Bayfield pupil wins fashion design prize

Bayfield High School year 12 pupil Bella O’Connor (17, right) won the Natural Fibres Award in the...
Bayfield High School year 12 pupil Bella O’Connor (17, right) won the Natural Fibres Award in the schools section of the recent Hokonui Fashion Design Awards in Gore with her spiral shell-inspired piece ‘‘An Outer Shell’’, modelled by fellow pupil Indiana Stratton (14). PHOTO: BRENDA HARWOOD
The delicate spiral shape found in many shells was the inspiration for an award-winning fashion design created by Bayfield High School year 12 pupil Bella O’Connor.

Bella’s linen and silk spiral pleated dress in dusky pink and cream, entitled ‘‘An Outer Shell’’, won the Natural Fibres Award in the Schools Section of the Hokonui Fashion Design Awards in Gore late last month.

Although she was unable to attend the awards shows herself, Bella was thrilled her garment won the approval of the judges.

‘‘It’s very exciting to have my work modelled on the catwalk, and to receive a lovely trophy as well,’’ she said.

Bella designed and sewed the garment herself, creating a corset bodice and then folding the linen outer shell into accordion pleats.

The process was ‘‘quite tricky’’ and took more than two weeks to complete, with the support of Bayfield textiles teacher Catherine Kan.

The most difficult part was figuring out how to sew the garment’s skirt section. Bella pleated it in one long piece, then sewed it into the final spiral shape.

‘‘I spent most afternoons after school in the textiles room for a could of weeks working on it,’’ Bella said.

‘‘Miss Kan was amazing — I wouldn’t have been able to do it without her.’’

Designing and sewing the garment for the Hokonui Fashion awards had been ‘‘a good experience all round’’, and had inspired her to think about fashion as a possible future.

‘‘I have always been interested in creating things, and I take art at school as well,’’ she said.

‘‘After this experience, it is worth thinking about fashion and design as an option for further study.’’

Along with Bella’s award-winning entry, two year 11 Bayfield girls entered the school section of the awards.

Misaki Joe entered the Recycled category and Tanmeet Madan entered the Street Wear category.

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