girls with a bit of sophistication. Like good girl gone bad. Oh and bad boys! I'm looking forward to transferring key elements of traditional garments into something new.

How do you motivate yourself creatively? 
I like Instagram, I think it's such a great outlet for creativity and you see people doing really cool things and then you are motivated to do even cooler stuff (well, hopefully). 

If you could dress anyone, who would it be?
Oooo, I would have to say either Nicki Minaj, Kim Kardashian or Rihanna. 

@matthickmott

Holly Meyers dress and pants.

Holly Meyers 

How would you describe this particular collection?
With a love of textiles and art I used fabric manipulations, screen-printing and weaving to communicate ideas. I wanted this collection to be an exhibition of the skills I have gained over my four years at COCA but also wanted to add something new to my skill base. This is where the weaving, pleats and puffer came into it.

What kind of themes tend to pop up in your work?
Mainly art and textiles.

What's the most exciting thing about fashion in New Zealand right now?
Grad collections and watching how people move forward with them.

What's one thing about you and your label that sets you apart from the rest?
Me!!! 

@hollymmeyers

Lizzie Langridge Coat, Matt Hickmott boobtube (worn as skirt), stylists own jumper and pants. Rug by Muskhane Homewares.

Lizzie Langridge

How would you describe the clothes you make and look forward to making in the future?
Bold, dynamic and easy to wear silhouettes. Lots of volume texture and colour blocking. In the future... I'll be making more refined lines and shapes. I want to make clever clothes that make you feel good. Pleating is another technique I'd love to explore further.

How would you describe this particular collection?
This collection was about the experience of a Rothko painting and the process of collaging my silhouettes. The culmination of lots of things, it's a colourful puzzle of pieces. I was influenced by abstract art and how the fabrics I chose worked together, both tonally and textually. Wearable, but not all of it necessarily commercial.

What's the most exciting thing about fashion in New Zealand right now?
The small independent, quality brands (e.g. Eugenie, Harman + Grubisa, Penny Sage) that are still made in New Zealand but compete globally. The freedom to start something and see what happens. The little pockets of subcultures making cool things.

What's one thing about you and your label that sets you apart from the rest?
My taste is very eclectic, what I make and what I wear are often different... but still me. I used iron on vinyl to cover a pink denim skirt and wool crepe top. Any combo is possible!

elizabethlangridge.com

Holly Meyers Puffer, Jess Bligh Leather Jacket, Lizzie Langridge Pants.

George Carey 

How would you describe the clothes you make and look forward to making in the future?
For a long time I thought that to be the most fashionable person in the room I had to dress the loudest. I've learnt over the years that it's not always the case. It's awesome to have those people who shock with their outfits, but I like to make clothes I feel good and cool and confident in. I think that's the sort of man I'm designing for. 

How would you describe this particular collection?
My collection 'Tokyo Lucky Hole' was really concept driven. This particular collection belonged to a character I'd created. He is a lonely ignorant tourist in Tokyo. The clothes are worn by and seen through the eyes of this Western tourist.

If you could dress anyone, who would it be?
The person who's style I've loved for ages is Stefano Pilati. He's so grown up with his dressing but still really cool and edgy. I'd really love to see one of my coats on him!

@george.carey

Comme des Garçons Jacket, Stylists own skirt (worn as top), Matt Hickmott skirt. Cushions by Muskhane Homewares.

Jess Bligh 

How would you describe this particular collection?
'Girls Girls Girls' was initially inspired by a book called 'Girl Culture' and looking at the subcultures within it. Creating my own fabrics and textiles were a huge thing that I wanted to push throughout my collection.

How do you motivate yourself creatively? 
My friends! They are honestly some of the coolest people I know!

What kind of themes tend to pop up in your work?
The use of natural materials and creating my own textiles.

What's the most exciting thing about fashion in New Zealand right now?
The young emerging talent coming out of NZ! Theres so much exciting new stuff and diversity from graduates every year.

@jessicabligh

Credits


Photographer Russell Kleyn
Zoey Radford-ScottHolly Meyers
Hair & Make Up Natalee Fisher
Ella Murphy at Kirsty Bunny Management