Exhibition roundup

From Auckland to Dunedin, there are exhibitions opening, closing and continuing over the next few months. Here’s a selection (and there are more – let us know), starting with what’s finishing first.

In Wellington, this is the last week of Native Eye, a selection of photographs by Māori fashion designer and artist Suzanne Tamaki, displayed in large-scale lightboxed on Courtney Place. Curated by Reuben Friend, the lightboxes feature art-fashion garments and fashion photographs inspired by Māori interpretations of Western concepts such as feminism, or mana wāhine.

Courtney Place Park, to 31 May

Native Eye

Suzanne Tamaki, Native Eye, Courtney Place Park, image courtesy Wellington City Council

Suzanne Tamaki, Native Eye, Courtney Place Park, image courtesy Wellington City Council

In Auckland, the Pah Homestead has just opened Living Cloth, Textile Works from the Wallace Arts Trust Collection, curated by Harriet Matilda Rogers, 2018 Wallace Arts Trust Summer Intern. One of a group of summer interns, Harriet’s assembled an exhibition celebrating textiles and the ways that they surround us in our everyday lives, looking at how contemporary NZ artists have used textile materials or techniques in their work, and exploring the cross-over between art, craft, and decorative arts. Most works come from within the last 10 years, but there are also sprinkling of important pieces by major artists such as Gordon Crook and Malcolm Harrison.

Pah Homestead, 22 May – 8 July

Living Cloth

Gordon Crook, Home Leave

Gordon Crook, Home Leave

Across town at Waitakere‘s Te Uru, textiles are among the media mix for Wellingon artist Erica van Zon’s Jade Tableau, part of a yearlong project of working with the colour green. Having printed images of Te Uru’s distinctive aluminium cladding onto silk, van Zon converts the Window Space into a surreal continuation of the building; inside the gallery, van Zon offers a range of media from beading and embroidery to steel work printed silk, whose forms and arrangement adhere to the visual structure of the grid.

Te Uru Contemporary Gallery, 1 May – 3 July 2018

Jade Tableau

Erica van Zon, Jade Tableau. Image courtesy of Te Uru

Erica van Zon, Jade Tableau. Image courtesy of Te Uru

And back in Dunedin, word is getting out about Kawita Vatanajyankur’s installation, Performing Textiles, which was the work developed while she was in New Zealand in 2017 as part of the Dunedin Public Art Gallery’s Visiting Artist Programme. The works combine her body with techniques involved in manufacturing textiles, in a thoughtful, provocative and moving suite of images.

Dunedin Public Art Gallery, 5 May – 26 August

Performing Textiles

Kawita  Vatanajyankur, from Performing Textiles. Image courtesy of Dunedin Public Art Gallery

Kawita Vatanajyankur, from Performing Textiles. Image courtesy of Dunedin Public Art Gallery


If you’re nowhere any of these exhibitions, you may also like to check out the NZ Fashion Museum’s new online exhibition Remember the 80s: On the Edge, Over the Top. Those of us who were there might think the over the top thing’s a bit OTT itself  – but check it out for yourselves; you may have some classic 80s garments to add to the museum’s virtual collection as well.

Remember the 80s

Posted in Artists, Auckland, Dunedin, Exhibitions, Maori, Textiles, Wellington | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

At the movies: festival season 2018

The NZ International Film Festival started releasing the 2018 programme this month, leading with Pietra Brettkelly’s Yellow is Forbidden. While NZ screening dates are yet to be confirmed,  Brettkelly’s documentary on Chinese designer Guo Pei has landed with a splash on the northern hemisphere festival circuit, and the trailer and advance press suggest it will live up to the anticipation. But still, with the NZIFF still a couple of months away, there’s plenty of screen style to build up to throughout the winter film season.

indexFirst up is this suave gentleman, Antonio Lopez, who features in Antonio Lopez 1970: Sex, Fashion and Disco (2017, 95 minutes), at the 2018 Resene Architecture & Design Film Festival, which kicks off in May in Auckland. Puerto Rican by birth, raised in New York, Lopez became the “dominant fashion illustrator of the 1960s and 1970s”, hung around with Bill Cunningham and Karl Lagerfeld and the great muses of the age – Grace Jones, Jessica Lange, Jerry Hall.

The RADFF runs from early May in Auckland until July in Christchurch, and the Lopez doco will screen in Auckland, Wellington, Dunedin and Christchurch so check your local showings and the overall programme here on their website.

RADFF 2018 programme

Another famous New York fashion identity, the inimitable Andre Leon Talley, is the subject of The Gospel According to André in the Documentary Edge festival in Auckland and Wellington during May.

Doc Edge details

For those in parts of the country that gets these later, there is a general release coming up at the Rialto of the Blahnik biopic, Manolo – The Boy Who Made Shoes For Lizards.

Manolo – The Boy Who Made Shoes For Lizards

Other designer documentaries to look out for include Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist and McQueen. There’s also another feature on the late photographer, Bill Cunningham, The Times of Bill. No word yet about whether these will be in the festival, but here’s hoping; otherwise they will be able to be tracked down online. (Another new English release looks promising: A Modernist tells the story of influential London menswear retailer John Simons and his effect on post-war youth culture.)

Fashion is also central to several of this year’s big feature films this year. The Phantom Thread, of course, was set in the fashion world. The Met ball is also integral to the plot of the upcoming Ocean’s 8. And then there are blockbusters that are simply feasts for frockies: think how much Black Panther‘s  style was analysed, while later in the year, Crazy Rich Asians will take us back to the world of Chinese couture customers.

Happy viewing, everyone.

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Ataahua Mahi – Beautiful Work


Fashion fans can see Simone Montgomery’s millinery on Display for Dunedin Fashion ID week.

See her work on display from 30 April – 6th May in two venues:

Mayer Shoes in Wall St Mall Dunedin – with thanks, Glen and Poppy

Fashion ID Hub in the Meridian Mall, with thanks, Tracey and Kris

Simone Montgomery shares some background on this project…


Ataahua Mahi – Beautiful Work

Hats, you either love them or you hate them, I have been in love with hats for a while and wistfully lament days gone past, whereby my Mother and Grandmother waxed lyrical about, “The days that you never left the house without gloves and a hat in place.”  My best family hat story is one from my Aunty, who an excellent storyteller, had the cousins in fits of laughter one day explaining about the exploits of the dreaded and battered Girls School Felt hat. One day on the way home, In a deluge, this particular hat was rotated  180 degrees, brim repositioned and became a very effective norwester.  I know, you had to be there, but we don’t seem to have many hat stories anymore.


I have become passionate and interested in fashion and vintage millinery over the last two years as I have developed a keen interest in Race Day High Fashion. It gladdens my heart to see the quality of millinery being made and worn at New Zealand and Australian Race Days.


Being a bit of a crafty DIYer, I started to make my hats, how hard can this be?  I rather mistakenly thought.  It has now become a bit of an enjoyable obsession. I have learned that the art of millinery not only involves expertise in material manipulation, it is also essential that you have an ‘eye’ for shape, colour and form for each hat and situation.  The assemblage on your head is a mini sculpture.


I wanted to develop a point of difference to my millinery, and this body of work inspired by my whakapapa embodies my investigations with the beautiful materials of Aotearoa.  Harakeke, paua, and nephrite.  The manipulations of these materials for the pure joy of ‘being pretty’  has been very satisfying; they are materials that I love, and they have a very strong aesthetic.


I am continuing to work with traditional millinery materials such as sinamay and straw; the sinamay has a dimensional strength that the harakeke does not. I have experimented with traditional and nontraditional materials (have you spotted the placemat hat, yet?) to form the base of the structure and then use the paua, harakeke, and nephrite as decorative elements.

The harakeke flowers are from Anita at Flaxation,  the harakeke lattice net is from  Sema at Artiflax, and the Paua from Ocean Shell, Riverton. 


I have a total of 10 pieces on display for Dunedin Fashion ID week 30 April – 6th May. Four at Mayer Shoes in Wall St Mall Dunedin – thank you, Glen and Poppy. The remaining six are at the Fashion ID Hub in the Meridian Mall, thank you, Tracey and Kris.

Simone Montgomery – Waitaha, Nagti Mamoe, Kai Tahu


We love to share  projects and exhibitions by CTANZ members, if you have something coming up that speaks to our membership, via fashion, art, dress, textile, history/herstory, adornment or research, get in touch!

Send me and email:  angela@mermaidspurse.org.nz

Please include relevant details, such as exhibition time frame and some contextual writing to share, photos with captions.

Posted in Artists, CTANZ people, Designers, Dunedin, Exhibitions, Fashion, Fashion festivals, Fashion week, Hats, History, Simone Montgomery | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Waitangi textile lectures: April, July, September


Leading up to the exhibition X-Marks: Conversations in Cloth, opening at Te Kōngahu Museum of Waitangi in September, the museum is holding three talks by textile scholar and author Vivian Caughley at Te Kōngahu Museum of Waitangi Learning Centre.

The first, The Women of Rangihoua, will be Sunday 29 April at 2pm (free for Friends of Waitangi & Day Pass holders). Vivian’s talk will cover who the women of Rangihoua were and what they did together, with a focus on textiles.

The other talks will be:

  • Sunday 29 July about the King sisters and their samplers
  • Saturday 8 September about ‘Oreo’s’ ‘Sampler’, that unknown textile that was made and sent to the CMS in England, but no one knows who ‘Oreo’ was or what the ‘sampler’ looks like.


Posted in CTANZ people, Exhibitions, Heritage, History, lecture series, Lectures & Talks, Local events, Maori, Museums, Waitangi | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

iD is back 1-6 May

iD Dunedin 2018 Image_Luke Johnston and Emily Hlavac GreenThe packed schedule of Fashion Revolution week in Dunedin segues seamlessly (sorry) into the new-look iD week. Over recent years the big buzz in iD has increasingly been about Emerging Designers, and this year, it’s the main event over two nights at the Town Hall, with awards to be presented on Friday night. The Town Hall catwalk will be transformed to get the clothes and models closer to more of the audience. With over 40 collections by designers from 19 countries, it’s going to be stunning, the new layout will give everyone a fabulous view, and at time of posting, there were still tickets; see the iD site for details.

The Emerging Designers awards shows are complemented by a range of associated events, starting the weekend before with a talk on the history of the awards by iD chair, Otago Polytechnic’s fashion team leader, Dr Margot Barton at Dunedin Public Art Gallery (29 April, 1-2pm), and several opportunities from 30 April – 6 May to see entries, hear from the judges, and meet designers.

iD Apparel Mag Ad FINALWhile Emerging Designers is the ‘hero’ event for the week and accounts for quite a bit of the schedule, the range of complementary activities suggests that the organising team has been very, very busy. The public library will offer its popular fashion tours; there are exhibitions of fashion related art,  a range of food + fashion events and shopping opportunities, styling sessions and exclusive and special shows. If you’re missing the Railway Station production, you might like to consider instead Dunedin’s first Fashion for a Cure event on Saturday 5 May (featuring leading national designers) or Toitū te awa Toitū te whenua TOITŪ NGĀ WĀHINE on Tuesday 1 May (featuring Ngāi Tahu designers fusing fashion and traditional Māori performance at Toitū)  or ‘punk futurism’ at Human Apparel Expo 2018 or – look, there’s over 40 events on the schedule, something for everyone, it’s going to be massive.


Margot Barton talks to the ODT about the new look iD week and Emerging Designers shows

Images supplied by iD.



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Who made your clothes? Dunedin 18 April – 4 May

Unstitched seminarsMeanwhile, in Dunedin, Fi Clements and Fiona Jenkin of Just Atelier have a very busy couple of weeks ahead. Their Fashion Revolution activities include conversations about the fashion industry, workshops and a photo booth that overlaps with this year’s iD Emerging Designers events.

The first event is Unstitched, at the Pioneer Women’s Hall, Moray Place, on Wednesday 18 April, 1-4pm. Fi and Fiona invite you to join in the conversation unstitching the myths of the fashion industry and sharing ideas for thinking differently about fashion. Unstitched is the local response, looking at how we, in Dunedin, can use our voice and our power to change the story of our clothes. Fi and Fiona will will share insights into local effects of the global fashion industry, and inspiration for the next step you can take to make the world a better place, one garment at a time.

Unstitched is a free event, generously supported by Creative NZ Creative Communities Scheme and hosted by Otago Pioneer Women’s Memorial Association.

Continue reading

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Who made your clothes? Auckland – Nelson

Unstitched seminars

Have you ever wondered who made your clothes, how much they’re paid, and what their lives are like? If not, start asking! Fashion Revolution week is almost upon us, and a range of events around the country will challenge to ask  brands #whomademyclothes and demand greater transparency in the fashion supply chain

Fashion Revolution centres around the anniversary on 24 April of the horrific collapse of Rana Plaza in Bangladesh where more than 1130 garment workers lost their lives and over 2500 people were injured.

New Zealand activists are gearing up for a range of events, from Auckland to Dunedin. If you’re organising something, please let us know via the comments.


CARE…ASK…KNOW…who made your clothes ribbon tags

Fraser Crowe is marking Fashion Revolution Day by giving away limited edition silk ribbon tags to pin to your clothing for the day (and longer). The crew will be at various spots along Ponsonby Rd, Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand giving these ribbons to passers by. Come get one, and wear it proudly!


 When & where

11am – 3pm, 24 April 2018

Ponsonby Rd, between Western Park and Three Lamps, Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand


We believe that small acts can lead to systematic change. We also believe that transparency in the clothing industry matters and, like fashionrevolution.org, that a great first step towards change is asking ‘who made my clothes?’Our CARE, ASK, KNOW Ribbon Share is aimed to begin, continue or develop small conversations (on the footpath and beyond) about the bigger issues of valuing textile and garment makers, demonstrating transparency in the supply chain and caring about environmental impacts of clothing manufacture and purchase.

Hosted in conjunction with Fashion Revolution Day Aus NZ, and the larger global movment fashionrevolution.org. Join us in this small act towards making change to the outdated models and mindsets in the global fashion industry.


Fraser Crowe  frasercrowe.com 1B Ponsonby Rd, Grey Lynn, Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand

#whomademyclothes? #fashionrevolution #bethechange #lesslandfill #ethicalclothing






For events in your part of the country, check out the Fashion Revolution website.



Posted in Auckland, CTANZ people, Designers, Dunedin, Education, Fashion, Fashion Revolution, International, Lectures & Talks, Local events, Nelson, Textiles, Wellington, Workshops | 1 Comment

Last chance to join for 2018


Time is running out to rejoin or join CTANZ for 2018. Our membership office will be unattended for two months mid year, so please make sure your subscription has gone through by Friday 20 April to make sure you receive your two copies of Context and a discount for the symposium in September.

Renewing is really easy:

Payment of $50 (Waged), $35 (Unwaged/Student) can be made by

  • Cheque payable to Costume and Textile Association of NZ, posted to Kim Smith, 83 Rose Road, Grey Lynn, Auckland 1021
  • Direct Credit to CTANZ BNZ account 02-0100-0345145-00 with your name and SUB 16 as reference. Please advise Kim by email if you pay by DC. kimsmithroseroad@gmail.com

Joining if you’re not a member is almost as easy: complete the membership form and send to Kim Smith at kimsmithroseroad@gmail.com, and make your payment as above.

Thank you – we look forward to welcoming you back.


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Costume Society of America – Seattle 2019 – Call for papers

Yes, you’re still thinking about CTANZ in September (remember, abstracts are due 30 April) but the Costume Society of America has opened its call for papers for next year’s symposium in Seattle. The theme, which offers plenty of scope for New Zealand, is

The Pacific Rim and Beyond: Diffusion and Diversity in Dress.

The CSA is issuing all calls simultaneously, for research (traditional or visual experience), professional development sessions, and a design exhibit.

Details for submission found under the Call for Submissions tab at http://costumesocietyamerica.com/national-symposia/proceedings/.

Abstracts are due on September 1, 2018. 


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Unbound: exhibition call for proposals closes soon

Christine Webster, Black Carnival Series 1992-1994. Courtesy of Christine Webster.

Christine Webster, Black Carnival Series 1992-1994. Courtesy of Christine Webster.


22nd September – 18th October 2018

Dunedin School of Art Gallery, Otago Polytechnic, Dunedin

It’s great to be able to complement the annual CTANZ symposium with an exhibition, and proposals are still open for this year’s Unbound exhibition at the Dunedin School of Art Gallery, which will have a four-week run from 21 September until 18 October.

The closing date for proposals is 23 March; full details of how to submit below, and we encourage you to contact the curators if you have any other questions.

The exhibition opening is Friday 21st September as part of  Unbound: Liberating Women, the 2018 Costume and Textile Association symposium, organised in partnership by CTANZ and the School of Design and the Dunedin School of Art at Otago Polytechnic – Te Kura Matatini ki Otago.

Unbound is a quality assured, peer-reviewed exhibition curated by Dr Natalie Smith and Victoria Bell.   The curators seek proposals that respond to Christine Webster’s Black Carnival Series 1992–1994: http://www.christinewebster.co.uk/texts/w_bc.html.  This series of work speaks to the changeability of dress, bodies and sexualities. Continue reading

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